Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is Poverty Is An Excuse For Committing Crimes

Poverty and crime seem to go hand in hand. Or do they? Every article that I have ever read about crime in urban areas talks about poverty as the root cause of crime. But there is little of no talk about how to end poverty. The basis of any thought process when faced with a problem is to first, identify the cause, configure a practical way to solve the problem, and then apply the solution. Simply over-discussing the cause of any problem becomes an exercise in futility when there is no attempt to develop an applicable solution. In fact over-discussing poverty as cause and crime as the affect has back fire, because this knowledge has become so common that those who are steeped in poverty often times find it easier to commit crime because it would seem that to do so is relative. I do not believe that some decide to become criminals with the stigma of poverty in mind. But I do believe that we as a society have been culturally conditioned to accept it as an excuse. If you hear anything enough you begin to have a certain perception, and that perception will eventually become reality. In other words, a stereotype perpetuated enough, and spoken as if it is fact or a for gone conclusion can have a negative influence, not only on the subject of the stereotype. But also on our culture. It has a desensitizing effect. One in which crimes such as murder and robbery are not at all unusual in certain neighborhoods, but highly abnormal in others. The children being in Chicago becomes "nothing new", while children being killed in Newtown, Connecticut becomes a tragedy so shocking that some truly believe that the whole thing is a hoax.
Perception vs. reality is a dangerous thing because while there may be some parallels the perception is rarely a true reflection of reality.
More poor people are honest hard working citizens than are criminals who contribute to the destruction and decay of their communities. But media outlets paint certain neighborhoods and people with a broad brush, and make strong, sweeping indictments of their characters based on the perverse actions of a few.
So the answer is, yes there are definitely some people who use poverty as an excuse for their lazy, evil, and wicked ways but there is no excuse. Those who have become predators in their own communities are doing more harm than "the man" ever has, ever could, or ever will. Besides, it poverty was an excuse there would be no way to explain the crimes of a Bernie Madoff or many other "white collar" criminals who have committed what basically amounts to financial murder at ball point. Using a hand shake, and a key stroke as their accomplices. Greed and impatience. They want much more right now. This is why most offenders never stop at one crime. It is like a disease that takes over their minds.


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