Essay 4: Buffalo NY. A Place Where Economic Disparity & Racism Collide. A City Of Lost Hopes & Despair


* NOTE: The track have nothing to do with the post. I just like to post what I’m listening to while I write.*

I’m sitting here at 5:25 AM in my room in the dark reflecting like usual. Thinking about my experiences in my hometown, Buffalo NY before I finally depart. Leaving seems almost surreal because I have a large family in Buffalo and hardly anybody leaves. The furthest most of my family go is maybe downtown haha.

This city taught me many life lessons. I had so much hate for this city for many years but as I get older become more and more thankful for the life lessons I learned here. It gave me insight and wisdom that can’t be taught in a classroom. Wisdom that is totally priceless and can only be earned through actual experience’s.

Buffalo has always been known for 3 things. The Bills, chicken wings and racism. The race problem is so bad you can type in Buffalo NY in the YouTube search bar and get like 3 racist videos right away haha.

But in all seriousness, Buffalo like most American cities have something rotten about it. So rotten that can’t be hidden. Its right out in the open for out of towners to see. Poverty in the black community is so blatantly obvious here that it is embarrassing. Politicians here can’t even hide our problems and just sweep the dust under the rug like other cities do. We don’t even have a feign “black middle class” where we can atleast give black people the illusion of hope. If you don’t own and control your community then you’ll never truly have a “black middle class” anyway but that’s another post for a different day.

The East side is predominately black. It’s pure hell on earth. How can a young person that live there grow and maintain a healthy lifestyle surrounded by guns, gangs, violence, poverty, economic inequality, no capital, no resources, police harassment? The answer is very simple…they cant.

The Eastside of Buffalo is the belly of the beast. It’s basically a place where if you stay there long enough you’re bound to step on one of the many land mines awaiting you. If you’re lucky enough not to… you’ll lose your sanity from the stress of having to avoid them. In fact I’ve seen black man wandering downtown aimlessly begging for change. Wandering like zombies, They were mentally gone…just shells of once ambitious people.

Buffalo have a cruel way of teasing you if you’re Black. When you cross main street you see the pain and abandoned houses on one side of the street and beautiful flourishing neighborhoods on the other. Of course black people live on the shitty side and whites live on the stable side. But why?

For many years they sold us that bullshit about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” But the only problem is, we never got boots in the first place. How can a community thrive if it doesn’t have any resources or capital to function. Obviously it the answer is… it can’t. Its only bound to eventually fall victim to gangs, violence and drug use. Which leads to deterioration.

It’s hard to “work harder” when there’s no jobs or opportunities to begin with. They tell us to “work harder” but won’t hire us. It’s a interesting situation for sure. Sometimes I take rides through Elmwood village. Its a truly beautiful strip filled with tress, shops, store fronts and luxury apartments. Only things that upper class white people can afford and maybe a token black person sprinkled in here & there. I see people smiling, happy, enjoying their day in bliss. But when I go to the other side of town I see abandoned houses, large vacant fields of grass, people walking with no place to go. Lost souls trying to find hope that unfortunately don’t exist.

Buffalo is a place where racism and poverty meet combind to form a match made in hell. Local politicians don’t give a fuck like most politicians. They just collect a check and use their clout to get pussy and their dicks sucked until their can figure out their next big money hustle. Most things in a capitalistic society is a hustle sadly, But I digress

When you thought things couldn’t get any worse, gentrification is happening throughout the Eastside, now making the disfranchised even more disfranchised . Pushing black people out into the suburbs where no capital, no jobs or public bus lines exist. They’re basically trapped in no man land just withering away slowly. Its sad indeed.

And of course you can’t have an honest conversation about the problems that exist here because like most of America you have to pretend that these things doesn’t exist. America is the land of make believe. A place where we all pretend that our painful realities don’t exist to maintain our comfortable facade.

 

 

 

 

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