Saturday, August 13, 2005

Reply to Anonymous, 8/11, 3:38pm


You commented on the Peoples Tribune article, and wanted to know how to bring the two halves of the article together - what BANCO has to do with poverty. I'm for some reason not able to add a comment, so i'll have to answer you on this post.
Thanks for your rational question - you sound like a reasonable, thinking person, who would like to debate/discuss ideas.

I'll take a stab at an answer, altho it may not be complete. It seems to me that the most urgent problem facing BH residents isn't the poverty, believe it or not. Yes, I think that's an enormous problem, but the corruption in the legal system is more immediate. There are a few pockets of this kind of extreme corruption around the country, and the results are always the same. Residents feel like their lives have been stolen from them. They no longer have freedom of motion. Every waking minute is consumed with worry: is there still a police stake out down at the corner? will the cops come to my door today to harrass my son? if i go to the grocery store will i get stopped? will my neighbor receive a prison sentence for the crime he was accused of and didn't commit? how many more people will I hear about today who are in trouble with the law?

Anyone living in these conditions may as well be living under occupation. If you don't feel like you're being protected by the constitution, you can't live a normal life. You can become an emotional mess. And, it affects some people worse than others. Getting a job can seem like an insurmountable task. When you live in a place where law enforcement is treating people like human beings, people can live normal lives, and have the energy to follow their dreams. Lifting oneself out of poverty becomes a possibility. This is why Rev. Pinkney has become a court watchdog. That's one place people can go to make a difference and get the system to behave in a fair and just manner. Only then can people live normal lives and rise out of poverty. Also, BANCO did make a huge attempt to bring a factory to BH. The business from out of state which was ready to make this happen said that dealings with city and county officials were so difficult that it couldn't work. I believe the owner has pulled out. BANCO also initiated a Pathways Program for youth.