I am tired of the blame game

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It becomes extremely easy to comment on the perils, actions, attitudes and behaviors of a neighborhood — especially one with a complex history like Austin.

It is too simple to point fingers at elected officials, residents or police.

Other commentators and journalists have been pointing out the right and wrong for years, but not much has changed.

Writer John W. Fountain III

I could go on and on about white T-shirt-wearing, block-hugging black men. I could talk for days about irresponsible parenting and lack of birth control.

And there is so much to be said about the miseducation of our children.

There is a part of a generation that seeks to emulate pop culture. There are adult African-American women running around calling themselves “Barbies.” And there are boys whose dreams are to become the next “Lil Wayne.”

Time and time again I ask myself, “What the f— are they thinking?”

No, really, what is the psychology of today’s generation?

There isn’t a direct answer to this, I know.

But I am aware that some of these behaviors are coping mechanisms to living in poverty. After being immersed in psychology books for two semesters, I understand that symptoms of certain psychological disorders manifest differently in different people.

I could argue that desensitization to violence has contributed to the number of African Americans being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I could also argue that desensitization greatly affects what urban-dwelling African-Americans deem as a crisis.

I would stand to say that the historically spiritual aspect of African Americans has contributed to stigmatizing psychiatric services. But many of the churches are not equipped or trained to deal with mental issues.

Or maybe the mistrust of the entire system leads African Americans not to seek counseling.

I hear people on the street say things like “she is bipolar” or “he is schizophrenic.”

And truth is, maybe they are.

But what probably keeps them from seeking help as opposed to self-medicating is the idea that some folk will label them as “crazy.”

There are many disorders where medication isn’t needed, but sometimes psychoactive drugs along with psychotherapy are highly recommended.

I’m not qualified to diagnose anyone as of yet, and that is not even the primary goal. The goal is to be able to assess the attitudes, behaviors and actions of people, and to help create a sustainable method of intervention or set of goals as part of team-oriented treatment plan.

I don’t want to continue to point the finger. I really want to help people.


4 thoughts on “I am tired of the blame game

  1. the real question is where is some Black leadership.I have a nswer to Austins problem.one word.ANNEX,just as the city of Chicago annexed Austin so should oak park.quit being a part of Chicago,or at the low end succed from them.

  2. You are asking some real good questions, John III. Are the answers in religion, psychology, or politics? I think all the above. The system walls off people in ghettos and in prisons, and for many middle class white people, Austin and Lawndale are out of sight, out of mind. With a lack of jobs, a constant barrage of materialistic obscenity in the media, and discrimination for anyone labeled an ex-offender, there seems no way out. No wonder folk are messed up. Is there something we can do together? Keep talking, it’s the first step.

  3. I don’t understand the point of this article. Just to tell me that the writer is in school and wants to help people in the neighborhood? Please tell me what I’m missing here…

  4. Oak Park is not going to annex Chicago. Chicago annexed Austin in 1899. No City would EVER allow part of its boundaries to be altered by annexation. Additionally, it is likely against the State of Illinois constitution as Chicago is a ‘home rule’ city. If it were possible, the Chicago City Council would likely have to vote on such a plan and the elected officials that represent Austin would not allow it to happen. Furthermore, what would Oak Park have to gain from annexing all or part of the Austin Community? Little if any property tax revenue would be generated and all of the headaches (crime, hyper-poverty, crumbling buildings, absent landlords, carpet-bagging business owners and prison culture) would not disappear. That’s a LOSE-LOSE situation.

    Keep wishing though; I know I won’t be holding my breath! ROFLMFAO

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