If you are driving through a Black and poor neighborhood, be careful to cover your mouth. You wouldn’t want to catch “Hood Disease” As we emerge from a weekend of events in remembrance of the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, here were are faced with yet another way in which the real struggles urban youth are stigmatized. A Harvard study concluded that inner city youth suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Instead of referring to the real challenges as PTSD, they chose this dismissive and classist term.
Incredulity aside, I have some questions. Is there a cure for Hood Disease? Can it be cured by re-locating the afflicted persons to the suburbs? Even at the risk of the subject contracting another illness- Affluenza? Is gentrification the cure for hood disease? Or is it to be contained? While we wait for the answers to these questions and more to follow, perhaps we should consider addressing some of these systemic issues faced by the people living this reality. But, that probably wont happen. It is much easier to make up diseases that stem from social ills, and stigmatize those who are in these neglected communities.
Until that time, be safe out there! *Cough* Uh oh, I think I am coming down with something..
Marc W. Polite