Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The "urban veteran."


A couple of incidents during the course of the day influenced me asking the following question:

Can just living in the "hood" expose you to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

I ask because I had some professional interaction with a gentleman today, who informed me, in no uncertain terms, that he cannot work, or even think about keeping a job, because as an "urban veteran", he suffers from PTSD.

" I am sorry sir. Were you in the military?" Oh no Mr. Field, but I live in Southwest, and as a black man, yourself, I am sure you understand what I go through on a daily basis. After you reach a certain age, a lifetime of living in the hood takes its toll on you and you just can't function." "Sir, I don't want to sound insensitive to your position, but have you ever considered moving?"

I know I know, that was kind of harsh, but I was having a bad day.

Still, I have been thinking about what that man told me, and you know.....hey, the guy might have a point. I am not a psychiatrist, and for professional reasons I can't get into too much more of what went down with the guy, but let's just say that the guy had some legitimacy to him. And before any of you reading this go thinking that the guy is full of it, think again. There are others out there legitimizing what the guy was saying.

Then,to top it off, I saw this story from Detroit. It's urban tragedies like this one ---which plays itself out in so many cities in A-merry-ca on a daily basis--- which led me to the question I asked in the second sentence of the post. We know about the knuckleheads running around and destroying our communities, but what about the people who have to live among them? How is the senseless and random violence and the fear of living with it affecting them?

Veterans coming back from the horrors of foreign wars fall victim to PTSD all the time. Does living in an A-merry-can city and surviving the mean streets that come with them qualify the survivors as veterans as well? Military veterans suffer from various forms of emotional trauma. Apparently urban veterans do, too.

110 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you are on to something. If you live in Detroit you should qualify as an urban veteran and a veteran of a third world conflict as well.

Pete in Az said...

I have two comments this time:

The middle two words in PTSD are Traumatic Stress. I imagin that if you were looking over your shoulder night and day, hoping to not get beaten or killed, that would qualify as Stress.

I live in the southwest and when i read "Southwest" in your post, the first thought that came to mind was: The southwest and the hood just do not go together. After reading the rest, I now realize you were refering to a neighborhood in your neck of the woods, not mine. oops...

missincognegro said...

Field, being a person of color in the United States increases the risk of PTSD. No joke!

But, I hear you; I would think that life in the 'hood predisposes one even moreso.

Jody said...

Can one suffer from PTSD if you live in North Philly? or parts of South Philly, or Southwest Philly? In a word. Yes.

I see the fallout every day. We have a kid who was shot 11 times, survived, and is so traumatized, he cannot function, has a flat affect, and has no ability to dream a future. He is the ripe old age of 18.. He smokes dope to cope..... He sees his self dead or in jail at 25. His mom and dad are fighting for his life, but this kid is not being reached. They have moved out of the neighborhood, but this kid keeps hopping on the subway and bee lining it back to the old neighborhood to hang with his "bulls".
I would love for someone to figure out what it will take for this kid to be whole, healed and believe in his own future....

missincognegro said...

Field, this may be of interest:

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/AnxietyStress/13080.

Anonymous said...

It is true, Field. Living in the hood is like living in a war zone. One has to be on constant hyper-alert. That is the same kind of stress war veterans go through.

You might not be aware of this because Blacks tend to avoid psychotherapy like the plague, but Whites who grew up in abusive homes as children--whether it was in the suburbs, the city or the trailer park--experience symptons of PTSD. And there is no trauma or stress because of gangland warfare or children gunned down in their neighborhoods like in black neighborhoods.

Psychiatrists prescribe medication for depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other nervous disorders that result from PTSD. It is becoming quite common--in the White community.

Of course, Blacks in the hood generally wouldn't be caught dead psychiatrist or psychologist's office, esp. a black male.

Monie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monie said...

Imagine how many kids there must be that live in urban war zones who suffer from PTSD.

Some of these kids grow up sleeping on the floor to avoid getting shot at night, have to run to and from school so as not to get shot, have crazy drug addicted parents, and suffer homelessness on a regular basis and more.

We have at least two generations of kids who have grown up in urban war zones, maybe even three. Add that to the lack of mental health care in this country and imagine how many kids suffer with no hope for help.

Jon said...

First, African Americans as a people have been traumatized. If someone is raised in a household that is affected by trauma, or addiction the chances of a child being debilitated by life's traumas are pretty good. If, on top of that, the external environment is violent the chances of being psychologically injured by trauma are very very good.

It's my understanding that PTSD is caused not just by exposure to trauma, but by exposure in an environment that has no safe place. The PTSD sufferer lives in an environment where trauma is ordinary. That could be a war zone, a dysfunctional family or a dangerous neighborhood.

As to leaving the hood. People with PTSD feel normal in traumatizing environments. They seek out dangerous situations and are anxious and uncertain in safe situations. They don't really believe in safety so when they are in a safe situation, they imagine that the dangers are invisible, hence more dangerous.

Cocoa Fly said...

Hell yeah living in the hood can be stressful. Little resources, constant violence, neighbors who don't keep up their property, troubled schools, safety issues...I'm speaking from someone who grew up in the hood. Not all hoods are like this but it can take a toll on you. When you live in nice neighborhoods with plenty of grocery stores, clean streets, and quiet blocks you realize what you've been missing. Good observation Field.

Bob said...

PSTD is not an entitlement program. There's infinite sources of trauma, but military vets earn a variety of benefits through their service.

I don't see how one cannot be traumatized by poverty combined with violence. Treatment for PTSD would be covered under a good national health care system no matter what caused it. But what treatment helps if the trauma is on-going? Then it isn't post-traumatic. & I wouldn't want it become a legit medical defense for drug dealers & killers.

La♥Incognita said...

I too think the gentleman might have a legitimate claim for what it's worth.

"being a person of color in the United States increases the risk of PTSD. No joke!"

I realized a long time ago that being a black person living in a predominantly black society amongst 'your own' can also bring on major PTSD. Both first hand and second hand PTSD. I think we're cursed - period. I'm not trying to be harsh or degrading, I'm being serious from 32 years of personal experience and daily observation.

Anonymous said...

"No joke!"

Yes, Field I think you have written one of your more thoughtful posts ever and although this one won't get the same amount of comments that your Michael Jackson posts have gotten I hope to learn more about this subject by reading all the comments and any further posts you choose on this very important subject.

Makaii from Maui

Also thanks for the links within your articles which always bring more to your story.

La♥Incognita said...

I just want to clarify that I was fortunate enough to grow up in a non-PTSD household and environment. However, In my adult life, I have always been plagued with 'co-workers' who always appear to have some sort of personal disturbia or PTSD due to whatever issues or living condition.

These individuals then try to project this unto others in the workplace. When you have to work with these people for eight or more hours a day, you are exposed to a plethora of unnecessary bullshit, and you too end up with some sort of second hand PTSD.

Therefore, I DO NOT want to work anymore. I hope I have a case.

Anonymous said...

"I think we're cursed - period. I'm not trying to be harsh or degrading, I'm being serious from 32 years of personal experience and daily observation."

You might be right. Blacks are a highly dysfunctional. Much of it is due to PTSD. What makes it worse, Blacks don't go for help. Now that is crazy.

BNasty said...

PTSD is not the only health problem...high blood pressure from having to worry about making it to and from home everyday and dealing with the white folks at work.

Field Negro G said...

Bro Field, I'm going to express my opinion in a one-word phrase:

ABSOLUTELY!

The ghetto is living hell. In the Southern ghettos, particularly everyone outside of the church folks, everyone shares some form of atheism.

PTSD is "in the house" in the ghetto, without a doubt. And it isn't an imagined reality, as you brilliantly stated when you ended your post.

BNasty said...

Hey Field, I have to disagree with you on the Al Sharpton HNB deal.

If you roll the video tape over, the lady in blue bum rushed the stage and security was all over her. Just when you thought there was going to be a "negro moment" for all the world to see on CNN, Rev Al told security to let her go and he started to dance with her.

The Rev saved the image of the moment at MJ memorial. Could you imagine this women acting all crazy and two brothas manhandling her on stage. It would've been look at them niggas time.

The Rev just took her hands danced it right away, no incident, no problems. Just Michael in the spotlight.

That's FN behavior if you ask me.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Anonymous 1:00:

We're not cursed, blacks have been deceived, but not cursed. We were handed superficial equality, education, housing, and health care, which exacerbated our problems. Given that our ancestors were given nothing but you can go now, your free. No food, no clothing, no money, and no where to go. Seeing how we've had to rise up from ashes in a continous battle for our lives, well-being, and livelihood, don't you think that is enough to cause anyone a great amount of stress?

In fact, it is foolish actions on behalf of those like Fox News who wish to start a race war to keep trying to instigate one with all these stressed out black people we have amongst us. That would be like throwing a match into a room full of dynamite and gasoline.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

You ever seen a person who just seem to take and take mess off a person and then one day they just snap? That's another good example of PTSD.

That's what happened in Watts riot. I know I was there when it happened and was stuck out there for a whole month because of it.

Sammy said...

Field: Remove the word "Post" and call it "Traumatic Stress Disorders" because the circumstances causing the stress are constant.

Yes, PTSD does occur subsequent to a trauma, but I think that without the word "post" TDS (multiple disorders) implies constantly occuring trauma(s).

Does this make sense or am I out to lunch?

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Sammy you make very good sense. In fact, you made a very logical and profound statement with what you stated.

Ice melts and so does steel.

Sammy said...

"everyone outside of the church folks, everyone shares some form of atheism."

Wrong. With the shucking and jiving so-called ministers (or preachers) sucking money from people who can barely afford to eat, there probably are more folks with some kind of mental disorder.

North and south.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Amen, and there are a lot of shucking and jiving preachers and ministers who got into it for the money and made it a business venture. However, there are some that are not into for the money and don't have those mega churches, and sometimes they may not have but 4 or 5 members belonging to their church. In addition, some of God's people who are out in the trenches don't get or take anything (money) in return for what was freely given to them. They give it freely like the word says do.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Just like they have bad people on jobs, schools, etc., they have bad people in churches, but there are also some good ones too.

Mack Lyons said...

"You might not be aware of this because Blacks tend to avoid psychotherapy like the plague"

I'm guessing it comes from a twisted sense of stoicism. For some reason, Blacks are told that their problems are their own to handle and that they have to handle them themselves, since it "ain't nobody bidness but yers". The church doesn't help much in this regard either. Telling your troubles to "some white man" is grounds for ridicule and accusations of being a "race traitor". So they take care of the problem themselves, mostly by self-medicating if the problem is way too big or too deep for them to handle. Drugs and drink take the edge off shouldering the burdens, but as with most things, it's a temporary fix, so you have to hit it again and again and again at ever-increasing levels until your body can't take it anymore and your psyche is totally lost.

Somehow, I'm gonna have to convince my brothers and sisters that yes, it's ok to see the shrink and no, it's not just a "White" thing.

"As to leaving the hood. People with PTSD feel normal in traumatizing environments. They seek out dangerous situations and are anxious and uncertain in safe situations. They don't really believe in safety so when they are in a safe situation, they imagine that the dangers are invisible, hence more dangerous."

It's a case of being more comfortable around the Devil you know, instead of hunting down an invisible one that could very well be just around the corner. There's an expression out there: "It's quiet. TOO quiet..."

The dangerous environment has dangers that you know and are well-aquainted with, therefore they're easily recognizable and potentially managable. Out in the "safe" environment, you don't know what's out there, IF anything's out there, and if there is, you wouldn't know what it looks like or how/when it may strike. So some people would rather make a bee-line back to the hood, back to familiar surroundings where they won't feel so foreign and so out of place, where most of the dangers out there they can see coming, instead of wondering about if there are any invisible foes out there.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I think they'd probably feel more comfortable talking to one of their own whose in that profession, because like you said, "Telling your troubles to "some white man" might be the problem. They can relate to their own, and their own can relate to them. They don't feel a white man can relate to them, because the white man hasn't had to live in their environment and deal with what they've had to deal with.

Or did that ever occur to anyone?

StillaPanther2 said...

Brother Field....you keep digging. This is a valid concern that must be addressed to change the insanity that is the norm in the Black communities. I always say that I felt safer in Vietnam versus a lot of "hoods" that my people reside. Being a medic in the Nam I can re;ate to the young people that have a need for action (violence), I too had many years wherein I would leave my safe "hood" to seek some action that would make my adrenalin flow. It took the VA about 25 years to acknowledge PTSD, Leaving the war in the 70s, most of my veteran friends died violent deaths associated with PTSD. Now with the current population of the inner city; socity will not acknowledge the malady but the will just continue to treat this population like they treated us from Vietnam. That will be to make more prisons to treat this burden of PTSD. A shoutout to Granny For Truth for being there in Watts (they changed the name,we know why). Anywho in the 60s and 70s communication and news were SLOW but the Brothers and Sisters on the West Coast sparked the change in America. One day the whole story will be told. My people are still on the journey. Thanks Field, for the "digging". The commenters are on target. Jody, BNasty. Another mountain....

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

That's just like some who has never in their life wired a house for electricity or know the first thing about electricity trying to teach someone how to wire a house. That's not gone work!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

*someone*

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

StillaPantha2:

Like the word to this song:

Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs, you know they just
Dont care
I cant take the smell, I cant take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away, but I couldnt get far
Cause the man with the tow-truck repossessed my car

Dont push me, cause Im close to the edge
Im trying not to loose my head
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under

Standing on the front stoop, hangin out the window
Watching all the cars go by, roaring as the breezes
Blow
Crazy lady, livin in a bag
Eating out of garbage piles, used to be a fag-hag
Search and test a tango, skips the life and then go
To search a prince to see the last of senses
Down at the peepshow, watching all the creeps
So she can tell the stories to the girls back home
She went to the city and got so so so ditty
She had to get a pimp, she couldnt make it on her
Own


Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from goin under

My brothers doing fast on my mothers t.v.
Says she watches to much, is just not healthy
All my children in the daytime, dallas at night
Cant even see the game or the sugar ray fight
Bill collectors they ring my phone
And scare my wife when Im not home
Got a bum education, double-digit inflation
Cant take the train to the job, theres a strike
At the station
Me on king kong standin on my back
Cant stop to turn around, broke my sacroiliac
Midrange, migraine, cancered membrane
Sometimes I think Im going insane, I swear I might
Hijack a plane!

My son said daddy I dont wanna go to school
Cause the teachers a jerk, he must think Im a
Fool
And all the kids smoke reefer, I think itd be
Cheaper
If I just got a job, learned to be a street sweeper
I dance to the beat, shuffle my feet
Wear a shirt and tie and run with the creeps
Cause its all about money, aint a damn thing
Funny
You got to have a con in this land of milk and
Honey
They push that girl in front of a train
Took her to a doctor, sowed the arm on again
Stabbed that man, right in his heart
Gave him a transplant before a brand new start
I cant walk through the park, cause its crazy
After the dark
Keep my hand on the gun, cause they got me on the
Run
I feel like an outlaw, broke my last fast jaw
Hear them say you want some more, livin on a
Seesaw

A child was born, with no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind
God is smiling on you but hes frowning too
Cause only God knows what you go through
You grow in the ghetto, living second rate
And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate
The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alley way
Youll admire all the number book takers
Thugs, pimps, pushers and the big money makers
Driving big cars, spending twenties and tens
And you wanna grow up to be just like them
Smugglers, scrambles, burglars, gamblers
Pickpockets, peddlers and even pan-handlers
You say Im cool, Im no fool
But then you wind up dropping out of high school
Now youre unemployed, all null n void
Walking around like youre pretty boy floyd
Turned stickup kid, look what you done did
Got send up for a eight year bid
Now your man is took and youre a may tag
Spend the next two years as an undercover fag
Being used and abused, and served like hell
Till one day you was find hung dead in a cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young


That about sums it up.

Blinders Off said...

Bravo!

Very good topic and comments.

This topic need to circulate into the MSM.

Robster said...

I believe urban veterans exist. I live on the outer fringes of some crazy stuff myself and you can see it in people's attitudes, mannerisms, etc.

All it takes in more unemployment and housing foreclosures and I could see some gun play happening, just like when Cali's economy and housing markets both went in the tank in the mid-90s.

If I'm home for the 4th, it's a safe bet I'm staying indoors for that reason.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Robster:

"All it takes in more unemployment and housing foreclosures"

Back during the elections, I told everyone that a lot of people were going to get to see how poor people feel before it was all over. A lot of people had no compassion for the homeless and poor. They didn't care how or what happened to cause those less fortunate than them, predicament.

However, now their getting a taste of how it feels and finding out how it feels to not know from day to day where they're going to live or what it's like to worry about where their next meal is coming from. For most this is a lesson in compassion towards their fellow man that they need to learn.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

People can call it Karma or whatever they want to call it, but you reap what you sow. That is a law of nature. Back when prosperity was all good, people treated poor people and homeless folks like lepers and badmouthed them to no end. Now, they reaping what they sowed. This nation of people did it, and this nation of people are reaping it.

And that's word, whether or not people hear what I'm saying and receive it, that's up to them, because you can lead a horse to the trough but you can't make them drink.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Oh I def. believe there are urban veterans. I wish there were more counseling services for people of color.

Many of us are self medicating and killing ourselves in the process.

Stress is no joke.

Bob said...

At the urban hospital-affiliated mental health clinic I've used for a decade, there are no black psychiatrist-MDs, no black Ph.D psychotherapists, & maybe only a couple of black MSWs. It's made me wonder how many college educated African-Americans are going into the mental health field. Plenty of Hispanics are, especially women.

agentX said...

Well then, to solve this man's problem, I would recommend periodic travel away from the hood on a consistent basis, at least 2 or 3 days a month at first, followed by a week at a time, followed by finally moving. No sense in rushing him to moving. But you can't keep him there and expect him to get better, not while the problem still remains. It's like getting a junkie thru rehab and then returning said junkie back to the crackhouse.

Swiff said...

Hm....

PTSD has never been a "soldier only" disorder. Of course all kinds of trauma can cause it.

But I think we should hesitate before we really equate ghetto life trauma to what soldiers go through.

There's a reason that PTSD is so prevalent among soldiers. The savagery of prolonged war makes urban violence look like a children's slapfight.

I mean, peep this 1960 article about the horrors of D-Day that Private Ryan didn't have the balls to show -

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/196011/omaha

With soldiers, you're talking about trauma that comes from seeing heavy, concentrated doses of death all around you. Your buddies that you bonded with dying. Civillians who have done nothing wrong dying. The enemy dying - as you kill them because you have no alternative in the heat of battle. I'm sorry, but there's no hood in this country where you can step outside and literally see anywhere from dozens to thousands of people dying violently.

Actual combat has been sporadic in Iraq. Most of the people I knew that served over there never had a firefight. But there are other things working against you. The insane heat, the paranoia of never knowing who the enemy is, the fear of sudden IED and sniper attacks, the horror of having to clean up after suicide bombers and death squads that torture people and leave their dismembered bodies in gutters. And of course, all of this goes down while the Army is trying to screw you over and you're worried that your wife is screwing someone else back home.

Vietnam was worse. There you had a truly broken army, a draft, jungle warfare, Viet Cong, Agent Orange giving you cancer and absurdly cheap heroin everywhere.

WWI was possibly the worst of them all. Millions dying over 100 yards of land. Machine guns for the first time. Widespread use of poison gas. Generals that had no clue what the hell they were doing. Even Hitler was traumatized by his service in WWI. Fucking Hitler!

So yeah, senseless and random violence in America's ghetto does traumatize people. But the senseless and random violence that soldiers have to deal with is far, far worse.

field negro said...

"..With soldiers, you're talking about trauma that comes from seeing heavy, concentrated doses of death all around you. Your buddies that you bonded with dying. Civillians who have done nothing wrong dying. The enemy dying - as you kill them because you have no alternative in the heat of battle. I'm sorry, but there's no hood in this country where you can step outside and literally see anywhere from dozens to thousands of people dying violently..."

Damn Swiff! That DOES sound like the "hood".

"Field: Remove the word "Post" and call it "Traumatic Stress Disorders" because the circumstances causing the stress are constant."

Sammy that is a brilliant observation! Let's do a position paper on this thing.


StillAPanther2, thanks for your comments and perspective. You know I love when you chime in on these subjects, because you have lived it. Thanks again for your perspective.

"You might be right. Blacks are a highly dysfunctional. Much of it is due to PTSD. What makes it worse, Blacks don't go for help. Now that is crazy."

Anon. 1:00AM and the other folks who said we need to get professional help are right. Black folks have to learn that the preacher can't solve all of our problems.


"Hell yeah living in the hood can be stressful. Little resources, constant violence, neighbors who don't keep up their property, troubled schools, safety issues...I'm speaking from someone who grew up in the hood. Not all hoods are like this but it can take a toll on you. When you live in nice neighborhoods with plenty of grocery stores, clean streets, and quiet blocks you realize what you've been missing.."


Go on and tell it Co Co Fly.

Jody, as usual, I love how you bring it with real life stories. (BTW, Jody's firm does some great work here in the city) That is a sad story about that young man. As Monie said, it's the kids who suffer the most.

Pete In Az. sorry for confusing you (sometimes I get so caught up in a post that I forget that I am writing for folks in other places) but Southwest is a part of our fair city which has had its problems.

John B. said...

The guy's got a point, although I doubt it would hold up in court.

Jody said...

A friend sent this vid..... I won't say what it is... see for yourself, but I think this musician speaks to this topic... I must say I was very surprised by this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvWMLAWrEjU

edred said...

Field,
Can an individual witnessing a traumatic event which causes intense fear and/or helplessness succumb to PTSD? Yes, of course. Can living a lifetime in a depressed, crime ridden neighborhood, alone, be a cause of PTSD? No I don't think so unless you want to go into the realm of Pop Science.
Refer to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual VI. (DSM-VI 309.81).
Edredthehammer

alicia banks said...

amen fn!

i see traumatized children daily who live in fear of thugs/crime etc

they are nervous, tired, depressed, distracted, stressed etc

i have many 6-7 year olds with more gray hair than 40-50 year olds!

i am convinced this is from stress even more than diet/genetics etc...

home invasions are on the rise etc...and new breed thugs come inside homes while the residents are there!

this hood madness is also relevant to mj:

in adddition to the fact that the adult mj was completely detached from his former black indianan self...

the city of gary is extremely "hood", violent, broke etc...what fool thinks gary is safe for tourist fans????

a shrine to mj in gary would be akin to a shrine for donald trump in the heart of the ms delta!

this is why i must be cremated...so my body will not lay someplace i hate etc...

shame!

Luv said...

I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. I've been shot through gang-violence. I've had friends killed. It has without a doubt mentally scarred me.

I simply cannot be around "the hood" in any area (currently live in the Baltimore-DC corridor). My antenna to hood-drama is ultra sensitive and I can't be in places known to frequent local thugs (Club Love is out. D.C. folks know what I speak of).

It's a damned shame, actually. I don't know why my people refuse to live in peace. It's a if a significant segment of our population believes that we are SUPPOSED to live in violent, gang-infested neighborhoods. Like that's the authentic "black experience". Just because one is poor doesn't mean one has to be classless.

alicia banks said...

fn:

more on the baby urban vets teachers see daily

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/mentalhealthandgrowingup/20traumaticstress,children.aspx

classic post bro!

uptownsteve said...

"It's a damned shame, actually. I don't know why my people refuse to live in peace."

Why do black people say stupid shit like this?

There are hundreds of beautiful, safe, well kept black communities in the Balt/Wash corridor..

I've lived in one for the past 10 years.

Why do WE allow the violent ghetto to be the face of the black community?????

alicia banks said...

us:

ditto

but we in the great black areas must deal with the fact that our elite enclaves are NOT the norm!

and that the toxic hoods are rapidly INCREASING for young blacks...

THAT is a pressing national issue...not one of race/class

alicia banks said...

us:

ps:

there is a new breed of thug of all races in america...

they no longer exclusively torment those in the hood

they drive to the tame enclaves and wild there now too...sometimes they roll in 4 deep

this is why that racist wm executioner who shot those black men in tx like rats while online at 911
got away scott free

all races in all enclaves are afraid of the hood war that is being imported to their quiet doorsteps...

so, beware...

your dismissal and distance will no longer protect you

fyi

Anonymous said...

Good discussion, I think the situation of war with soldiers (during WWI PTSD was called Shellshock) does not need to be compared to life in the hood, but to check similarities is certainly worthwhile. I know of refugees living in fear while awaiting to be accepted into the country I live in, and they had a form of "Peri" traumatic Stress Syndrom (like peri in Greek means 'in the middle of', during the stress).
Experiencing one (violent) death of a friend or family alone can shut someone down and turn them into someome who cannot react anymore, like shellshock.

uptownsteve said...

ab

I disagree with you.

THE HOOD IS NOT THE NORM.

How do you figure that?

There were more homicides and street violence in urban America 30 years ago than three is today.

I'm saying there isn't a serious problem but this notion that it's getting worse and ultimately out of control is ridiculous.

I've studied this issue closely and I'll be happy to provide stats to corroborate my point.

I just don't understand why so many black people feel the need the promote the notion that the sky is falling on black people when it is exactly the opposite.

Maybe some of yall are afraid of getting old and missing out on the greatness that black America is about to acheive.

RiPPa said...

It is definitely something to think about, and there is some legitimacy to this.

I'd like to go further and say that much of this stems from "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome" as laid out by Dr. Joy Leary in her book and lecture series.

Yes it is that deep.

There is no way one in an urban environment riddled with violence is able to escape the pathological circumstances of being exposed to it.

Now homboy you were counseling may be on some bullshit and is happy to sit at home and watch BET's "Tiny & Tonya" all damn day just because. Yes, and that may very well be his bullshit excuse. But like I said, the environment one lives in has an impact on their lives.

Something tells me Field, that if that Negro grew up or was living in Iowa he probably would have said the same thing. You know how those cows out there can get gangsta.

alicia banks said...

us:

america will never admit the crises in the ghetto

if they did, they would have to stop bs like banning gay marriages and lamenting white test scores etc

those old stats will never save a child newly stressed out now!


while you are researching dated stats

i am visiting the hood daily

try it!

alicia banks said...

us:

i travel often

i see way more trailer parks and projects and slumlord apt complexes than i do gated communities/martha's vineyards etc...

you?

alicia banks said...

rippa:

ditto

a lot of kids are in gangs because their parents were in gays

i see generational beef

ie:

"his kid broke his kid's arm because i broke his daddy's arm when we were in 1st grade too"...silly bs like this is a norm in hoods where poverty and bs are generational


and that kind of self-hatred and genocide do indeed go all the way back to slaves being divided and conquered via genocidal slavery etc...

we cannot save our race by simply padlocking locking the doors in the big houses that we now own...nahmean?

like bill c said:

"We remember the injustice of how slavers brought our people to America, but we have forgotten the brilliance of our response - how we sneaked around late at night and taught ourselves to read, taught ourselves secret signals to resist, taught ourselves pride and will and love. We have to draw on that history of persistence."

uptownsteve said...

Whatever you say ab.

I grew up in the freakin hood.

167th and Anderson Ave in the Bronx.

I go down to DC regularly and see white yuppies walking down U ST and H St NE at night, something that would not have been dreamed of 20 years ago.

I know this is a sensitive subject for FN because of the murder spike in Philly.

But don't tell me everything is getting worse, I don't want to hear it.

There was a story in the Washington Post yesterday that showed that if the annual homicide rate in DC continues at it's present pace through the rest of the year, 2009 will record the lowest amount of homicides in DC since 1964.

BTW, how do you do all this hood hoppin when you seem to be here 24/7?

alicia banks said...

i meant:

a lot of kids are in gangs because their parents were in gangs

some baby vets are trained to be thugs by their thug parents

alicia banks said...

us:

i have a laptop and a blackberry and a 24 hr work schedule...

ie

i have a blessed day job in admin
and
i tutor in some areas that make me pray i get home safely each pm...

are you really saying that because
of gentrification and starbucks we should dismiss urban and educational rot???

how do those strolling yuppies help us decrease the national dropout rate???

alicia banks said...

us:

since you too are herein all day...

what do you do to help a POOR black kid at anytime all day?

uptownsteve said...

Not tooting my own horn (and this will be my last comment on it) but I'll be taking a week off next week to coach at my brother in law's football camp in Philly.

It's called the "First Down" football camp and has daily practices and scrimmages at the Leeds Jr High Field in Mt. Airy.

The camp fees (uniforms, travel, food and drink) for 30 inner city kids are all paid for by fundraisers we conducted over the last 3 months.


Not much but it's something.

alicia banks said...

kudos us

but how few of those boys will make it to the nfl?

we need more academic coaches

fyi

uptownsteve said...

ab

Team sports teaches kids discipline, effort, goal orientation and camaraderie.

Most importantly, it keeps them off the mean streets of Strawberry Mansion, Nicetown and Brickyard for 8 hours a day and doing something worthwhile.

alicia banks said...

ditto

that is why i gave you kudos

but we need so much more

more kids need a practical way to learn to be literate/earn a living/work a job etc

i want to see kids score a way out of the hood as well as touchdowns...

uptownsteve said...

Can't disagree with that.

Anonymous said...

MY sister husband shot/killed her at their daughter's 5th birthday party clebration. She was traumatized she did not speak for 10yrs.

She is finally speaking after several yrs of therapy.

... oh yeah and they were living in the suburbs at the time.

if the stressors are extreme, you better believe it will be impactful

A Person of Interest said...

I'm also helping coach at a football camp in a few weeks!

It's for whites only, and we only coach the cornerback position. We have a couple of black kids to play the wide receiver positions for us.

After two days, and about 100 long runs for touchdowns, we tell them, "Uh boys, looks like y'all need to go on home, and come back to try out for field goal kickers camp next week."

Shabazz said...

"You might be right. Blacks are a highly dysfunctional. Much of it is due to PTSD. What makes it worse, Blacks don't go for help. Now that is crazy."

Maybe Blacks don't go for help because they don't have health insurance or can't afford to pay ^$150.00/hr, did you ever think about that? Or is it Black people's
fault like everything else?

Anonymous said...

The only problem with the PTSD label, is that there is no "post." Maybe if it was enduring, current, or neverending traumatic stress disorder I could by it.

Anonymous said...

They don't feel a white man can relate to them, because the white man hasn't had to live in their environment and deal with what they've had to deal with.


Hmmm.. Women go to see male shrinks, and the handicapped go see non-handicapped shrinks etc.

Mildred said...

Don't forget about the media. It's not just that media glamorizes violence and dysfunction.

It's also that overconsumption makes us passive, uninformed, numb and hyped up at the same time. The procession of broken bodies and lives on innocuous shows like CSI can't be helping. Desensitization and normalization anyone?

malik said...

I suppose because I am older, I see things differently. The trauma I experienced was not from living in the ghetto but from the world outside. The black people I grew up with were teaching me how to survive in a world that I had no claim on. I learned from the lawyer that lived down the street and from Floyd, the wino who was a Korean war veteran.
The one thing they taught me was that you might have this or that problem but you got to "man up" and keep on stepping when you have people depending on you.
We are not a broken people that need to be labeled and written off.

uptownsteve said...

malik

THANK YOU.

alicia banks said...

ditto malik

the problem is that so few lawyers live in the hood now...

they live in elite and distant white/black enclaves and never visit or mentor in the hood at all...

most today would rather play golf or creep in their spare time than help a needy kid

nikki giovanni penned some classic prose about all the adults who waste time carnally chasing adults who never care/last as they neglect children who would never forget/always love that same attn as conscious quality time given...

Anonymous said...

they live in elite and distant white/black enclaves and never visit or mentor in the hood at all...

most today would rather play golf or creep in their spare time than help a needy kid


What these kids need are THEIR OWN parents. When the vast majority of black children have no father figure, well.. you get it. How can a child learn to be a man without a father? In the worst depths of Jim crow the black family was solvent; now, that solvency is long gone. The Moynihan Report saw this coming in the 1960's. Until this problem is addressed with some actual progress expect no progress. Don't look to a lawyer to raise your kids.

alicia banks said...

bio "parents" are a relic for MOST
poor children of all races 16 and under = sad but true

we must all step up as a village to rear a village of biologically/morally/financially/acacademically/emotionally... abandoned children

only lamenting their toxic absentee parents will never save them

Exodus Mentality said...

It's worth saying again that "post" traumatic stress syndrome is a misnomer in the case of someone who is still immersed in the cause of the traumatic stress. To sharpen the analogy a bit, it would more closely resemble the battle fatigue that combat troops experience while in the field. At least that analogy recognizes that the causation is ongoing and ultimately must be addressed.

It's true that far too many poor people, of all colors and communities, are victims of violent crimes. It's also true that things have gotten remarkably better, and to ignore that is to ignore our capacity for even more improvement.

I couldn't imagine my child growing up in a situation where she had to fear for her life while standing at the school bus stop. But as long as anyone's children have that issue, we've all got work to do.

Anonymous said...

In 1965 unmarried black mothers made up under 25% of the black population. Today it's 70% and over 80% in many cities. The critical mass for community breakdown according to some experts is when the unwed mother rate goes beyond 25% to 30%.

Research shows that children of unmarried parents are much more likely to live in poverty, have low academic achievement, and have higher high school dropout rates than those born to married parents. Run-ins with the law, drug use, and incarceration are all more common among children born to unmarried parents. Welfare use is also significantly higher for families with illegitimate children. Infants born out of wedlock suffer higher death rates. Illegitimate children have been found to suffer from more-difficult-to-measure problems such as low levels of self esteem and self worth. Finally, children of unmarried parents are themselves at higher risk for being unmarried parents when they reach adulthood. Ref. www.cis.org.

alicia banks said...

anon

i see these petrifying stats daily

i live in ar and il

where teen pregnancy and dropout rates are both staggering

many single elite women are choosing to adopt

but most of these stats reflect poor uneducated girls who give birth to girls who will be even poorer and younger when they become moms...

it is a dowanward spiral of cylical poverty that has cursed is for 2 gens already...

the worst is yet to come for all races globally...

Anonymous said...

Alicia Banks,

Well, the planet is generally overpopulated. There are far too many people being born to parents who have no business being parents in the first place.

La♥Incognita said...

AB said: "all races in all enclaves are afraid of the hood war that is being imported to their quiet doorsteps...

so, beware...

your dismissal and distance will no longer protect you.
"


I agree with AB. I could get into so much that I have had to deal with in the past year or two, but it'll take up too much. I will share the most impacted. My 60 something year old mother now knows what it's like to walk in a 'good' neighborhood only to encounter a criminal pushing her down from behind while he almost chokes her with her own neck chain. My younger brother was 'discharged' not too long ago after serving 9 years in the military. When he came home, he had nothing to show except an f-ing ziplock bag full of Prozac. When he heard about my mother's robbery he had a conniption that scared the crap out of us that night, and he's now threatening to "shoot people" to this day. Why is it that I'm waking up all hours losing sleep to check on doors and windows?

My 12 year old daughter has witnessed her share of stabbing and shootings in the 'good' Mall last year. And two weeks ago she knows what a semi something sounds like at close range when I almost drove into a 'suburban' shoot out in broad daylight. I have never witnessed these things while growing up.

Don't think you're going to be safe high up on the hill forever, it spreads. We need to stop pretending.

I'm gong to say something else that might offend many here.

At times I have seen so many young black males in groups with that look of anger, hate and evil in their stare-you-down faces (don't pretend to not know what I'm talking about). They are not just 'hanging' out the way your pops did back in the day. The first thing that comes to my mind now is DANGER. If I, a black person could feel this way, why is it difficult to understand why so many non-blacks might feel the same way too, or worse? Just asking.

La♥Incognita said...

BTW, a group of young white males just hanging out somewhere would scare the hell out of me too.

alicia banks said...

amen li:

i am so sorry

i live in that same fear daily
as i travel...

i fear all young people of all races equally

actually
i see that meth is worse than crack!...
___

anon:

yes

i think the world is grossly overpopulated

and we will all suffer directly or indirectly for the sins that the turbo breeders thrust upon us all...even as we work to rear and save all of their kids

alicia banks said...

yesterday's hood news in ar...

new breed!

http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=87378&catid=2

Anonymous said...

BTW, a group of young white males just hanging out somewhere would scare the hell out of me too.

Then you would really be scared in the suburbs

alicia banks said...

many people who died in nola were just too poor with too many kids to leave...

we have 2 gens that have bred/are breeding their own internal katrina...brazenly flooding their own kids with violence/poverty/illiteracy etc:

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005. Annual school years were just beginning nationwide. As a teacher of fellow Kanye fans, Hurricane Katrina was a supreme social studies lesson on the perils of systemic and cyclical poverty. I immediately took advantage of numerous teachable moments about the freedom and power of options, made available by education and assets.

I expounded upon the priceless gifts of solid educations that garner secure incomes, flexible and mobile occupations, emergency credit cards, and reliable automobiles. Most of the horrors of Hurricane Katrina proved that poverty is a fatal cage that can become a watery grave at a moment’s notice. Most of the people who died in Katrina were those who were too poor and uneducated to flee floods or fathom a future elsewhere.

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/katrina.htm

field negro said...

Anon.10:59AM sorry for your loss.

Malik,that's a great point.

west coast story said...

I'm so glad you blogged about this. I lived most of my life in middle class neighborhoods and enjoyed a certain quality of life. In the flatlands of Oakland, good quality of life is hard to come by. If I had to single out two things that make life most different in the flats (and I won't say 'hood because where I live is sort of on the fringes of the 'hood), outside of the increase in crime, it would be the garbage and the noise. And believe me, you get no sympathy from people when you complain about noise.

Noise: Boom boxes at any time of day, one after another, sometimes double parked or just parked near your house; honking horns; gunfire (I once missed half a day of work waiting for the roof guy to plug a leak in my roof from a bullet) people of all ages raising hell until late at night; loud parties that start in the middle of afternoon and last for 8-10 hours with amplified music placed outdoors; sirens; screeching tires from doing doughnuts; racing cars down the street; just to name a few. Oh and fireworks. Professional level fireworks that set off car alarms blocks away. Before Oakland had a fireworks ordinance, we suffered with fireworks from May until September. Now it's a few days before and after July 4. July 4 is D-Day. It's a big story every year in the Bay Area--how ridiculous did the fireworks get in Oakland on July 4.

Moving is not always an option. Especially when the housing market has shaved the value of homes in my neighborhood by 50% or more. Also, I'm not 30 years old. I'm trying to lower my cost of living for retirement. Picking up a big fat mortgage is not something I want to do if I ever plan to semi retire.

I have become increasingly concerned about my safety as the viciousness of crime grows. When I come home after dark, I'm totally paranoid. I have flood lights and motion detectors everywhere. A guy was shot to death while watering his front lawn. Another guy was shot to death unloading his laundry from the car. These were not thugs or gangbangers but family men, working men, minding their own business and someone decided they didn't just want their money but needed to kill them too.

One night I thought I heard raccoons stomping around on the back deck and it was a robbery suspect, I found out later. I made the cops search my massive and very dark backyard to insure the suspect didn't leave any of his buddies behind. I couldn't open my back door for a week because of paranoia about someone being back there.

If someone is murdered a few steps from your front door, you have to put with a shrine and a nightly wake that lasts for days. The vigil involves young people getting drunk and high, shooting guns, writing massive graffiti on people's homes, boom boxes, screaming tires, and large throngs of youth who mess with anyone trying to walk down the street. Oh, yeah, that's a good time right there.

So yes, urban PTSD definitely exists. But try to tell that to middle class negroes. They glibly tell you to move. They will also tell you that if boom boxes are your biggest problem, yada, yada, yada. And that's the thing. Boom boxes aren't the biggest problem. On top of all the vandalism, garbage and crime, I have to put up with screaming loud music at any time, for any length of time. It's what breaks the camel's back. I have to put up with garbage, vandalism, AND a volume of noise to wake the dead?

And the disrespectful young black men. The Latino males who don't approve of my activism keep their mouths shut to me. But not the negroes. Young black men have a need to let you know just how vulgar and disrespectful they can be. Asians are mostly respectful and will be quiet if you ask. There aren’t any white youth left, just young white singles.

I do fight back. I e-mail and call the cops regularly; same with my area neighborhood group; and I hold block meetings, etc. I don't just whine online about it. But I am sick to death of it. I always look forward to winter and pray for lots of rain. Everyone just hates summer.

FlyNMy40s said...

AB, great points as usual and bravo to FN for speaking on this topic!

verapcity said...

Does *the field* ever give 'a solution' for societal ills which Blackfolk deal with??

Or, are the Blackfolk subliminal-castigations, pretty much it?

...hmmmm...I bet it's a lovely view waaaaaay up there on American Eagle's *Right Wing*, stealthily, as you pretend you're building up a Culture which you actually help annihilate...

oh what a tangled web, we weave, when PERFECTING the art of Deceit

kathy said...

Field, this is a great post, thank you.

I think it is interesting that in Hershel Walkers book, Breaking Free, that he talks about disossociative personality disorder, which is a common response to PTSD.
I think children especially, who are exposed to repeated trauma, learn to protect themselves by detaching and disossociating from the pain, horror, and fear that they feel.

Race Traitoress said...

great post, field, and really great comments.

Luv said...

Why do black people say stupid shit like this?

There are hundreds of beautiful, safe, well kept black communities in the Balt/Wash corridor..

I've lived in one for the past 10 years.

Why do WE allow the violent ghetto to be the face of the black community?????"

Who said anything about neighborhoods in the area? Please climb off your cloud and stop being defensive. And the only "stupid shit" being uttered is by anyone who lives in "beautiful, safe, well-kept black communities" that don't realize that it's NOT the norm for most urban blacks in the country.

Noone's "allowing" the "violent ghetto" to be the face of the black community. But violence amongst Afro-Americans is a huge part of our makeup. And sitting in your nice neighborhood and pouting and whining whenever anyone brings it up isn't helping.

Anonymous said...

"It's made me wonder how many college educated African-Americans are going into the mental health field. Plenty of Hispanics are, especially women."

Not very many. You are right that there are far more Latinos entering the mental health field to be of service to spanish speaking people with stress disorders.

Blacks are waaaay too proud and grandiose to go for help. That's why you don't find very many Blacks going into that field and setting up shop among Blacks. They set up shop where Whites and Latinos can have access.

The excuse given by some Blacks that Blacks probably won't go because they don't trust the white therapist is 'BS'. They don't go because they see it as a sign of weakness, and know they will be shamed and looked down on by family, neighbors and community. In other words, Blacks won't go. Period.

A number of articles have been written over the years why Blacks avoid therapy, esp. Black men who need it the more than anyone. Black men feel that it is an affront to their manhood. They unrealistically expect to be able to "man-up" and rise above any depression or other emotional and mental disorders.

There are other mental and emotional disorders and anxieties that show up in the form of obsessive-compulsive thinking and behaviors at all economic levels in the Black race--from the rich to the poor. Some dysfunctional compulsivity is so common it seems normal in our culture. But it is never talked about. Consequently many Blacks lead a life of quiet desperation. It is particularly acute among Black men, even among professionals who live far beyond the hood.

Of course, Blacks have a high tolerance for anxiety and stress. It's probably genetic. A gene passed down from slavery. Part of handling a lot of internal stress is refusing to acknowledge the pain. That's part of our
culture too.

We are masters of "denial". Unfortunately, that distorts Truth and Reality.

Errol said...

@La_incognita.... that is some serious shit happening to your family.

I know about that prozac in the ziplog bag from my brother in law who was kicked out the military for having a mental break down. After you fight there war they don't give a fuck about you after that. We got too many soldiers walking around like a ticking time bomb talk about PTSD?

field negro said...

"Does *the field* ever give 'a solution' for societal ills which Blackfolk deal with??

Or, are the Blackfolk subliminal-castigations, pretty much it?

...hmmmm...stealthily, as you pretend you're building up a Culture which you actually help annihilate...

oh what a tangled web, we weave, when PERFECTING the art of Deceit"

What does "subliminal- castigations" mean? With big words like that you should be helping us "Blackfolk". :)

"I bet it's a lovely view waaaaaay up there on American Eagle's *Right Wing*,"

Actually, I am afraid of heights.;)

Black Rose said...

Fascinating topic.:(

uptownsteve said...

wcs

"And the disrespectful young black men. The Latino males who don't approve of my activism keep their mouths shut to me. But not the negroes. Young black men have a need to let you know just how vulgar and disrespectful they can be. Asians are mostly respectful and will be quiet if you ask. There aren’t any white youth left, just young white singles."

You just hate black men.

Period.

It's obvious.

uptownsteve said...

"But violence amongst Afro-Americans is a huge part of our makeup."

Sweetheart if you've committed a violent crime by all means turn yourself in and pay your debt to society.

But don't you dare try to smear the functioning positive black majority with your dysfunction.

Seda said...

FN, Thanks for a thought-provoking, disturbing, and eye-opening post.

My mind wants to jump to solutions right away, but this experience is too far from mine and I don't know how to affect it. Genuine solutions - the best ones - will, i suspect, have to come from the black community anyway. Whatever that might be, I can get behind.

Anonymous said...

Hell Yes! Ask people who survived KATRINA.

daedalus2u said...

One of the reasons many people with PTSD avoid mental health treatment is that bullies use the fact that one needs mental health treatment as another thing to beat you down with. Anyone and everyone can develop PTSD. If you haven’t, it just means that you haven’t been subjected to a sufficiently traumatic experience. Anyone and everyone can and will “break”. I have PTSD from being abused as a child.

Monie said...

@West Coast Story/ 6:21 PM

I agree with you about the noise, sadly though it's not just a hood thing. I live in the Bay Area in a very ethnically mixed area and the car stereo noise drives me crazy! There is someone who comes to visit a person across the street from me and while they sit on the front steps and talk he leaves the car stereo blasting! WTF! I hate him so much!

Anyway my point is that noise is everywhere these days unless you live up in the hills of Berkeley or Oakland.

Also you said:

"And the disrespectful young black men. The Latino males who don't approve of my activism keep their mouths shut to me. But not the negroes. Young black men have a need to let you know just how vulgar and disrespectful they can be. Asians are mostly respectful and will be quiet if you ask. There aren’t any white youth left, just young white singles."

I'm sure that the Black guys do say something to you and the others might not. But I'm also sure that there are Latino guys who give Latina activists a hard time and please don't indulge those Asian stereotypes of them being so peaceful and nice. Since you live in The Bay Area you should have heard all about the serious gang problems many Asian communities are going through.

I'm saying that it seems like Black men are so much worse but they aren't. You as a Black woman don't see the worse those other communities have to offer. It's only our community that is constantly shown as the poster community when it comes to criminal behavior.

west coast story said...

I live in an ethnically diverse area and I have never had an Asian person cuss me out and get vulgar when I asked them to be quiet. That's not a stereotype, it's my experience.
I have approached Latino bangers to be quiet. They don't always get quiet but usually and I am spared the ignorance and vulgarity. Trust me, Latinos do their share of stupidity. They own the illegal fireworks industry. A ton, a full 2000 pounds, of illegal fireworks were confiscated two nights ago by the cops from the Bueno family. Good indeed.

Yes there are Asian gangs but they are nothing like MS13, nortenos, surenos, or variations of the bloods and crips.

It is not noisey everywhere in Oakland except the hills. It's just not true. Laurel, Rockridge, Adams Point, the area around Mills which is in East Oakland, all are not in the hills and are much quieter. It's quieter in LA around south central, I was cruising through there a week ago and I couldn't believe how different it was.

oakland is known for sideshow activity and the screaming boom box is part of that. People speed up the wrong side of the street, do do-nuts in intersections with music blaring and negroes hanging out of the car. If it's really stupid, it's in Oakland and brothers are in the middle of it.

I know what my experience is in my neighborhood. Not every black kid is a problem but too many of them are and they come from all types of families. And the parents are as bad as the kids.

The overwhelming number of killings involve black victims and black suspects. That's not a stereotype, it's a fact.

A whole lot of young brothers have completely surrendered to the image of the badass thuggish pig. Then have the audacity to whine that they have been stereotyped and profiled. I judge people on their behavior and the behavior does not lie. In the flatlands, everyone wants to be a badass.

Anonymous said...

WCS-"...If it's really stupid, it's in Oakland and brothers are in the middle of it."

Of course. That's the hallmark of the brothers with cars and boomboxes...stupidity and ignorance.

WCS, you should really consider getting out of the flatlands before something happens. This ecomomy is getting worse and the folks are only going to get worse and more aggressive.

The Rockridge-Piedmont and Lake Merritt area are great places to live. It's quiet and safe. No do-nuts and wheelies done by thugs around there. Anyone with a loud boombox will soon find the Oakland and/or Piedmont police in their face.

You deserve to live in peace.

fictional eyes said...

I lived in Anacostia, in southeast DC, when I was a little girl. The things I saw growing up there I still have nightmares about, occasionally.

There's been more and fresher trauma to deal with since then, but yeah, absolutely you can get PTSD from living in the hood. Especially if you're a kid.

Anonymous said...

Since slavery, the Black race has been traumatized, terrorized, shamed and humiliated for hundreds of years. Doesn't it seem logical that PTSD is throughout our race?

Philly Girl said...

I grew up in North Philly, went to school and church there. The neighborhood was mixed back then and it was no more safe then than it is now. We lived in the midst of the CWV, 21st & Westmoreland, 15th & Venango gangs. It wasn't the waking up everyday that we considered a blessing, it was the everyday you made it in the house safely before the street lights came on was a blessing. The Valley gangs were mean, and not only in our neighborhood, they were city wide. Nothing has changed but the players. Did we grow up with PTSD? Yes, indeed and the times were back in the early 60's. Nothing has changed but the players and the color of the police cars.

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