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Poverty Pimp

svgJanuary 11, 2024EssayJalil Muntaqim

Jalil Muntaqim is a veteran Black Panther/Black Liberation Army member, co-founder of the National Jericho Movement, initiator and member of the Spirit of Mandela Coalition Coordination Committee and organizer of the Peoples’ Senate, author of “We Are Our Own Liberators” and “Escaping the Prism – Fade to Black.”

Poverty Pimp: A pejorative term used in the U.S. to label a person or group; typically an elected official, activist, religious leader, social services agency or faith-based organization, which has appointed itself as an intermediary for the poor and the disenfranchised, but which unethically benefits either financially or politically from their position as a representative of a “victimized group.” Such a person isn’t truly interested in helping the people that he/she claims to represent, but is instead more interested in their own career(s).

Examples: Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Obamacare.

Welfare agencies are often poverty pimps because if more minorities emancipated themselves from the welfare state, those who facilitate the welfare would be out of a job.

(Source: Urban Dictionary by Jfume November 11, 2017)

On January 8, 2024, in support of Demond Meeks re-election I went to an Democratic Committee meeting at Franklin High School.  I was very interested in learning the process since Demond claimed that at the previous voting meeting of the Democratic Committee, ballot boxes had been stuffed with unaccounted voters, meaning voting slips were put in the box for people that were not there to vote.

During the debate between Demond Meeks and Willie Lightfoot, I began to think about the first time I heard the pejorative “Poverty Pimp” when one of the candidates presented how they are a business person with over 1 million dollars invested on the community, and how they have always championed the needs of the poor as an elected official, while the community surrounding those investments continued to be blighted. 

I started thinking when this pejorative first came into use – after the turbulent riots of the 1960’s, when the Federal government and philanthropic organizations began pouring money into these devastated communities, and establishing non-profit organizations, etc.  (See: Kerner Commission Report).  As a result, some of the street hustlers and pseudo community activists transitioned into non-profits and began feeding off the teat of the government and philanthropist. However, the conditions in the communities were not substantially changed or improved beyond some cosmetic commercial businesses, and a few jobs provided, to community hustlers turned “organizers,” to rebuild the community.  Also at that time, “Urban Planning” became the catch word with local governments essentially dividing and integrating what had been Black and Brown communities came into practice, very similar to today’s “gentrification” programs.

It should be noted, that was a time when drugs were introduced at higher quantities, inundating the community to anesthetize what had been growing militancy evolving from the Black Power movement that grew out of the civil rights movement; and to quell the growing anti-Vietnam war movement.  These drugs, like heroin from the Golden Triangle and cocaine from South America, were sponsored by the CIA in its black-bag operations, and continued for 30 years leading to the Contragate scandal and the vicious crack epidemic that devastated a generation of Black, Brown and poor people in this country.  Essentially, the government had deliberately engaged in chemical warfare in these communities, destroying lives and creating conditions for mass incarceration and the maintenance of the system of penal slavery (connect the dots). 

So, when I see a former elected official who was married to a drug dealer conducting a Democratic Committee meeting, in allegiance, with an elected official/businessman (same political clique), of whom claims to be in alignment with the Chief of Police whose officers killed Black men shooting them in the back five time with little to no consequence, and an Executive County leader who prefers to allocate funds for juvenile beds absent any funding to house homeless teens, I am reminded of the pejorative – poverty pimp.

Rochester is the 3rd worst city of poverty in the country, neither previous Mayors or the present have done anything substantial to relieve the suffering of poverty.  However, the criminalization of the poor continues reaping havoc without any future sign of substantial socio-economic or political change.  For the last ten years RMAPI has been in existence, and all that can be said about their efforts is that Rochester is not at the very bottom of the list of impoverished cities.  Given this reality, it is time to challenge the Ostrich Syndrome, heads buried in the sand and butts in the air continuing to be kicked, and folks don’t flinch, as racism don’t give an inch. It’s actually normalized while colored folks continue to smile, dance and scratch where they don’t itch, poverty pimping and don’t give a shit about Black and poor people. 

If you believe in electoral politics, make your vote count by investigating the history of those claiming to have your best interest at heart.  What has been their contribution, and to what degree has their contribution made our collective lives better.  It should be obvious to us that those who have been in office for years, and have failed to challenge in any substantial way institutional impoverishment, they should not be granted the value of your vote… PERIOD!

Yours in continued fierce struggle,

Brother Jalil Muntaqim

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  • Dwayne Ivery

    January 14, 2024 / at 5:21 pmsvgReply

    So let us see what is truth or what is false in a deep corrupt atmosphere.

  • Prihlásení

    May 10, 2024 / at 5:20 amsvgReply

    Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

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