Website owner:  James Miller

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Forces of the environment

   Children in inner-city ghettos are intimidated by bullies and 
   gang members --- both out on the streets and in the schools.  
   They live in fear.  For self-protection they join gangs 
   themselves.  They only react to their environment.  They go in 
   the directions that the forces of their environment push them.  
   Many of their friends are taking drugs.  Due to the forces of 
   peer pressure they are induced to experiment with drugs 
   themselves and get drawn into that trap.  They need money for 
   drugs and from the force of that need and the force of peer 
   pressure they are seduced into the habit of stealing.  Or they 
   get the money they need by selling drugs.  To cover everything 
   up they develop the habit of lying.  The disorder of their 
   lives is not conducive to studying and they don't learn much in 
   school and finally drop out.  Without much education they have 
   trouble finding work and if they do find it it is of the most 
   menial type and they find abuse and mistreatment there.  So 
   they take the easy route and go for the easy money.  The drug 
   trade.  Finally they end up in prison.  The girls can't find 
   jobs, can't get along with their parents, and end up out on the 
   streets securing a livelihood by prostitution.  Or they have a 
   baby and get themselves on welfare, becoming another single 
   mother living off society.  One thing leads to another and it 
   all leads down.  What is it that puts and keeps a child in such 
   an ugly, destructive environment?

   The likelihood is that the child we are talking about above is 
   being raised in a single parent home, a home with a mother and 
   no father.  Maybe a home with a mother and a man friend, but 
   not a mother and a father.  And the likelihood is that the 
   family is living off welfare.  Our cities are full of them. 
   There are subcultures that don't much believe in marriage.  
   They believe in life and love, but they don't believe in 
   marriage.  And if you are a single mother, how can you take 
   care of young children and also work at a job?  Without a 
   husband to support you, who can you turn to but the government?  
   Even if the woman knows who the father is, he is probably long 
   gone and has no money.  And how could she ever find a job even 
   if she wanted to?  No one would hire her.  She hardly knows how 
   to read and write and her grammar is terrible.  She needs 
   someone to support her and her six children.  Who but the 
   government?  What is the alternative but for you and I to 
   support her through our tax dollars?

   What is the dynamic here?  What is it that creates this vicious 
   circle that we have described, this ugly, destructive 
   envirnoment?  What do you think?  Is it a cultural thing? 

   Apr 1985

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