from this post, sums up the question: "What is important in our lives?" If there are cities with "ghost blocks" like this, where every house is boarded up, what does that say to the people who live in close proximity to such blocks? What do those residents feel walking down such a weirdly dead area? What would their conception of the future look like?)
At Crooks & Liars, Karoli has written a most excellent piece regarding Freddie Gray's shadowed start in life, from premature birth to childhood development poisoned by lead, and surrounded by poverty. We know that exposure to toxic chemicals and substances like lead are a damaging part of poverty, robbing people of IQ points and years of life expectancy. The exposure to lead, specifically, has been associated with criminal incidents, with might help explain, if not totally excuse, Gray's rap sheet.
But what I found utterly depressing was that in this country, a neighborhood like Freddie Gray's had a life expectancy lower than that of North Korea. People often don't live long enough to collect senior Social Security benefits. (Not that, given the earning potential and chronic unemployment, Social Security even pays out that much to those residents enduring long enough to qualify.)
The neighborhood where Freddie Gray lived seemed programmed for people to live lives that were short, and ended nastily and violently. If anyone has any questions about why there were protests and why there was a night where some businesses burned, think about how injury and more injury is added to the insult of living in a place where you see whole blocks of deadness, and a quarter of your neighbors have rap sheets before they turn 18.
This is the kind of place where an out-of-touch legislator might even think for an instant that denying food stamps might teach a valuable lesson about role-knowing and place-keeping. You can consider his hands washed of what to do about their rage and hurt and lack of decent opportunities. He would take food out of the mouths of babies to tell the people from a neighborhood like this not to air their grievances, which are many, and only the tip of which has struck the Titanic of our consciousness.