Friday, December 14, 2007

From Hell back to Purgatory

A mother living in Federally subsidized housing in the U.S. sends her son back to war ravaged Liberia for fear of what is happening to him in the U.S.

Augustus had been well schooled in the lessons of Park Hill, which has taken in so many waves of refugees over the last 30 years that it is known in some quarters as Little Liberia. By his teenage years, he had adopted a street name (Ghostface) and a gang affiliation (Bloodline) and learned how drugs coursed through the neighborhood into the hands of customers.

Ms. Sirleaf made her choice and did not look back, even when her son found himself in the midst of war, even when he begged to come home.

“If God give him to me, he will survive,” she told her friends when they asked how she could be so cold. “If he is not mine, he will die.”

Her decision made a strange kind of sense in Park Hill, a row of federally subsidized apartment buildings northwest of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that is home to 3,000 to 4,000 Liberians.

This is an extreme example, no doubt, but it does bring home the horrid circumstances under which poor minorities must live in this country, and just how little the government does to help improve their lives. When people complain about the money that we waste on foreign wars, that would be put to better use at home, this is the sort of thing they're thinking of.

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