The Austin Bomber, a 23-year-old white man sending bombs through Fedex, killed two people and injured several others. Yet the authorities seem to sympathize with him. The authorities describe him as a troubled man who was not happy with his life. They seem to imply that he is mentally ill or unstable. The Interim Police Chief even said, “Having listened to that recording, he does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate...But instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.”
But when hen it comes to a Muslim or a young black man, they are either terrorists or straight criminals who had all intention of hurting and killing.
No one ever questions the mental stability of young black teens who commit crimes, crimes that are far less than something like the Austin bombings. This is the general perception of black teens in America regardless of them even committing a crime.
Michael Brown is one example of the media and authorities portraying a man of color as aggressive or a sort of brute. Brown was 18 years old when he was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. In the days after the shooting, instead of the media focusing on the fact that he was unarmed, the media tried to paint him as this brute, this big black thug who was going around being violent. In a Fox News segment, Linda Chavez tried to argue the narrative that “Michael Brown was not a threat.” Though the Fox News anchor pushed back by saying he was a 6 foot man going around starting altercations with police.
No one ever thought or talked about if he was a “troubled young man” or if there was something wrong with him mentally.
In communities such as the one Brown came from, poverty plagues most urban cities in America, especially urban areas such as a Philadelphia, which had one of the highest poverty rates of a big city in 2016. This is especially true for families consisting of one adult and two children (12.3%). This shows that houses with single parents that have kids are among the poorest families in Philadelphia. The percentage of single parents in Philadelphia has averaged about 55 percent since 2010. Given this information, there are many kids who have to deal with this fact everyday.
These kids have to live a life in poverty, sometimes not being able to get even the bare essentials without assistance from the government or state. Poverty affects these kids in a negative way. More than just not being able to get things that are needed, things like finding a place to live are hard. These kids have to go to school sometimes not knowing where they will be after school, and that can make it hard for them to focus on school as they are worrying and stressing out-affecting their performance in school.
Many children have to endure things like bullying because they do not have the nicest clothes or belongings, and being bullied can affect them mentally, even more than physically. All of these things have a negative effect on the mental health of a kid. The kid has essentially no one to help cope with these things. Parents are trying their hardest to make their kids' lives the best possible, but these children feel as though people will make of them or not understand if they tell anyone about it.
They become stuck and, in most cases, stay like that until it is too late. Then they resort to methods such as drugs and crime to sustain themselves and end up in prison, which no one considers, especially the media, when talking about these young black and Hispanic children. This begins a cycle, in which the parents try to make their kids' lives as good as they possibly can, but it still negatively affects the parents' psychological health and essentially rolls onto their kids.
Poverty does a lot to people physically, but no one really considers the negative psychological effects of poverty and how it can dictate future behavior. Mental health is never talked about when it comes to poverty. poverty affects so many black communities, but it affects the minds of many young black kids who grow up troubled, hurt, and tired.