Posts tagged poverty
Posts tagged poverty
Two weeks ago, Keisha Brathwaite - a mother of two children with another on the way - broke into an unoccupied Government housing unit in Barbarees Hill, St. Michael, claiming that she was desperate for a place to live after her abusive boyfriend beat her and evicted her from his home.
The woman immediately changed the locks on the illegally occupied unit, and reportedly informed the Royal Barbados Police Force and the National Housing Corporation about what she’d done. For weeks, Brathwaite remained in the unit and ignored eviction notices from authorities, until those same authorities granted her a house of her own in another location.
There was intense public outcry, largely from middle class Barbadians, against Government’s rewarding of Brathwaite’s illegal actions: Says one,
I could never dream of getting a house from NHC, neither do I qualify for a mortgage. You have two kids and you are a single mum…go and take up a house and change the locks then.
Where did she get the money from to change the locks? I wont comment on her personal situation because none of us really know but whether it be in Barbados or any where else in the world, this whole attitude of “this is my right” has gone too far. Nobody wants these kids out on the street, but it is very frustrating for people who are hardworking and yet still struggling to see people like her get handouts without lifting a finger.
And, yet another,
I am so sick and tired of the “I am entitled” attitude of some of us Bajans out there and this is a classic example of the government aiding and abetting these people in utter shit! Maybe we should have skipped school and then I would have a house, car and three children all on the tax payers money!
Others were however sympathetic to Brathwaite’s plight:
Yes she is wrong but we are not living in a world of absolutes. She never said she was entitled to a house. She has apologized repeatedly for what she did and actually informed on herself - to the police, the NHC and then the media. Goodness knows if the NHC would have acted if she had not gone to the media and confessed and it caused a furore.
Jobs are hard to find as we all know. You may have the education that will give you a job. Keisha clearly doesn’t.
That said, one of the universally established human rights is shelter.
I’m not sure how to feel about this myself. If there is anything that the recent #Occupy movements around the world have demonstrated it is that a lot of people feel disenfranchised and are angry - with good reason - about the broadening equality gap. Keisha Brathwaite is either a desperate woman who did the wrong thing in order to get basic shelter, or she’s an indigent freeloader on the state who does not deserve to benefit from others’ taxes. Which one is she?
I’m tired of the poor, starving black African archetype (there are tons of other poor, starving kids of myriad shades in the world), but this is a compelling reality check nonetheless.
The latest scandal rocking Pennsylvania State University’s football team, in which disturbing details surfaced that former Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly raped and molested at least eight young boys between the ages of 10 and 15, echoes the dark truth at the heart of evil intent in all cases of child sexual abuse. As things presently stand, Jerry Sandusky has been arraigned and released on bail. University President Graham Spanier and Coach Joe Paterno have been fired, effective immediately.
The grand jury report details Sandusky’s contact with boys ranged from touching, and tickling to oral and anal sex. The stark details are difficult to stomach as an adult, let alone experience from the perspective of a pre-pubescent or adolescent boy.
Over the past few years similar incidents of sexual impropriety in the realm of sports have surfaced, with one common trend: the victims are exclusively young black boys from underprivileged backgrounds.
Kyle Willis, a 24-year-old unemployed father of one from Cincinnati, passed away last week from an easily treatable tooth infection because he didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t afford a simple tooth extraction.
Leaky roofs, broken windows and doors, rotting floors and outside toilets – such are the conditions of several substandard houses around the island which are being rented by poor Barbadians who cannot afford to do any better. And with no tenant/landlord legislation in place, these renters, who are mostly women with children, have no recourse…