I Got Lucky, and Here’s Why That’s a Shitty Realization.
All I can think when I look around at the persistent cyclical poverty among black folks (in my own family and strangers I’ve encountered walking the streets of every city I’ve ever lived in): I got lucky. I got fucking lucky.
And, folks, that is a hopeless fucking feeling…realizing that I just got lucky. That realization combined with my awareness that there is no such thing as a “social safety net” and universal healthcare in the United States, forces me to remember every day that I have no fallback.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
I have no cushion. I can’t just go live in mom’s basement if things get rough. I can’t just hit up mom if I find myself short on money. I’m just fucked if I mess up or if shit (e.g. a health crisis) just happens.
I wonder if a lot of other honest middle-class black folks feel the same way (because let’s face it, a good lot of us middle-class black Americans are just a few paychecks away from poverty). I wonder if it fills them with an intense sense of anxiety. I wonder why anybody thinks this is a healthy way to live in the so-called richest country on earth.
Persistent Poverty and the Lack of National Will to Eradicate It. (Basically, Americans Just Don’t Give A Fuck About the Poor.)
Beyond first recognizing that it is simply inhumane how this country exploits and discards its citizens, especially slave-descended black Americans, I don’t know where we can even begin to solve this problem.
I do know that the sheer persistence and ubiquity of this problem in the United States makes me want to run away from it all (just move to another country with its own problems but where at least there’s universal healthcare and something resembling a social safety net). I have to fight that feeling every day.
I do know that the United States of America is a fraud, a shallow gimmick, a heartless trick played on this world and its citizens.
I do know that life in this country in some parts (the rural south, Appalachia, poor urban areas) resembles what you see in “undeveloped” countries.
I do know that all the Americans who turn their eyes and ears away from the poorer among us should be ashamed of themselves but that they won’t be ashamed because they think their success somehow means they are better, worthier, smarter, harder working.
I do know that until this country’s population learns to see the humanity in their fellow human beings and neighbors that we have no right to blame the Trumps, Bannons, and Ryans of this world for holding a mirror to us.
Welp, It’s Just Another Day in the Class Anxiety-Inducing Matrix Otherwise Known as the United States.
In summary: today was just another Wednesday, and another day that forced me to face the flimsy nature of my current class “comfort” as a black person from a poor background in this country, forced me to face that I got lucky. I got fucking lucky