I grew up in poverty, not just poor. I am talking in poverty. I have worked ever since I was 15, busted my ass to get where I am today, and my wife and I would be demographically upper middle class. That all said, I am a pretty smart guy and that helps a lot when climbing the income demographic ladder. I doubt I would have made it very far in IT had I not had a natural aptitude for it. Moreover, while I came from poverty, I also realize that its not easy to do so. Its much harder to go from poverty to the middle class than it is to grow up middle class and enter into it as an adult yourself. As the saying goes, a lot of guys are born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple.
That all said, the people of Memphis and other failing cities cannot simply blame their problems with violence, poor schools, and joblessness on racism or the legacy of Jim Crow. There are economic problems in these places and poor schools there because they are violent places. They are violent places for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest ones is terrible parenting. Not just any kids will go to a grocery store parking lot and start attacking people, it takes a lifetime of ****ty parenting to get to that point. Moreover, this crap that community "leaders" always spew after something like this happens about "these kids don't have anything to do, we have to invest in community centers and so on to keep this from happening...." If kids not having anything to do resulted in violent teens, then western Kansas and the rest of the Great Plains would be the most violent place on the planet. I assure you there is a lot more for kids to do in Memphis than there is in South Dakota or Goodland, KS. The fact is as long as you have this kind of violence and widespread crime in Memphis, then the town will continue to go down hill.
"You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)
He's also blamed anyone who has "allowed" this to happen. I'm not even sure what that means. Do people "allow" rapes? Murders?
People that makes statements like yours, are the primary reason that those kids never get out of poverty.
If a kid is continually told that he/she has no chance, that the system is rigged against them, that other races are keeping them down, then that kid begins to believe that there is no hope, and without hope, they give up, and when they give up... they fulfilled the prophecy that you have set for them.
Again, I don't buy into that. The cycle can be broken. It has been broken by many of all races and ethnicities. Preaching what you are condoning is a major part of why more do not. Stop the cycle - don't perpetuate it.
Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, don't blame someone else, or expect others to make a change, you should stop complaining and make a different choice. Remember, the circumstances of your birth don't determine the outcome of your life.