In the US, There Needs to Be a Place to Warehouse All the Leftover Pain

By Teka Lark (April 25, 2017)

“In the Lewis model of a dual economy, much of the low-wage sector has little influence over public policy. Check. The high-income sector will keep wages down in the other sector to provide cheap labor for its businesses. Check. Social control is used to keep the low-wage sector from challenging the policies favored by the high-income sector. Mass incarceration – check. The primary goal of the richest members of the high-income sector is to lower taxes. Check. Social and economic mobility is low. Check.”

What I have noticed is that I see a mimicking of this control of mobility among the middle class to the working and middle class communities color.

When I was in Morningside Park (a Black community in Inglewood) and I talked about bikelanes and coffee shops, not only were the status quo upset because that wasn’t my lane, but neighboring less diverse communities were upset. The reason being was that my community was supposed to be the dumping ground of all society’s ills. My community was supposed to be the mammy for everyone else’s community.

It almost seemed as if they thought if my community got a bikelane or Trader Joe’s that would disturb the order and prevent their community from getting a bikelane and a Trader Joe’s.

Like how dare a Black person discuss anything beyond cops, God and racism in a very literal fashion.

Mobility and progress seems to be only allowed if it’s granted from the top down or rather from the dominant culture down.

It seems to me that the way the United States is set up in a way that “middle class” (white people) can’t exist without the slum next door, that there needs to be a place to warehouse all the left over pain.

A place to show “middle class” people what will happen to them if they get out a line.


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