DC DC - Relisha Tenau Rudd, 8, SE DC, 26 Feb 2014 - #8

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I'm heartbroken for Relisha. She never stood a chance. I haven't posted for a long time because I know I'd be suspended. I have had an education, one I never realized I needed, about poverty in the AA community and I have learned so much. Thank you to all on this thread who have taken the time to fill us all in on the family dynamics of a poverty-stricken underclass. I refuse to believe that the majority of people stuck there are *IMO* abusers. I am probably naive as hell, but being poor does not equal incomprehensible behavior.

My mom was raised in extreme poverty and I knew my Nana until I was 10, when she died far too young. She was poor. Like scraping seaweed and barnacles off the fishing boats poor. There was pride. The neighbors looked out for each other. They had nothing. Nothing. But this?

I'm sorry, I'm rambling. I just think this that whatever happened to Relisha is NOT a result of poverty. It is a result of people not having a basic respect for human life. And that is a whole other issue. Whenever LE charges, and I believe they will, it will not shock any of us. And I hope all of those children are placed in loving homes.

I think the nice thing here is that no one is aware of our race, gender or sexual preference unless we state it. So when we give insight to various things it isn't taken out of context. What I mean by that is for example, I live in a the Puerto Rican section of Chicago and the West side here is no damn joke. If you go further into Humboldt park you enter what we refer to as "K town" (all the streets start with a K) and it's the West Lawndale area. This is the most violent area of Chicago and predominantly black. I used to work at Scores and would drive Chicago Ave to the club *which was in the burbs but I wanted to avoid the highway* When you drive Chicago Ave from the Ukraine village or Humboldt park towards west lawndale, you see 12 year old girls working the corners with their babies in strollers at 3am. There's a man with no legs that lives in a van on Chicago ave and lays on a mattress on the side of the street selling watermelon. There's shootings, beatings and the cops don't even come that way - they wait till you leave the area and then they pull YOU over (if you're white) because it's an open air drug market.

The issue is gentrification and shoving the poor into a few block radius where cabs don't venture, you can't get a pizza delivered, the schools are horrific and there is NO school buses so children *my kids included * ride city buses into some very horrible areas. My eldest is graduating from a school in West LawnDale. But until you see it with your own eyes and not what the media says or just passing through - like literally driving through the area daily and even supporting the local mom 'n' pop shops there... you have no idea how the cycle works.

There's no way out because there's no education, my sons' school can't even afford lunch for all the students or books! Im so not kidding, so imagine having parents who don't push education, who are in and out of jail ... living in terrible conditions because their credit and inability to qualify for section 8 due to past drug charges *you can't get welfare if you've been convicted of any drug charge, even a bit of pot* - this includes food stamps too or help with babysitting so people can work or continue with highschool/college. Plus, how the hell do you get anywhere if the buses are sketchy, the trains don't run there after a certain time and if you have a car it's going to get stolen? so you get stuck in the "game" and dealing with slumlords.

People believe that "oh you can get up and leave the hood". BS. How? Who is going to rent to someone with no credit, and no co-signer that's a single mom with a few kids? Who is going to give her a chance? I can tell you from being a sex worker and having an unverifiable income, a single mother of 2 kids and student loans... I get the same treatment. The only difference is, I'm white and a family member will co-sign if needed.

This is why I don't hate the drug game, as long as kids aren't in trap houses or the drugs aren't being put in their shoes, diapers to transport it. Sometimes that's all you can do is risk your life to put diapers on your kids. And before anyone says "well, stop having kids" Half the time teenagers in these areas are pregnant by adult men who are "cousin's" aka rapists. And they aren't having a baby for a check, they are having a baby because they can't afford an abortion and they can't afford to get there either. And there's the bigger issue: babies having babies - mom is out doing her thing, dad is locked up on charges .. grandma is too exhausted raising all these other kids. There's no AC in the place so when it's summer you're out hanging on the streets. I work in outreach in Garfield park and West lawndale. I talk to these ladies, kids really .. and tell them "I am just like you honey. Had a kid a month after I turned 17 and I was living in a homeless shelter. He ditched me while I delivered. I had to turn to doing what I had to do for dirty old men so my son didn't go without". And the kicker is .. I come from wealth.

But I get it and it sucks, it hurts and while they may never escape, having a phone # of someone that they can vent to without worrying that person will call cps because their old man is stelling crack on the corner and they are selling their arse....does go along way. I know their motivation is to better their kids to provide and they have dreams, which tragically end with one or both getting shot or sent to prison and the kids end up in state care - the cycle repeats.

Then there's Shamika. A woman motivated by money by being as lazy as possible. She traded her daughter for things, and she spent 4 grand on stupid stuff verses moving out of the shelter! She medically neglected and physically abused the children. She didn't attend their custody placement hearing and she wouldn't sell her soul to save her kids no matter what, because there's nothing in it for her. She is a minority in this regard *not referring to skin color* , but no one wants to validate the reasons of criminal behavior in poverty stricken areas.

If you were living in a warzone *which Chicago is* and you had an option: Sell myself during the night, while my man watches the kids so they can get up and go to school.. and I can sleep all day while he hustles - there for the kids don't go without us nor things they need ... so we can one day move out of here: would you do it? Remember, there are NO jobs. None for felons, no welfare help if you have a drug charge and sometimes a felony. What do you do when you need to survive and your kids need food in their stomach and a roof over their head?

Shamika is the poster child for an abuser of the system that she is lucky to have even gotten. She is LUCKY. They have education, medical care, shelter, food, SSi/ disability/ TANF .. she rather use her kids to gain verses stepping up to get ahead until they can get out of that area, get in a section 8 place and get a job anywhere.

Sorry for my long winded rant.. but I know what I lived through and I know that while I had it hard, I wouldn't have gotten 90% of what I have if I had been any other race.
 
Wow Astrokitty...thank you for this ...i am still absorbing all you are saying ...i am a French girl living in a privileged part of Dc . Reading your post allowed me to relate to a foreign reality ...thank you...
 
I think the nice thing here is that no one is aware of our race, gender or sexual preference unless we state it. So when we give insight to various things it isn't taken out of context. What I mean by that is for example, I live in a the Puerto Rican section of Chicago and the West side here is no damn joke. If you go further into Humboldt park you enter what we refer to as "K town" (all the streets start with a K) and it's the West Lawndale area. This is the most violent area of Chicago and predominantly black. I used to work at Scores and would drive Chicago Ave to the club *which was in the burbs but I wanted to avoid the highway* When you drive Chicago Ave from the Ukraine village or Humboldt park towards west lawndale, you see 12 year old girls working the corners with their babies in strollers at 3am. There's a man with no legs that lives in a van on Chicago ave and lays on a mattress on the side of the street selling watermelon. There's shootings, beatings and the cops don't even come that way - they wait till you leave the area and then they pull YOU over (if you're white) because it's an open air drug market.

The issue is gentrification and shoving the poor into a few block radius where cabs don't venture, you can't get a pizza delivered, the schools are horrific and there is NO school buses so children *my kids included * ride city buses into some very horrible areas. My eldest is graduating from a school in West LawnDale. But until you see it with your own eyes and not what the media says or just passing through - like literally driving through the area daily and even supporting the local mom 'n' pop shops there... you have no idea how the cycle works.

There's no way out because there's no education, my sons' school can't even afford lunch for all the students or books! Im so not kidding, so imagine having parents who don't push education, who are in and out of jail ... living in terrible conditions because their credit and inability to qualify for section 8 due to past drug charges *you can't get welfare if you've been convicted of any drug charge, even a bit of pot* - this includes food stamps too or help with babysitting so people can work or continue with highschool/college. Plus, how the hell do you get anywhere if the buses are sketchy, the trains don't run there after a certain time and if you have a car it's going to get stolen? so you get stuck in the "game" and dealing with slumlords.

People believe that "oh you can get up and leave the hood". BS. How? Who is going to rent to someone with no credit, and no co-signer that's a single mom with a few kids? Who is going to give her a chance? I can tell you from being a sex worker and having an unverifiable income, a single mother of 2 kids and student loans... I get the same treatment. The only difference is, I'm white and a family member will co-sign if needed.

This is why I don't hate the drug game, as long as kids aren't in trap houses or the drugs aren't being put in their shoes, diapers to transport it. Sometimes that's all you can do is risk your life to put diapers on your kids. And before anyone says "well, stop having kids" Half the time teenagers in these areas are pregnant by adult men who are "cousin's" aka rapists. And they aren't having a baby for a check, they are having a baby because they can't afford an abortion and they can't afford to get there either. And there's the bigger issue: babies having babies - mom is out doing her thing, dad is locked up on charges .. grandma is too exhausted raising all these other kids. There's no AC in the place so when it's summer you're out hanging on the streets. I work in outreach in Garfield park and West lawndale. I talk to these ladies, kids really .. and tell them "I am just like you honey. Had a kid a month after I turned 17 and I was living in a homeless shelter. He ditched me while I delivered. I had to turn to doing what I had to do for dirty old men so my son didn't go without". And the kicker is .. I come from wealth.

But I get it and it sucks, it hurts and while they may never escape, having a phone # of someone that they can vent to without worrying that person will call cps because their old man is stelling crack on the corner and they are selling their arse....does go along way. I know their motivation is to better their kids to provide and they have dreams, which tragically end with one or both getting shot or sent to prison and the kids end up in state care - the cycle repeats.

Then there's Shamika. A woman motivated by money by being as lazy as possible. She traded her daughter for things, and she spent 4 grand on stupid stuff verses moving out of the shelter! She medically neglected and physically abused the children. She didn't attend their custody placement hearing and she wouldn't sell her soul to save her kids no matter what, because there's nothing in it for her. She is a minority in this regard *not referring to skin color* , but no one wants to validate the reasons of criminal behavior in poverty stricken areas.

If you were living in a warzone *which Chicago is* and you had an option: Sell myself during the night, while my man watches the kids so they can get up and go to school.. and I can sleep all day while he hustles - there for the kids don't go without us nor things they need ... so we can one day move out of here: would you do it? Remember, there are NO jobs. None for felons, no welfare help if you have a drug charge and sometimes a felony. What do you do when you need to survive and your kids need food in their stomach and a roof over their head?

Shamika is the poster child for an abuser of the system that she is lucky to have even gotten. She is LUCKY. They have education, medical care, shelter, food, SSi/ disability/ TANF .. she rather use her kids to gain verses stepping up to get ahead until they can get out of that area, get in a section 8 place and get a job anywhere.

Sorry for my long winded rant.. but I know what I lived through and I know that while I had it hard, I wouldn't have gotten 90% of what I have if I had been any other race.

ITA AstroKitty. Just saw your post when I was about to log out. As I've mentioned before, I am from Chicago, born and raised (moved away in my 30s). Born and raised on the Southside, middle-class neighborhood, however, I am quite familiar with all the areas you mentioned and the gentrification. My paternal family lives on that side of town, and I spent my summers there as a child into my teens, so I know exactly where you're coming from. As teen, I actually used to think it was cool to hang out over there with my cousins, a break from my boring middle-class life. Some of the best times I had as a teen were at parties and festivals in Humboldt park.

As for riding public transportation, um, I thought that was the norm. When I got older, graduated college and got a job, I bought a car. And guess what? It sat in the parking lot most of the time because parking in downtown Chicago (where my first job was) was too expensive. Public transportation is a of life in Chicago imo.

I'm sure you agree, poverty is NOT just confined to the "AA" community. I have friends and acquaintances of all colors and races in Chicago, and, *gasp*, some of hem are poor.

Ok, gonna :shutup: now. Really, that pissed me off, and I love WS, so I don't want to get in trouble.

GREAT POST. Thank you!

I'll probably be back in a few days when I calm down.
 
RBBM. What is the AA community? When I see AA on here, I think of Amber Alert, lol. Please clarify. TIA.

Thanks for asking for the clarification. When I see AA, I think of Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
I think the nice thing here is that no one is aware of our race, gender or sexual preference unless we state it. So when we give insight to various things it isn't taken out of context. What I mean by that is for example, I live in a the Puerto Rican section of Chicago and the West side here is no damn joke. If you go further into Humboldt park you enter what we refer to as "K town" (all the streets start with a K) and it's the West Lawndale area. This is the most violent area of Chicago and predominantly black. I used to work at Scores and would drive Chicago Ave to the club *which was in the burbs but I wanted to avoid the highway* When you drive Chicago Ave from the Ukraine village or Humboldt park towards west lawndale, you see 12 year old girls working the corners with their babies in strollers at 3am. There's a man with no legs that lives in a van on Chicago ave and lays on a mattress on the side of the street selling watermelon. There's shootings, beatings and the cops don't even come that way - they wait till you leave the area and then they pull YOU over (if you're white) because it's an open air drug market.

The issue is gentrification and shoving the poor into a few block radius where cabs don't venture, you can't get a pizza delivered, the schools are horrific and there is NO school buses so children *my kids included * ride city buses into some very horrible areas. My eldest is graduating from a school in West LawnDale. But until you see it with your own eyes and not what the media says or just passing through - like literally driving through the area daily and even supporting the local mom 'n' pop shops there... you have no idea how the cycle works.

There's no way out because there's no education, my sons' school can't even afford lunch for all the students or books! Im so not kidding, so imagine having parents who don't push education, who are in and out of jail ... living in terrible conditions because their credit and inability to qualify for section 8 due to past drug charges *you can't get welfare if you've been convicted of any drug charge, even a bit of pot* - this includes food stamps too or help with babysitting so people can work or continue with highschool/college. Plus, how the hell do you get anywhere if the buses are sketchy, the trains don't run there after a certain time and if you have a car it's going to get stolen? so you get stuck in the "game" and dealing with slumlords.

People believe that "oh you can get up and leave the hood". BS. How? Who is going to rent to someone with no credit, and no co-signer that's a single mom with a few kids? Who is going to give her a chance? I can tell you from being a sex worker and having an unverifiable income, a single mother of 2 kids and student loans... I get the same treatment. The only difference is, I'm white and a family member will co-sign if needed.

This is why I don't hate the drug game, as long as kids aren't in trap houses or the drugs aren't being put in their shoes, diapers to transport it. Sometimes that's all you can do is risk your life to put diapers on your kids. And before anyone says "well, stop having kids" Half the time teenagers in these areas are pregnant by adult men who are "cousin's" aka rapists. And they aren't having a baby for a check, they are having a baby because they can't afford an abortion and they can't afford to get there either. And there's the bigger issue: babies having babies - mom is out doing her thing, dad is locked up on charges .. grandma is too exhausted raising all these other kids. There's no AC in the place so when it's summer you're out hanging on the streets. I work in outreach in Garfield park and West lawndale. I talk to these ladies, kids really .. and tell them "I am just like you honey. Had a kid a month after I turned 17 and I was living in a homeless shelter. He ditched me while I delivered. I had to turn to doing what I had to do for dirty old men so my son didn't go without". And the kicker is .. I come from wealth.

But I get it and it sucks, it hurts and while they may never escape, having a phone # of someone that they can vent to without worrying that person will call cps because their old man is stelling crack on the corner and they are selling their arse....does go along way. I know their motivation is to better their kids to provide and they have dreams, which tragically end with one or both getting shot or sent to prison and the kids end up in state care - the cycle repeats.

Then there's Shamika. A woman motivated by money by being as lazy as possible. She traded her daughter for things, and she spent 4 grand on stupid stuff verses moving out of the shelter! She medically neglected and physically abused the children. She didn't attend their custody placement hearing and she wouldn't sell her soul to save her kids no matter what, because there's nothing in it for her. She is a minority in this regard *not referring to skin color* , but no one wants to validate the reasons of criminal behavior in poverty stricken areas.

If you were living in a warzone *which Chicago is* and you had an option: Sell myself during the night, while my man watches the kids so they can get up and go to school.. and I can sleep all day while he hustles - there for the kids don't go without us nor things they need ... so we can one day move out of here: would you do it? Remember, there are NO jobs. None for felons, no welfare help if you have a drug charge and sometimes a felony. What do you do when you need to survive and your kids need food in their stomach and a roof over their head?

Shamika is the poster child for an abuser of the system that she is lucky to have even gotten. She is LUCKY. They have education, medical care, shelter, food, SSi/ disability/ TANF .. she rather use her kids to gain verses stepping up to get ahead until they can get out of that area, get in a section 8 place and get a job anywhere.

Sorry for my long winded rant.. but I know what I lived through and I know that while I had it hard, I wouldn't have gotten 90% of what I have if I had been any other race.

I lived in Baltimore for many years and Baltimore and Chicago might as well be one in the same. Astrokitty you wrote the hard truth and very well illustrated how it is out there. This is why from the beginning I have had a different view from others on here in regards to Shamika and her troubled past and no doubt her mother and grandmother shared the same fate.

It is so hard for others to understand unless they witness it themselves, which is just juman nature. It is easy to get angry, and it is OK to be angry but it is better to be angry at the situation rather than the individuals.

I for one believe children are all born pure and innocent. I also believe that people are products of their evironments more often than not. The stories you hear of kids in the hood going to Harvard and whatnot are lovely but they are extremely rare and that is not because the other kids in the hood don't want a better life for themselves. Of course they do. Of course they don't want to be hungry and tired and beaten and abused.

If Shamika was born into a middle class family with educated parents do you think she would be the way she is now? I doubt it.
 
I am an African American single mother of two boys in the DC suburbs. Their father and I separated two years ago, and property owners refused to rent to me because I'm a single mom with no rental history of making rent payments on my own after years of splitting rent and expenses with their Dad.

It took me much longer than expected to find a rental unit that overlooked my single mom status. Even then, I was discriminated against by real estate agents. One comment I remember, "Why are you renting? Is it because you can't afford to buy? Do you have bad credit?" And, this is before they even looked at my rental application, salary or credit report.

I'm also a senior level technology professional, with the salary to match. So, if it was this hard for me to find a place to live, I can't imagine the difficulty faced by those with less money, less resources, less education.
 
I am so sorry that such a lovely lady as you would find difficulty in renting
a home. Everyone isn't as good as you.
 
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