Get help from the best in academic writing.

Exposing the Truth in There Are No Children Here

There Are No Children Here – Exposing the Truth

Since I find myself most interested and concerned with the problems of children in our country I have decided to focus on one area densely populated by children who suffer from numerous disadvantages. The modern day ghetto is rampant with violent crime, gang activity, and death. From 1985 to 1993 the amount of children who died as a result of violent death got ten percent worse. Rather than believe otherís opinions as to why this is true I have decided to investigate the situation myself. Rather than just blaming the individuals within the affected areas I would like to expose the reason behind the behavior so as to find where the real fault lies and what the solution is.

Los Angeles is a city where fear of crime and criminals is arguably the single most important social and political issue for the majority of citizensî (Zimring Hawkins 46). In other words in Los Angeles there is so much crime and violence that it is the primary concern for the citizens of the area, according to numerous sources it is safe to say this of many urban areas of low socio-economic status. South Central Los Angeles as well as many other ghettos have such widespread gang activity. Gang activity has essentially taken over the normal way of life. Innocent people are no longer safe in their neighborhood. With gang members as young as ten years old, many people wonder, what makes children so violent and deviant at such a young age? Where do people like Kody Scott, an LA gang member notorious for his extreme violence and brutality, come from? Is he to blame? Are his parents to blame? Are these type of people born with violent minds, do they watch too much violent television, are they influenced by violent friends?? It seems as though the answer to this question could be one of a million different possibilities.

However, after all the research and reading that I have done regarding this issue I feel as though violent children of the ghetto are not ìbadî at all, but a product of their bad neighborhood. The difference between these two explanations is: A. where the blame lies and B. what are the solutions. It is not only frustrating to me to hear someone blame the individuals for their deviant behavior but it accomplishes nothing.

No Solutions Offered in There Are No Children Here

No Solutions Offered in There Are No Children Here

Does your home have a lock on your door, a telephone and working appliances and plumbing? Do you dodge bullets in your sleep, have 13 people living in one apartment or wash your dishes in the bathtub because the kitchen sink hasn’t worked for months? Do you wash your clothes in the bathtub because the laundry room is too dangerous to do your washing? Do you live in an environment with no role models, where the gangs control everything and you can’t trust anyone? You may think these are strange questions for people who live in America in the late 20th century, but some people’s answers to these questions may be very different from yours. Those people are the one’s living in the “other America”. Alex Kotlowitz tells us “the story of two boys growing up in the other America” in his book There Are No Children Here.

The “other America” Kotlowitz describes in his book is the public housing complex at Henry Horner Homes in Chicago. By following the lives of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, we are exposed to the misfortunes, turmoil and death that their lives are filled with.

Lafeyette and Pharoah are faced with many hardships in their day to day activities. Their apartment, the once beautiful complex, now has broken appliances, poor plumbing, horrible security and from the basement come smells that one housing manager described as “foul odors” that “no equipment presently in use by staff could be used to withstand the odor beyond a minute” (p. 240). The boys wake up every morning in this horrible public housing that would most likely be condemned if it was located in any decent neighborhood. Lafeyette and Pharoah get ready for school, usually putting on clothes which have been washed the night before in the bath tub, and then leave for school. Pharoah, who loves school, is always in a hurry to get there, leaving the apartment before anyone else. School is the one place for Pharoah to stand out and get away from the neighborhood for a while. He even attended a summer school program that was supported by the University of Illinois. Lafeyette, on the other hand, isn’t into school very much; which explains why he has such a large number of tardies. Both boys are always careful as they walk through the streets to school to be alert for gunfire, they don’t want to die young like so many friends of theirs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.