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the american dream/comfort zone

updated wed 29 aug 12


Dale Neese on tue 28 aug 12

Last week I spent some time serving on jury duty in the seventh most
populous city in the United States. The case involved eviction from Federal
subsidized housing. I will not go into details of the case as it was
depressing and disturbing at the same time. Reasons why it is bothersome ar=
the number of children being cared for by single moms in a complex of 195
apartment family units! The description of "family" is stretching it a bit.
The prevalence of gang intimidation, drugs, fear and violence in these
Federal housing complexes are criminal. HUD spells out the rules in the
lease. There is a language barriers as some testimony had to be translated
for us. I've been twice to PR China's countryside in the 80's-90's. That's
poverty. In this eviction situation our government provides subsidized
housing based on income, if you sell drugs you have income. Government
provides food stamps, and other needs to small children and also no cost
legal services. Doesn't seem to be a limit on how many years you can live i=
or receive benefits from our government funding IF you obey the rules. Some
witnesses said they had been living in this complex for 15 years and now ar=
afraid to come out of the apartments. Police testified that they receive
many 911 calls a week from the apartment complex because this emergency
number is the only immediate help they can get with numerous non-emergency
problems. Continuous cycle of agencies, cops, courts and jail. Child
protective services testified for the defense only briefly for the short
visit she made to the sometimes fatherless family. The "father" was barred
from the complex for drug and gang activities.

I have true sympathy for these people and sat to listen to all the evidence
but how does the American Dream get started from situations like this one
all over our country? Will the children grow up to realize their dream?
Strikes me that I heard no testimony from or saw no other males in this cas=
other than the male police officer. One must conclude that without a strong
male role model, father, husband in the family the chances of 'getting out,
getting ahead" of "American Poverty" is far less for a one parent family.

I will not debate on ClayArt but only offer my observations and opinion in
this post. I know of other much more successful stories where families with
fathers and mothers have taken on the everyday effort to work, to educate,
to pull their family out into the light, break the cycle and chains of
dependence to secure their American Dream. You can't steal it, cheat for it
or be have it given to you. The Dream is still there, it's how you choose t=
live it makes the difference.