The Violence of Poverty

admin_general - Posted on 01 April 2021

By Queennandi Xsheba PNN KEXU

After the shooting in San Francisco’s Western Addition on March 16th, I struggled hard with trying to keep my body from trembling due to trauma and prevent my mind from exploding as I re- lived the past neighborhood gun battles that resulted in even me, personally losing loved ones as I closed my eyes, I revisioned all of their bodies falling down around me like blood-stained dominoes. The gunshots that rang out shattering the chilly, still but yet quiet night sounded like huge cannons in the confederate war. Earlier reports of the shooting had stated that there were no fatalities, however a female bystander was allegedly grazed by a stray bullet but fortunately she escaped serious injury.


On March 17th- less than 24 hours after the shooting that happened the night prior, more gunshots had sounded off from a moving vehicle shortly after noon. Although the intended target had managed to avoid being shot, myself, the groundskeeper of the Plaza East housing “complex” and another bystander were within several feet of harm’s way. Unharmed but yet shaken, the three of us just looked at each other in disbelief with the same thought in mind- like “What the hell is going on here!?” Afterwards, the police showed up five minutes later than the response time it would have taken to attend to the more affluent neighborhoods, regardless of it being a police station- just 3 blocks away from the scene and as of to date, it is unknown if the police have any confirmed suspects pertaining to either case in custody.


Violence, especially in Black/Brown/Multi-cul(tural) neighborhoods is a common thread amongst us “traumatized common folks” unfortunately due to Ignorance, oppression, depression, the inability to de-escalate a heated situation and “unacknowledged, untreated generational pain and rage”... Add to the mix the layers of a pandemic and the inconsistency of aid to prevent the masses from going into more deeper famine then you have the perfect recipe for a nationwide disaster with no recovery date in sight.


One would ask…. What is the connection? The violence of poverty comes in many forms and not just contained amongst the “hood violence” we see on the news all of the time. “The violence of poverty” can be committed by politicians who support and sign into law inhumane protocols that harm and kill folks just as well as the negative elements and so-called “gangstas” who contribute to the toxicity that sicken our communities.


For example...

The previous reports show that evictions have contributed to several new cases of covid-19- close to 400,00 cases to be clear. There have been many organizations all across the country  petitioning The Prez, Joe Biden to revise the eviction moratorium that is set to expire in just a few weeks.

When it comes down to the new relief bill recently signed into effect, there was little to no mention of a budget reserved for the housing crisis which threatens the millions of people who face eviction and if Prez Biden doesn't grant an extension to the eviction moratorium the floodgates of eviction is sure to open up and saturate this nation. The American Rescue Plan Act includes $1,400 per person (including dependents) , the continuance of $300 per week in unemployment benefits, and an increase in the child tax credit, up to $3,600 per child. There is over 400 billion set aside to aid city, state, small businesses, transit, healthcare, food assistance, and childcare. 14 billion dollars has been reserved to cover the shortcomings stemming from the airline industry during the pandemic. What about the housing crisis? No money to make sure folks' health is not being jeopardized by being forced out onto the streets??... Once again, the violence of poverty.

After the third round of “hunger stimulation” payments run dry, then what? It will be a very long, hard struggle without consistent aid going to those who will continue to endure hardships on a day-to-day, month- to- month basis. What happens then? The crime rate will continue rising to over-alarming levels because the seedy and the common citizens alike will eventually surrender to the temptation to fraction a law or two in order to survive.This is not by any means an excuse to fraction the laws, but a “default due to oppression” - This is the violence of poverty.


CR Queennandi Xsheba PNN KEXU


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