Monday, November 8, 2010

Poor People are Punks

Poor People are Punks

When it comes to politics… poor people are the worst kinds of punks I’ve ever laid eyes on.

And when I say poor, I’m not only speaking about the almost 36 million Americans, according to the US Census Bureau, living below the poverty line…


I’m speaking directly to every American who has found themselves struggling over the last two years due to this countries great depression. Yet who didn’t have any fight left in them to make it to the polls during midterm elections last week…

You’re all punks…

I’m speaking to those middle class Americans who’ve had their homes foreclosed on over the last few years, but had no voice in this political war…

You’re all damn punks!


I’m speaking to the almost 15 million unemployed Americans who chose not to take the fight to the ballot boxes. Who in failing to do so, refused to retain democratic control of congress, now turning it back over to a republican controlled government for the unforeseeable future…

A
government congress of republicans who will surely fail to redistribute any of the elitist’s wealth back over to we the people…

You’re all the worst kind of damn punks I’ve ever had the displeasure of being stuck in a foxhole with!

Yes, I… we… together… are all stuck in the trenches, but the sad truth is many of us aren’t even loading our proverbial weapons… those weapons being our intellects.

We’re not educating ourselves, much less our children about the real power of the vote… And in
failing to do so, we’ve already lost the fight, the battle and the whole damn war… At least for another 8 to 10 years…

"The war against working people should be understood to be a real war.... Specifically in the
U.S., which happens to have a highly class-conscious business class.... And they have long seen themselves as fighting a bitter class war, except they don't want anybody else to know about it." - Noam Chomsky

Again, while the American worker lost 25% and more of their 401K plans, the 400 richest Americans wealth increased by $30 billion, brining their combined wealth to $1.57 trillion…

Who cares right? We didn’t need retirement funds or seed money for our children’s college educations… Who the hell needs to go to college these days anyway?

I’d probably be pointing my daughter towards a more financially rewarding career if I told her to drop out of college and become a marijuana dealer instead…

Considering the fact that, “17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.”

Why invest all that money into your own future, if you can start at Applebee’s tomorrow?

May I take your order please?

The sad thing is that I always used to tell my daughters in the drive thru as we pulled up, “If you don’t want to be asking someone, “Would you like fries with that,” you better go to college girls…”

With the BLS reporting that hundreds of thousands of college educated professionals are now working as waiters, waitresses and parking lot attendants, seems to me that trying to “Educate” my daughters about education was way off the mark of what America has now become.

But why cry out in pain about it anymore?

I’ll leave that to the 5,057 janitors in the U.S. who hold Ph.D.’s and other doctorates while also holding a mop… Seems they have quite a bit to be pissed off about.

The saddest truth is that it’s beginning to become fundamentally clear to me that we have no one to blame for our current conditions but ourselves.

No more blaming the man… no more blaming the government and no more blaming Jay-Z and
the Illuminati…

We don’t vote… we don’t care… we’re voiceless…

So it’s about time we start taking a cold hard look in the mirror and accepting responsibility for refusing to get off our lazy asses and take back our country…

This isn’t some illuminati, conspiracy theory bullshit babble here by a crazy man wanting to start a revolution because he’d rather die than pay back the $50K in student loans he has… Yes, I’m talking about myself…

These are black and white facts, researchable by any ten year old with a knack for Google and a
few key words like, “Why is America in the shitter?” and “Why aren’t mommy and daddy doing anything about it?”

I’ll tell you why… because we’re too busy in every ghetto U.S.A, as I like to call it, teaching our kids how to fight…

And if you don’t believe me go to YouTube and key in, “Fights in the Hood.

Oh, you better believe we love fighting… I became so transfixed and mesmerized or ignorantly hypnotized by the, “Fights in the hood,” videos that I ended up watching parts 1, 2 and 3… and moved on to Fights in the Hood New York, LA and Las Vegas Editions…

It was enough to almost make me want to call it quits on ever writing another blog again… But then that’s a weekly thing these days as I grow tired of seeing my people so unwilling to fight for what’s right… to fight for change…

Instead, we fight over dirty looks, over hoodrats (both male and female) over a stepped on pair of Jordan’s, “Shit’s is expensive son,” over nothing and everything due to our frustrations of wanting everything and having nothing…

And in the end… that makes us all punks… Because we’re fighting ourselves… have been for decades and most likely will continue to do so until one day the 400 richest men in American leave to their planet and laugh on their way out of orbit while we finish each other off until there is no one left…

Seems like we’re all headed for a self-fulfilling doomsday prophecy of 2012-like proportions…

Professor Dr. Mark Naison of Fordham University summed it up best thi
s week when he wrote on Facebook about his projections for what comes next in the Bronx…

“More fights and violent incidents in schools, and more abusive behavior toward teachers, as young people feel the stress of the economic crisis on their families and caretakers. Young mothers turning to prostitution to help them and their children stay in apartments whose rents they can barely afford. More vicious attacks on vulnerable groups – particularly gays and recent immigrants – by groups of young men and women…”

I
t was an assessment I not only agreed with, but one which founder of Urban Latino Radio, Alex Norman and I began to speak about over a year ago, when we began discussing what happens next…

In the end I believe it’s all about karma…

On a grand scale – America goes to Afghanistan and Iraq and slaughters hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children… all while looking for one terrorist… and plunging us into trillions of dollars in debt… Bad Karma!

On a much smaller scale – we’ve stopped caring about each other as neighbors and prefer to turn a blind eye to violence and crime all the while contributing to the complete devastation of compassion in our communities… Bad Karma!

And in the end… We were all just a bunch of punks who failed humanity!


Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx (Touchstone – Simon & Schuster, 2008). The book is the first memoir released by a major publishing house written by a
Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Sanchez is also the co-author of It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ (powerHouse, 2009). He was awarded the National Novel honors for his first fiction offering and is currently working on several new books about NY Latinos.



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7 comments:

  1. What it comes down to is that none of our so-called leaders are speaking to our people. If our leadership is a reflection of the public then the public has failed. Not one candidate spoke to us,and the ones that did got little to no exposure. Because independent parties in the U.S do not get the financial backing or media exposure. It is not a level playing field unless you are a Republican or Democrat. In NY State everyone knew Cuomo was going to win. Now if you vote for him and he fails, like Bloomberg, Bush etc then you are to blame. You voted for them then you should be to blame. "We never voted to get into this shit, Then Why Vote to Get out!" Welfare Poets. This election was a joke the brother Jimmy McMillan and his Rent is 2 Damm High Party had over 40,000 votes and beat out 4 other candidates including the Freedom Party.
    A man with little to no political experience received 40k votes this should tell you this was a big joke.
    Whats the answer vote for Republican or a Democrat, knowing that they don't have our interest in mind. I mean check their track record, but as obedient sheep we are suppose to go the election booth and pick the Red or Blue Pill?

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  3. Trig & Everyone… I need you to read more deeply into the blog… because it’s not as one dimensional as you guys are making it out to be. This isn’t a debate on voting and poor people voting or not… This is a piece about the poor “accepting” their position in life for over 5 decades…

    These government programs have been in place for decades and if anything, the problems in our communities have gotten much worse, as opposed to getting better. We’ve accepted our positions in life as the bottom of the barrel, lowest class citizens in America… but much worse, we’ve turned to fighting and killing one another in greater numbers… That’s why we’re punks…

    We’ll fight one another, kill one another all the while forgetting that the person we voted into office is sitting in a plush leather chair laughing their asses off, while stealing millions of dollars from us… And guess what… “We the punks…” do nothing about it… No march on the elected officials offices, no stalking them in front of their homes and demanding they give us the change we need… No noise of any kind… The sheep’s aren’t those voting … the sheep’s aren’t those “not” voting…

    The sheep’s who I chose to call punks… are the ones accepting this as life… Even to the point that we’ve allowed Obama to keep us in a trillion dollar war he promised to get us out of… How do we alter the course of this country?

    How do we hold Obama accountable, how do we start to turn things around… We educate the masses so they can leave their brainwashed states of acceptance and march on the police precincts that are beating us, the hospitals that won’t care for us, the justice system that gives us no justice, and the state and government buildings that continue to fail us… Until we get up and march on those evils keeping us deaf, dumb and poor… we will all just remain a bunch of punks!

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  4. Puerto Rican Youth Plight: The reason that Puerto Rican youth are faring far worse than the young Dominicans, Mexicans and other Latinos in New York is due to the low standard and quality of leadership provided by Puerto Rican elected o...fficials and the hundreds of Puerto Rican community based organizations (CBOs) that are pre-occupied with a social service welfare mentality agenda, and perpetuated by many of our Puerto Rican poets and artists, including our Puerto Rican institutions of higher learning... it has become the industry of ignorance that is paying off very well for our Puerto Rican elected officials and their cronies...

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  5. I really understand everyone's point of view. However, as a person that does volunteer work in my community and I'm involved with youth in my community I can sincerely tell you that the problem does not rely solely with our public officials, schools and the brainwashing that is perpetuated by the wealthiest Americans. First of all I see first hand where parents are too busy to spend time with their children. Yes I know that these are very difficult economic timeS we are facing but the fact is we need to spend more time with our CHILDRE. Secondly if our public officials regardless of their ethnic and cultural background are not taking the time to instruct us on how this political environment is affecting us during these very difficult times,then, we need to come together and find a way. I feel there is a craving for knowledge out there that is waiting to be satisfied. Most importantly we need to develop unity among all Latinos / Hispanics in our community. It is really a shame that in this day and age we are still bickering about which of us is better and which group is back stabbing who. While I'm a strong believer that we should feel proud about our culture and heritage I also believe that we need to unite to bring down some of those barriers that we continue to build amongst each other. It sound like I'm rambling here, but I just feel frustrated a lot times that we are not doing enough. This is the first time I've ever contributed to any blog but the topic that everyone here has brought up is something I really care about. I hope that messages like these can get back to those "Punks" and wake them up.

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  6. Hey Ivan, just continuing where I left off on FB and also responding to a couple of the comments here:

    1- @Trig: Third party candidates are unnecessary, and will never get majority votes in a major election. The solution is to do what the Tea Party did. There are VERY liberal financiers, like George Soros, who would love nothing more than a liberal takeover of the Democratic party. That's why we need a Liberal Tea Party. MAKE people listen. We are Latinos- we hold 15% of the electorate, and we are young- voters 18-29 account for over 50 million of eligible voters (though turnout is usually less than 53%).

    @Ivan: It's all about numbers. 70% of voters 18-29 are white, and the numbers go up with age, maxing out at about 85% for voters 60+. Over 50% of every demographic above age 44 votes Republican, while the numbers swap for the Dems below age 44.

    As far as what we'd prefer to be doing, how do we fight the cynicism that is ingrained in our community and age group? We empower them. We give them a platform. We give them a voice. We have two years to beat down these conservative thugs, and possibly change this country forever. My suggestion is we direct all our support for third party candidates- Green, Libertarian, whatever- and direct it to liberal democratic candidates. It can be done. This was proven this year by the Tea Party...

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