In Mott Haven, Bronx, New York, thousands of ill, poor, and homeless people reside here. This area is filled with New York's filth, garbage, and toxic waste. The streets filled with drugs, prostitutes, death, drug dealers, junkies, AIDS, HIV, and constant crime. However, this is not how many of these people choose/want to live. They want a way out, but our government is not giving them one.
Quote #1. "Crack-cocaine addiction and the intravenous use of heroin, which children I have met here call "the needle drug", are woven into the texture of existence in Mott Haven"(Kozol 4).
- Drugs are shown everywhere in this part of the Bronx. Some children even come out of their mothers bodies addicted to these harsh illegal narcotics. This quote directly shows the way drugs are intertwined with the actual existence of this community. Children are looked down upon for doing the drugs, but they're surrounded by it. It's like growing up in a home where drugs are not done, 9 out of 10 times you will not end up doing drugs. It is not the people fault they are in this dangerous environment, but actually the governments fault. Just like in the last article we read in class about Kristof and the "Land of Limitations". We limit these people in this community to thinking that drugs and crime is all they know and theres no more opportunity, or purpose for them but to just keep doing these drugs and committing these crimes. We make the light at the end of the tunnel seem non-realistic for people in Mott Haven, and in many other poor communities across the globe.
Quote #2. "Why do you want to put so many people with small children in a place with so much sickness? This is the last place in New York that they should put poor children. Clumping so many people, all with the same symptoms and same problems, in one crowded place with nothin' they can grow on? Our children start to mourn themselves before their time"(Kozol 11).
-These future generations have no helping hand. The people that they lean on are the reason they can't leave. Their families and parents don't know how to leave this type of community so how can they teach the younger generations to? This quote is showing how the government pushes everyones who they feel is too sick, and too unhealthy for regular society into these little communitties where they stagnantly stay and never flourish or grow. The statement that "children start to mourn themselves before their time", is so poerwful. It's stating it all right in those few words, that the second the children come into this world in Mott Haven, they are already looking forward to a life full of no hope or prosperity. The treatment of the people in these communities is also why children should mourn before their time, because by the time their 20 they will have breathed in dangerous chemicals from all the waste and garbage plants around Mott Haven causing many harmful illnesses. Also many children have asthma problems and the air is filled with harmful odors. The city is made unliveable, but somehow we force people to live here. Not only is there chemicals in the air but HIV and AIDS run ramped in Mott Haven. So what hope is there? And what good does it do creating generation, after generation of sick, poor junkies? How are we as a country benefiting from this? Because there has to be some beneficial reason as to why our government would keep pushing down on these people, giving them NO hope for a brighter day. Why would we want our fellow Americans to feel this way, to feel as if life itself has no meaning or purpose, that we truly just live to die... why is this okay for others to feel this way, and do nothing about it?
Quote #3. "I don't know why. A lot of people ask for it. Maybe they figure people in our situation couldn't buy the things they advertise so they wouldn't see us as good customers" (Kozol 17).
-In this quote a woman is explaining to Kozol how she cannot obtain the New York Times in her store. She explains that they won't sell it to her to sell to the public. This quote is her reasoning as to why they might not sell the Times magazine to her. It's as if the government ignores these people, and does not recognize them as an active citizen of the United States. The craziest part is that they are as much American as I am. I am a white middle-class young adult, and this woman may be an Hispanic poor adult, but she is still ash much of an American and PERSON as I am. The government won't allow them to be involved in our society, because they won't even let them know whats going on in it. They say these people are uneducated, but they do not know whats going on in this country BECAUSE OF THIS COUNTRY. This quote is supporting the point that Kozol is making, that the poorest of the poor are isolated, and abandoned by our government. We are caging these people and then saying well its their fault they're not leaving. We need to lend the hand that they can grasp, without that hand they will be reaching for something that is not there; and this is how most of these people feel, that they are reaching for just a dream and not reality.