Originally Posted by Preston_79
Well it looks like the poor economy is forcing these idiots to budget their money. I say idiots, because you are one if you're making under 20G a year and buying designer clothing. 20 years old, living with your mother, who's also helping you raise your 8 year old, and you want designer clothes? Let's try supporting yourself first.
Quentin saying you look gangster is just an expression, it doesn't have anything to do with being a thugs. You can dress gangster and still be a law abiding citizen. I've also heard the expression used by whites. You're tripping out on Jackson over nothing.
THESE PEOPLE AREN'T PATHETIC BECAUSE THEIR POOR, it's because their dumb. They just happen to be poor and dumb.
Except that's not true. What I'm saying is, what you, jackson, and many decry as stupid and mock or react to violently has little to do with intelligence and instead is a direct result of being poor in America. Being raised in poverty in a country that so highly values wealth leads to feelings of worthlessness and deep-seated insecurity. When one is raised in a society that measures the worth of a person by how much money they have, those without money feel like they are of little value and are ashamed.
One of the most common coping mechanisms to combat this is to vainly attempt to appear like you're worth more than you are by buying nicer things than you can reasonably afford. As the first quoted young man says, it helped him feel confident, a confidence he likely sorely lacked in general due to the long-term depression of insitutionalized poverty. I'm not saying living beyond your means isn't self-destructive behavior and it wouldn't be better if people only bought what they could afford, but I'm explaining that it is not because these people are dumb or need to be hit with sticks, it is a very common and understandable, if unfortunate, reaction to their horrible environments and sympathy rather than misplaced anger is a more appropriate and reasonable reaction.
This also isn't some psychobabble speculation, it is a well understood and documented phenomenon among America's urban poor that is actually explicitly referenced by every professional interviewed in that story. That and the obvious racial overtones to what jackson has said are what I'm taking him to task for.