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Aaron Ross Coleman
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I’m always highly skeptical of poverty statistics, as they measure income, and do not measure government benefits — such as food stamps, social security (disability), section 8 housing, medicaid and other things I’m overlooking. Yes, you have to be categorized as poor to get these, but when these things are added up, you’re not looking at a family struggling to get by under a tin roof.

That doesn’t mean that one does not face very real issues in life, though. I recognize those and have experienced them myself. That’s partially why I am so unsympathetic to those that refuse to raise their lot in life. The biggest take away I see in the first article you link is the prevalence of single family homes for blacks and its comparison to others. That’s an entirely personal, community centered problem. Scott Walker could be burning crosses all day in front of churches, but it does nothing to the crisis of the family that is occurring there. That further ties into the issue of education in your third link. Government cannot fix broken homes.

The young man who was shot, the issue isn’t whether or not if he was a perfect martyr. The issue is that he was a martyr at all. Where was the protest for the two men that died the previous day in the same block? There are young men being caught up in criminal activities in these communities, men whose lives are ended or ended up in jail simply due to proximity and undue influences. Where are their protests? Who is burning down the houses of the men slinging drugs in these communities?

It’s a series of personal choices that lead to buildings getting torched and people getting attacked for simply being of the wrong ancestry in the wrong area. There might be societal factors at play, and I can see how they might make things unbearable for some — but it all starts with a choice. A choice to stay home and watch it on TV. A choice not to re-offend. A choice to cooperate with the police. A choice to be present the lives of children.

Also, just as a general point — empirical data does not show systemic racism. You might extrapolate from the data that there’s systemic racism, but the data itself only proves the findings present.

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