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Dear John
I have just now taken my own life

Death By Administration

Dear John,

My final conversation with God was simple, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my soul; grant forgiveness, mercy, and peace.’ John – I have just now taken my own life. Don’t fuss – it’s done, I assure you the deed is done.

Why the Hell not? You are wondering why.  Generally speaking, our society is anything but civilized. Permit me, John, a single but complex example. In the interest of brevity and maintaining your attention span, I am going to share sweeping statements or truths and cite references for you to peruse at your leisure. I choose Racism and Societies duplicitous positions on social issues.

  • Racism is more insidious today than at any time in our history because it has become quiet, polite…nuanced.
  • Fair Housing Act outlawed the widely practiced policy of redlining communities in 1968.
  • Housing and Urban Development settles with the largest bank headquartered in Wisconsin over claims it discriminated from 2008-2010 against blacks and Hispanic borrowers in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Let me clearly state Associated Bank denies wrongdoing. HUD in declaring victory stated “one of largest redlining complaints ever brought by the Federal Government against a mortgage lender.
  • Entire communities of certain ethnicities are effectively hemmed into areas of the city. As a consequence of redlining there is little to no investment in these parts areas and the vibrancy declines until the very soul of that community is placed in jeopardy. 
  • Public transit budgets are decimated, effectively insuring that the people in these communities cannot travel outward for employment beyond a certain radius on the map. If they can’t travel outward, then they certainly cannot move upward. This is cruelty beyond description.
  • This all but guarantees that many will need government assistance of some type or rely upon criminal activity.
  • If there is limited to no economic mobility then, logically, the value of an education begins to erode as awareness of an unequal reality and a feeling of being trapped settles in and comes into clear focus. 
  • Much of government aid until a few decades ago operated on a one-for-one ratio. If you earn a dollar working, then you lose a dollar in government assistance. But this ignored the increase in the cost of living incurred from being in the workforce as a single parent i.e. transportation and childcare that aren’t a concern when one is idled at home. Our system which was to be a safety net and move people into work or technical training was itself a disincentive to moving off social welfare owing to the negative impact on the financial health of the household.
  • This gives way to the next generation watching the current go to the mailbox and retrieve the government cheque and within a couple generations institutionalized social welfare as a way of life and stagnant workforce skills or advancement result.
  • Simply surviving is the game that greets each new day for so many and not much is left off the table when basic needs are threatened each day. Drugs, human trafficking, and other activities become prevalent and acceptable options as folks seek merely to survive.
  • Milwaukee 53206 becomes a documentary; elegantly but with bone chilling focus lays bare the ZIP code in the United States that has the highest incarceration rate for black men. What a point of civic pride!
Here is the rub for me, John – we shouldn’t have the balls to bitch or judge entire communities for problems we spent generations creating and maintaining with alarming ease and at times homicidal force. With our police nearly reduced to property guards for the ‘haves’ and armed like military to beat, kill, and incarcerate those ‘have nots’ left standing
With every personal good wish, I remain
Your loving friend,

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