The Universal Language
Struggle: The Universal Language
Written by Infinite Rahe Allah
“It is not easy for men to rise whose qualities are thwarted by poverty.”
Juvenal (55 AD - 127 AD)
This coming August 15th 2008, Paraguay will be inaugurating their new president, Fernando Lugo, sometimes referred to as “the bishop of the poor.” The people of Paraguay are hoping for a leader to bring radical and broad sweeping changes to the country. They are hoping for a strong president with firm leftist views. The poor of Paraguay are looking for someone to address the issue of land reform.
In Paraguay, the wealth is the land. According to the Paraguayan constitution, every person is entitled to a piece of land. Currently, 1% of the country’s seven million people own 77% of productive land. In the meantime, 45% of Paraguay’s population is in poverty. Much of the poor are landless people. Paraguay’s poor rely on subsistence farming. They need the land solely to grow food to feed their families. There is a dire need to redistribute the land amongst the poor. The poor are growing weary of requests from the government to be patient. There lives are on the line.
This dissatisfaction is leading some of the poor to resort to land invasions of the wealthy. These land invasions result in destruction of property, burning of tractors in some instances, as well as reports of hostages taken. Desperate actions like these will undoubtedly force the government to put down such uprisings with violent force (police, military). Unfortunately, if it comes to the use of force to resolve these matters, the poor in Paraguay will be painted as savages in much the same way as the poor in Louisiana trying to survive Hurricane Katrina.
The events in Paraguay impact original people in the U.S. by serving as a reminder of the constant hurdles many of us face. Those hurdles are comprised of lack of educational resources in inner city public schools, fewer prospects for decent paying jobs, and societal ills like drugs and crime.
In poor urban areas populated by black and brown people, school resources like textbooks, class space, and staff are often scarce. This reality often leaves our children at a disadvantage. Overcrowded classrooms place an undue burden on instructors to adequately provide the learning environment our children need. Class sizes are often as large as 35-40 and in some cases 50 students in a class.
Statistics from the 2007 U.S. Census reveal that black and so called Latinos 18 years and older are graduating from high school at approximately the same rate as whites. Although blacks and Latinos are graduating at the same rate as whites, they are not as well prepared academically for college. At the four year college degree level, black and Latino people dip in their stats. 10% of blacks and Latinos finish four year degrees compared to 20% of whites. This is certainly a recipe for failure. A four year degree is a useful tool in a competitive job market where the goal is a career or job that can provide financial security.
Before the college level, the poor prospects of securing decent paying jobs for blacks and Latinos complicates the education of their children. According to the 2006 U.S. Census, 20% of black and Latino families are living below the poverty line compared to only 7% of white families. Black and Latino parents are often forced to work two jobs to provide for their families. This leaves them little time to reinforce their children’s learning at home. By the time parents get home, they are often too exhausted to review homework and stay up on issues with children in school.
This is a spiraling effect because poor families that live in impoverished communities have to send their children to public schools that are underfunded because of the tax bracket of that community. Let’s face it: those parents are products of that same poor public education system. They need to review the “new math” themselves before they can offer any assistance to their children.
The “new math” is not just the struggle to remember some old algebra and geometry concepts. On another level, it can be viewed as the systemic calculations that multiply the impact of drugs and violently divide the community between the living and the dead. The impact of drugs and violence has put to sleep the community scholars, revolutionaries, and young stars who never had a chance to shine.
Whether you’re in Paraguay without access to useful land or in the U.S. without access to quality education, decent jobs, and stable communities, the underlying reality is lack of resources equates to a constant cycle of poverty. In Paraguay, land reform is desperately required and in the U.S education, employment, and community reform are required to reverse the cycle of poverty
Original Source: www.originalthoughtmag.com (Get a subscription, burros!)