Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which comes first, poverty or deprivation? Poverty always precedes depravation. Deprived people become depraved people, no matter what color. Here in the good old USA, we primarily see black people in deprived communities carrying out acts of depravity, and consequently those events are considered factors of race; but if you’re lower middle class, what you see is coming to your neighborhood no matter what color it is.

Crime, drug use, alcoholism, fatherless homes, illegitimacy, and delinquency become a raging flood that destroys everything in it’s path when extreme poverty strikes, and poverty is no respecter of race. Take a good look at what’s happening on the south side of Chicago, because it could be coming to your hood.

I visited relatives in the summer on the south side of Chicago when I was a teenager, and I thought it was paradise. They lived in a nice apartment about three blocks from the Persian Lounge on 64th and Cottage Grove. I was 13 at the time, and one unforgettable memory was when I passed the Persian, and saw Dinah Washington’s new Continental with the spare tire on the trunk, parked out front (she’s one of my favorite vocalists). So many celebrities entertained where Ahmad Jamal made his famous album. Three story apartments with balconies lined both sides of the street where my relatives lived. Anyone from Chicago who remembers that neighborhood, or knows what it’s like now, can chime in.

Nothing remains of my memory I’ve been told, it’s all gone, including the culture of the people at that time; it’s been replaced by a “subculture.”  That’s what you get when that tidal wave of poverty comes your way. Although I’ve seen it, I can’t quite explain it; but I’m neither a psychiatrist, nor a sociologist, I’m just an ordinary person whose trying to outrun that bad shit. I lived happily in a house for 30 years, and left just three years before it came to that neighborhood. Just like a flood that destroy’s everything in it’s path, including the culture of the people; that’s what it did, that’s what poverty does.

Whatever the culture in the existing neighborhood, it’s replaced by a “subculture” when poverty strikes. Some people sell dope to make a living, some people buy dope to forget the fact they aren’t really living, while ladies sell their bodies to get the dope that takes them out of their misery, and young unemployed people join gangs for survival in that hell. If you lived in this “hood,” you would have to know, and adopt the rules of the “subculture” in order to survive. Presently, all of this is primarily about African Americans; but that’s because deprived people become depraved people, this is the subculture of “poverty,” not the subculture of “African Americans;” if the subculture of poverty comes your way, this is what you will get.