It’s astonishing how much cultural deformation occurs because of outright cruelty towards a population.
When slavery was made illegal, the black population created some impossibly wonderful centers of power (Tulsa’s Greenwood community being one) AND got elected to multiple local, state, and federal offices only to have white supremacists butcher them, destroying whole towns, assassinating officials.
There’s no easy way to say the above.
“They’re all just drunks.” Said a lot about African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, the Irish, the Scots. Time and time again, experts have gone into the field and come back with “if you put a population under EXTREME duress and poverty, people will find a way to numb themselves to survive.”
And just recently, I found out about the “man in the household rule”. After welfare was invented, a massive number of states came up with the concept that you needed to “stop welfare cheats”. So, to do that, they said if there was a “man in the household” then you got ZERO food supplies. Period.
Do you all understand how difficult it was for people of color to find steady work? And what did you do if your work was seasonal?
What they did was drive the men away from their families so the kids would get fed.
Can you imagine that, as a father? That your choice was to stay away from the woman you love, from their kids, or watch the whole family starve AND society blaming you for it?
But… isn’t that in the past?
Recently I was going off on the locals again, because a bunch of chuckleheads were weighing in on the homeless. “Addicts. Useless. Boy, I wish I didn’t have to work and could get all that free shit.”
Same prejudiced bullshit, different population.
There’s no satisfying way to end a post like this except maybe to point out that if you see a group that appears to be dysfunctional or damaging, first check to see if they’ve got a boot on their neck.