Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whatever, man

It’s fast getting to the point in this neighborhood that every day is like Cinco de Mayo. To say that this neighborhood has taken on a noticeably Latin flavor would be a gross understatement of the current situation.

Not that I have a problem with it, per se, other than the fact that these people do not assimilate at all. They basically want nothing to do with us born-and-raised indigenous types, so they have in essence created a sub-neighborhood within a neighborhood. Sorry, but it’s just not neighborly.

I will admit to hating the music they blare out of their cars and houses on a daily basis. It’s boring. It’s banal. It’s the same not-so-secret Carlos Santana chord progressions with very little variances from the basic, stripped-down theme.

But there are those days when I get the distinct impression that it’s not that they don’t like the indigenous types, they simply don’t like white people. And if that’s truly the case to any great extent, I’m still good with that.

I’m a dreaded white male. And thanks to the relentlessly misguided rhetoric coming from the left-leaning, I’ve been painted as a villain since I drew my first breath. I never even had a chance. I was born, I was white, I was deemed to be hateful.

To be blunt, I feel that my mission in life is too work longer and harder than I otherwise would have so as to provide for the growing hordes of others who cannot or will not provide for themselves. Having had been on welfare as a teenager, I know a little bit about the “cannot” part. But as for the “will not” part of the equation, I know I’m being had.

Still though, I’m the bad guy. Practically everywhere I look, there are purposely placed reminders to me as well as everyone else that I am a sexist, a homophobe, a bigot and a racist. As I have aged, I have grown more tolerant of others simply because it’s better to be tolerant than being consumed by hate and rage and all of that good stuff that usually brings on ulcers, as well as male pattern baldness.

All of which could be concisely encapsulated as follows: Whatever, man.

It’s just that, as I’ve grown to be more tolerant, nobody seems to be reciprocating. Every demographic group out there still views me--the white guy--as the sexist, the homophobe, the bigot and the racist that I was made out to be in the name of political chicanery.

Getting back to the massive infusion of Latinos into this neighborhood, my son had an interesting insight.

Over the years, there has been a ton of friction between the white and black kids that have played basketball on the court at the nearby playground. And sometimes, that racial strife would result in fisticuffs. And of late, that court has been home to far more Latinos than whites or blacks. And yes, every once in a while, there is an eruption of fisticuffs between whites and Latinos.

As for my son’s observation about the rapidly changing demographics and it’s direct impact on throwing a few punches at the basketball court, he said, “At least they’re (Latinos) small.”

I hear that.

In my day, quite a few punches were thrown at the basketball court, but we played at the court at Dan Flood Elementary, which no longer exists because of two or three cranky neighbors who objected to the F-bomb being launched into the stratosphere at an estimated rate of 10 per nanosecond. But in my day, the fists were always thrown by and at white kids, because that’s all that we had here in the Nord End--white kids.

I once popped my own first-cousin and he proceeded to practically bleed to death through his fattened lips. And if you knew my grandmother at all, you just knew I was a dead man just as soon as I crossed the familial threshold.

By the way, he deserved it. I got a little tired of hearing "goaltending" charges coming from someone who couldn't even touch the damn rim. You either hang, or you don't hang. And if you can't hang, you ought not shoot off your mouth.

Sorry about that one, Will.

So when white kids flip out on each other, that’s just boys being boys. But when some white kid beats on some kid designated to be in the “minority,” that’s a hate crime?

That’s flat-out bunk, and the ulcer-riddled left-leaning should be embarrassed and temporarily banished for having incrementally criminalized one group’s behavior that seems to come so naturally to all of the groups involved.

And as you can see, I am presently circumlocuting, so I’ll get to the point.

With the Latino population noticeably on the rise in this area, I’ve gotten to wondering about something. I’ve heard all of the so-called experts waxing poetic about why the Latinos are drawn to this area…the low cost of living, the affordable housing and the like.

But if we remember our local history, the generation before ours--our moms and dads--broke their backs in the mines and in textile sweatshops so that we would be better educated than they were. And with our enhanced resumes in hand, the mass exodus, the out-migration out of this area began for our best and brightest.

And now that the parents are dying off and the children have no interest in returning to the family homestead, there lies the underlying cause of our affordable housing to a huge degree.

And we all know why this has come about over the years, because of the lack of employment opportunities in these here demented parts. It’s been the same story for decades. You get that degree, and beat it out of here if you want a well-paying job…a career.

So, with that said, where are all of these recent arrivers working? Let’s be honest, there’s only so many under-the-table landscaping and roofing jobs to be had. So, where are all of these Latinos working at?

Or, as has been cited numerous times by Sue Henry as well as myself, there sure seems to be a lot of people idly milling about all day long in the Nord End of my once fair city. And the great preponderance of them are not of the pigmentation-challenged variety.

Which leads me to my next question. With record numbers of people flocking to an area traditionally known for lacking quality employment opportunities, where are these people working at? Or, you could ask, are these people, these recent arrivals, working at all?

While it may be anecdotal to the freaking hilt, a walk around, or a bike about throughout my neighborhood clearly suggests that they are not.

But who cares what I might think.

I’m just one of those hated white boys who has to hump, hump and hump some more.

Whatever, man.



Stephen Albert said...

Well put Mark. Sometimes it seems that the assimilation stream is flowing backwards, which is a shame.

D.B. Echo said...

We export wealth and import poverty. That's one of those posts I've been planning to write for years, and haven't gotten around to.

It's not just that there's plenty of "affordable" housing; more often than not the absentee landlords who inherit that housing from their long-estranged parents see the profit potential in becoming Section 8 landlords. Philadelphia nd New York are only too eager to export their own underclasses to anywhere and everywhere that will take them, and NEPA is a prime destination. A few cities looking to thin out their huddled masses, a bunch of newcomers - exiles - with no means of income looking for a place to live, and a bunch of landlords looking for guaranteed income from the Federal government by way of Section 8 housing. Heck, if we were smart, we'd be in on the scam, too.

Still, some assimilation, or at least cultural mutation, is inevitable. Each generation will be sure to disappoint its parents as they turn their backs on the old ways and embrace something new. What that new thing will be is anybody's guess.

Anonymous said...

You are a smart, hard working guy. Get out of NEPA. It is a dying area. Left a while ago. There is actually places in this country where hardwork is rewarded, at far above minimum wage. And the roads are much better. Take a road out of town.