Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza

Povertenza

Dear Judge,

I know that Davontaye’s actions caused the deaths of four people. But please don’t give him life in prison. He suffers from Povertenza. You may not know about this condition but Povertenza is an illness that people from impoverished socio-economic backgrounds have.

Due to the inability to access quality education and employment, Davontaye’s development has been stifled. This leads to poor decision making and I would further argue that since his neighborhood sees so much death and destruction, that he may even suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in addition to Povertenza.

Judge, it is clear that Davontaye can not be held responsible for his actions. He needs rehabilitation, not prison. Prison would only worsen his mental condition. 

Sincerely,

J.A.M.

This defense obviously doesn’t work for black  and poor youth. Yet, news outlets are spiraling about 16 year-old  Ethan Couch who caused the deaths of 4 people by drunk driving. His defense, was that he suffered from “Affluenza” a disorder that only the affluent have. According to his lawyers, Couch was shielded from personal responsibility his entire life. Discipline is not a word in his vocabulary.

Affluenza

Judge Jean Boyd sentenced him Tuesday to 10 years of probation but no jail time, saying she would work to find him a long-term treatment facility.

But Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” “There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day. The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can’t buy justice in this country.” – CNN

Basically, Couch was coddled his entire life and now his punishment is more coddling.

On the flip side, there are millions of under-privileged youth across America, that have lived under the worst conditions imaginable. They’ve witnessed murders, endured hunger, and survived sexual abuse. However, upon committing a crime, they are handed down the harshest prison sentences imaginable. As I’ve pointed out before, many youth spend years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit because they didn’t have enough money to sway the justice system or get proper legal counsel. It’s a non-laughable joke.

If “Affluenza” is real, then I posit that my newly coined “Povertenza” be considered. Instead of jumping to fill up prisons, let’s start putting youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in treatment facilities. This would be ideal, but it won’t happen because there is too much money to be made. This is one of the reasons why Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr was able to sell 5,000 children to prisons.

Disgraced Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prisons to sentence juvenile offenders to maximum sentences for bribes and kickbacks which totaled millions of dollars. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

In the private prison industry the more time an inmate spends in a facility, the more of a profit is reaped from the state. Ciavearella was a figurehead in a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit. – Examiner

Most of the children he sentenced are likely to be from backgrounds that are far less privileged than anything Ethan Couch has experienced. His sentencing tells us a lot about the American justice system and how deeply embedded economic disparities are when it comes to accountability. Essentially, the poor are expected to be more accountable for their actions while the wealthy are viewed as inherently respectable (especially if they’re white). Being from what people view as a “good” family can go a long way. This opens the door for more opportunities and the right to be viewed as non-threatening even when your actions prove otherwise. This is exactly why racial and economic inequalities are an on-going battle.

The next time someone tells you that there is no such thing as “White” privilege or elitism, ask them why Affluenza is a viable defense but Povertenza isn’t.

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com. To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.

Follow OurLegaci on Facebook at Facebook.com/OurLegaci.

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484 thoughts on “Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza

  1. There is still a lot of racism, not only against black people but also against people of ALL SKIN COLORS. I think this article can be easily mistaken as a way to “trash talk white people” because it does easily categorize white people into the “privileged rich” category and the black/colored people into the “unprivileged poor” category.

    Overall I feel that YES, black people do receive worse treatments because of their skin color and the overall prejudices and social stereotypes that were predisposed on their race. The main understanding one should receive from the article is a raised awareness of injustice in the judicial system. In truth, this situation can happen to anyone, but this is seen as a way to raise awareness that YES, there is still unfairness and inequality in this world.

    I disagree with the way the author put in the forefront of the article a slash against the “privileged white.” To me, the last sentence changed my entire mind about the article. It was strong and unforgiving, in a way that made me feel as though there was more angst and hatred against the white race than a desire to improve the situation of the black race. She had completely switched the topic of “improving the condition of the underprivileged races” to “oh look how disgusting the privileged white race is.”

    We should work harder to find a way to improve the situation of all the impoverished and mistreated people in the world.

    • I think the author missed the fact that if this person didn’t have money, the judge would have thrown the book at him. I think money talks and life is worthless at that point. These judges need to be investigated by the State Attorney General’s Office for making bad decisions like that. I hope the families appeal.

  2. who said that this defense “obviously doesn’t work for black and poor youth”? We can’t blame this on the fact that he is white. That is completely absurd. I’m not saying that there is no racism and that it isn’t a problem, but with this particular situation, race is not the issue. At all.

    • Um…wow. I’d say that considering how, with all things equal (to include income of the accused, and the crime being charged), that blacks receive 20% times the sentences of whites, that it would be pretty safe to say that, all other aspects equal, if this involved a black person, the book would have been thrown at them.

      Also, consider: the same judge sentenced a black youth for ONE (1) count of manslaughter to 10 years — but you’re right: race, or white privilege had nothing to do with that…

  3. Pingback: This Kid Killed 4 People in a Drunk Driving Crash. Here’s How He Dodged 20 Years in Prison. | Webanews
  4. Reblogged this on cakelee vannila and commented:
    Add your beautifully articulated! truth resounds in your words!
    i read through a couple of the comments above, i have to admit not many, but the idea that race had no hand in this is absolutely outrageous. when white ppl deny institutionalized racism (the only ppl who buy into this theory are wealthy, white liberalesque) it allows our culture to stick it’s head in the sand continuing to allow it to happen and condoning it. also, classism plays a huge part in this whole deal! i appreciate your pointing out exposure to violence and the fight for daily survival those in poverty are exposed to. when we see a cop, he is there to remove someone, not protect someone. fighting for things like food, access to proper medical care and keeping the bills on engulfs our minds, consuming our thoughts, taking away our power to think about long-term solutions to our problems. it is necessary to be hyper-focused on basic needs-food, shelter, heat, transportation, child care, exhaustion, health, mental health-that it is impossible to put energy into anything else. our ghettos grow larger everyday. as public access to proper education decreases, poverty increases. and bc of institutionalized racism, patriarchy, sexism, etc. the ppl most affected by these issues are people of color, immigrants, and mothers. for anyone who denies that these things are real, that it is perpetrated upon us in a way that has been strategically planned out, i would suggest looking at the rate of incarceration of people of color for nonviolent offenses, the rate of literacy in comparison to rich white counterparts, the quality of education overall in low income areas. this has been put in place by those in power to ensure they stay in power by not allowing us the time to look around us and take care of the overall illness, we can only treat the symptoms which come down on us like torrential flood-waters.

    • OJ Simpson
      Don King
      Ray Lewis
      Leonard Little –
      Michael Vick
      R Kelly
      Kobe Bryant
      50 Cent
      Snoop Dogg
      Gene Atkins
      I found these examples in about 5 minutes of research. All wealthy black, some famous, individuals who got away with crimes or with extremely light sentences.

      Its class not race that is the issue. If it were a rich black kid who did this, he probably would have had the same result as this white kid.

      “Refusing to address the role that class plays in the criminal justice system, and politics in general, makes it all but impossible to address the root causes of 2 million people behind bars in the U.S. Race and racism do play a factor, but only indirectly. To the extent that blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately poor compared to overall society, they are disproportionately represented in the prison population. Few studies have examined the correlation between race and class. One of the few that did, (cited in Elliott Currie’s Crime and Punishment in America), looked at the crime, arrest and incarceration rates in a poor black neighborhood and a poor white neighborhood in Ohio. The not so surprising conclusion was that it is the poor, regardless of race, who bear the brunt of the war on crime, which sounds better than a “war on the poor.” This explains why whites are in prisons and the relative absence of wealthy minorities from prisons and jails. ” -https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/(X(1)S(rc3zb3enafq3ly55w25fhtek))/displayArticle.aspx?articleid=6070&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

      • i can agree with you to an extent on class playing a part in the rate of incarceration in our country, but it is true that when my white son walks down the street in the housing assistance apartment areas of town (we are poor) with his friends, the cops just drive by, they may ask what he’s doing in that neighborhood, but that is rare. if a black teen is walking down the street in his neighborhood no matter how wealthy he is, there is more than a 75% chance he will be stopped especially if walking w a group of friends. we are still living in a racist society, no matter how much we want to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. it is real. i don’t believe a black wealthy boy would have gotten off with the same light punishment as this white kid. i just don’t buy that. when you look at the prison system in relation to jim crow laws you can see how we have just shifted focus. yes, there are some wealthy black men who have gotten off for crazy crimes, but did you research how many white famous ppl that got off? yes, class alot of play but race is just as much of a factor. i suggest everyone who looks at the criminal justice system and sees, regardless of why, injustices-whether the cause is classism or racism-to read the new jim crow by michelle alexander. she talks alot about a racial caste system and breaks it down very well.

      • Please understand that each and everyone one of these individuals is a HIGH PROFILE, HIGHLY VISIBLE PEOPLE OF COLOR.

        In addition, the quote you’ve posted completely ignores the fact that while white poor people are more likely than wealthy white people to be bear the brunt of the war on crime, Black people and Latino people are arrested and convicted as far higher rates that makes this comparison completely ignorant of the current climate of criminal justice and race relations in the United States. If you have Black men getting arrested and incarcerated at substantially higher the rate than White men as a whole, are we going to seriously conclude that it is only class that is having an impact? And are we also going to ignore the fact that by and large Black people are more likely to be poor and live in areas that are more heavily patrolled by police (although not necessarily more crime ridden)? Are we going to continue to ignore that a majority of the crimes they’re arrested and incarcerated for are non-violent, yet they’re still subjected to lengthy sentences and no one bats and eyelash to figure out a more productive, less destructive manner in which to handle and issue that has been ongoing for nearly 3 decades?

        Let’s stop with the minimization of race issues. If we really want to solve this problem, people are going to have to be up front and stop skirting around the issues.

  5. I would like to think that the problem is in the parenting. This young man has in fact been spoiled all of his life by his parents. If the guidance of this kid has been to coddle him and pay for his mistakes literally, then the parents should suffer the consequences along with the child. Unfortunately that is how this country has been unfolding for years. The rich get richer and choose to let others parent their children and bail them out when it seems fit. The poor get poorer and most often then not, don’t even have parents or even a parent to help tell them right from wrong. Race does play a part in this matter, but it definitely boils down to the parents. They don’t want this kid to pay heed to what he has done and in my eyes that makes them just as guilty.

  6. I swear to god the day I hear a black person verbally admit that there is such a thing as racist black people (it’s tough, they like to think they’re the persecuted ones and no one else is), I will start giving spare change to the homeless niggers on the streets (even if they are just going to go buy a colt 45 and a gram of crack with that money)

    • First of all we are not niggers …fixed your damn mouth fool! We are called Moors…look us up if you have not been educated on the real word of Black people ..means Moor! Get it ? loose the language yo..! rvbeypublications.com excuse your ignorance ..If this is the killer of my beloved one Trey ,you will be hunted down by the death angels ..you can not run or hide from the wrath of The Most High God..!

      • You say your are not nig—-, yet yesterday I saw two 40 year old “Moors” fighting in the park calling each other nigg—-, and letting all the kids around them hear. If you want the n word to go away start tell the Moors not to use it anymore.

      • My last name comes from the Moors and I’m Sicilian. My last name is from the prominent Moors. My lineage originates from Ethiopia. Does yours? If not, don’t claim to be something you’re not in order to make empty threats. It’s against the Rules of Conduct on this site!

    • I swear to god the day I hear a white person verbally admit there is such a thing as racist white people (it’s tough, they like to think they’re the persecuted ones and no one else is), I will start giving spare change to the homeless crackers on the streets (even if they are just going to buy a colt 45 and awaken their dormant serial killer genes)

      • there is such thing as racist white people, you must be fucking dumb to think there isn’t and im sure most white people can admit that.
        theres a difference between a African Americans and niggers and you my sad friend sound like a nigger.

      • Start giving that money up. I am part white and have met at least 5 -10 white people who are real racists. However, I have met only about 5 -10 black people who aren’t racist. Our society teaches black people that white people keep them down. I didn’t know Jesse, bozo, and Uncle Al were white. What America is suffering from is White Guilt. It is time to end this problem. Black people can succeed on their own.

      • Well my post was in complete humor to the one I was responding to (Zimmerman). I honestly don’t know who is serious and who isn’t, because the topic itself is ridiculous IMHO. We’re all humans, period. People don’t understand we live in a matrix, proven by the double slit experiment, quantum mechanics:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

      • Hi Patrick, you should choose your words according to your audience! Didn’t you read the Zimmerman’s comment :/
        PS. Liked your quantum reference by the way!
        Peace

      • In a sense, I don’t have a specific audience targeted with my ironic humor. Everyone who reads it will see it differently, and that’s the great thing about this reality: we see what we want to see! But if people go as far as to reply to me, that sets in motion an opportunity to raise people’s awareness! =D

      • HAAHHAH Straigth up! your comment is funny because it’s so true. Some bloggers lacks the ability to understand satire ironic humour but it’s aight. For those who don’t understand what Patrick’s comment meant, here’s a translation:” Everyone who sees themselves as a persecuted minority would be in direct defensive and offensive reacting towards the issue at hand. And thus, resulting in stereotyping and generalizing with lope-sided arguable statements.” Hence, both the George and Patrick’s statements are treated equally. that is why it’s funny. =D

      • Now here’s a guy who speaks near my level! You picked up on the meanings I was trying to convey. We’re the ones who understand Jon Stewart AND Steven Colbert! =D

      • I would be staggered by the number of people that didn’t understand the satirical point you were making if it weren’t so bloody sad. I appreciated your witticism. Mind you, I also like Stewart, Colbert AND Carlin, so there it is. I do wonder why you waste your time and intellect here, though…

      • hahahah yes!!! I am white and I approve this post! Sadly, no race has caused more harm to other human beings than white folks (and many times because we somehow think we are superior). I really enjoyed this article and it’s a shame to see all this hateful speech on the comment thread.

      • awesome. i am white. there are white racists. please dont give them change. i love my children and dont want any more serial killers, or racist.

    • I admit there are PLENTY of racist black people. You even have black supremacist group that call for the hatred of white people. With that said, i don’t suggest that you give money to dope fiends and criminals.

    • George Zimmerman, you should be put away for life and ass raped every day, you piece of shit. George, suck a dick, you racist fuck.

    • Folks, before you respond to “George Zimmerman”, I should point out that this is not the child-murderer George Zimmerman from the crud red state of Florida, with the low IQ. This is George Zimmerman from AEI, probably THE TOP, TOP conservative intellectual in the Republican Party – I am not exaggerating.

      I am serious about him being the top, you simply will not find a more intelligent Republican – anywhere. So, when you respond, you will need to summon ALL of your clever argumentation skills.

    • funny how a cowardly white will type the n word but never say t to a black mans face unless he brings 30 of his friends to fight one black man. thats call coward. kkk, nazi, skin head all y’all and the likes of you all are cowards. bet you will say alot in print but you will never say it to my face when u r alone. ever

      • is there anything more cowardly than saying “you won’t say that to my face” over the Internet. im not justifying anything you’re arguing against, but the hypocrisy in this post is too comical to let slide

    • Dude, are you serious? Of course, there are racist black people; I’ve met more of them than racist white people, and I live in the South. That said though, black people are persecuted quite a lot along with several other disenfranchised groups which can be summarized as anyone who is not straight, white, middle class or higher, and male. Try to tell me that doesn’t put a whole lot of people at a disadvantage from the get-go and I will laugh in your face.

      Also, stereotyping homeless folks is just not on. Most people who are on the streets aren’t actually addicts/alcoholics. Shit happens, and everyone doesn’t have a tidy little trust fund and a supportive family/group of friends as a safety net. So hop off.

      Perspective: Gay black female from GA.

  7. You had everything right until you made this a race issue. The issue is money. You’re stereotyping here, thus making yourself ignorant to the facts. White, Black, Green or Blue is irrelevant here. The fact is that wealthy people have access to resources that the poor do not, which leads to “affluenza.”
    I am not defending “affluenza,” however making race a focal point here discredits your article and brings up an issue that does nothing but deem yourself naive to the facts.

    • Agree with Jim Bow!!! Stop making race an issue, that’s not why the kid in Texas got 10 years probation. Wish you could rewrite this article without the race issue. I agreed with you till that came up and I had shared it on my social page but I’m taking it off now.

    • JAM’s thesis is just perfect for the occassion and she did not make it about “race” because she mentioned the doctor who was making his fortune off of b asically ‘holding children in bondage to make money.’ That’s enslavement. And check out the story, in Pennsylvania, it was white kids who got the shaft. This is a true story and there are more like it out there. No. It is not a ‘race’ thang; it’s an American thang. Even more, if you dare to notice; it isn’t even “rich” vs. “poor” and her concept and thesis does say that too because all poor Americans are not dark-shaded. Some are white. THIS IS ABOUT SOME JUDGES WHO ARE GOING WAY ACROSS THE LINE METING OUT UNEQUAL AND UNFAIR AND OUTRAGEOUS JUSTICE. THE JUSTICE SYSTEM BELONGS TO US, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…NOT TO A ‘FEW’ ROGUE JURISTS. WE NEED TO SUPPORT THE EFFORTS OF PEOPLE LIKE BLOGGER JAM TO COME OUT AGAINST UNFAIR SENTENCING.–MO

    • You’re an idiot. Poverty disproportionately affects people of color who have been SLAVES and segregated from society, and not given the same rights and privileges as whites. And, I AM white. I still cannot believe white people don’t see this and refuse to see afluenza and white privilege. It’s embarrassing.

      • You are absolutely correct, Summer. I am white, but thank God I’m aware of what white privilege is and that I’m not blinded by it. I’m poor myself and probably would not fare as well as Mr. Couch if I were to be in a situation like that, but the fact is people of color are disproportionately in poverty. The author got this right by including this in her essay here. For white people to say ‘that is of their own choosing to be in poverty’ is absolutely ignorant and shows that they have no clue about their own white privilege. And you are right, it is embarrassing. And incredibly sad for us as a nation.

      • Balderdash! Poverty is a horrible thing. Regardless of race. Folks today are given all the same opportunity no one alive today is or was a slave or is affected by slavery anymore. It IS time to recognize that there are affluent families we should do away with inheritance entirely. Too many undeserving welps are allowed to own companies they did not work to build. Walmart anyone? It is time to stop rewarding folks for being born with a silver spoon in their mouths. All men should be made equal at 18. (Since birth does not seem to achieve this goal.) Do away with ivy league schools make all schools equal and make them all fight for the same funding. Take the wealth back from those who earned it when they pass on. Certainly if you are self made you deserve to reap the rewards of what you have built, made, or earned. But once you and your spouse die? It should become public domain. Those who run a company of a deceased founder should be elected by the workers of that company. All positions of authority should be elected positions. It is time to do away with nepotism and class by birth distinctions. Let those who are truly worthy make their own way. Let those who rule always be elected to their positions.

        As a fictional character once had to say: The rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few or the one.

    • I would say that Socioeconomic Status is becoming more and more important when it comes to prejudice, but you are misinformed if you think that it’s the only issue. There are still studies done showing that many employers are more likely to hire a white man with a criminal record than a black man with the same qualifications. There are a dozen other studies that say the same thing in different ways. It would be nice if race was a non-issue, but that’s just not true.

      This kid got off because he was rich, but I’m pretty sure that his race also influenced the decision. I think the author is valid in suggesting that his race was a determining factor in the injustice.

      • Considering the knee-jerk-backlash many comments are receiving I just want to say this was a great thought. As a mixed (half asian/half white) male with a criminal record, it has been a nightmare finding work. So you can imagine my terror at the thought that despite how bad I have it, there are other people who have not made the same mistakes I did with even more obstacles. If you could locate this information again I’d love to read it. Again, thanks for the insightful input.

      • Thank you. I knew there were going to be some “race does not matter it’s all about money” people on here. Ignoring the fact that, particularly in America, race and class are tied together after centuries of Whites having an advantage. Even when study after study, controlling for class, show that Black people get harsher sentences than White people for the same exact crimes, people still want to say race doesn’t matter (or it doesn’t matter as much as we’re making it matter) and that it’s all about class and money. No, you are not going to see a defense like this for poor White people. But you also most certainly would not have seen (and will never see) this same defense for a Black youth (especially a Black boy) with his same economic background. No lawyer, judge, etc. would even fathom it.

    • Why can’t it be both? Why can’t it be a combination of racism and “income-ism?” One has to admit that being poor and white in America is (typically) difficult. Being poor and black is (typically) more difficult. With that said, that is not to remove the burden of responsibility from the poor who habitually make stupid and immoral decisions… just as it doesn’t from the wealthy.

  8. Has the entire world gone crazy?! Both of these arguments are insane and obscene! Affluenza or Povertenza, are simply society’s way of not making people take responsibility for themselves. God help us all.

      • You were correct until the author closed with this: “The next time someone tells you that there is no such thing as “White” privilege or elitism, ask them why Affluenza is a viable defense but Povertenza isn’t.” She uses the declarative “Povertenza isn’t.” but, as I understood and you point out, this is supposed to be satire. It fails at that because the fact is that socioeconomic status, exposure to violence, absent father, and other arguments ARE used to either absolve a defendant or mitigate his offense in sentencing, to varying degrees of success having nothing to do with a monied mouthpiece.

    • I’ll diverge slightly and say that I believe the author isn’t saying “povertenza” is a ridiculous idea, but that’s because a judge has decided that “affluenza” is not a ridiculous defense. The “ridiculous” bar has been moved.

  9. @Rob, I strongly suspect that JAM knows that ‘Povertenza’ is a ridiculous notion and merely invented it to ironically illustrate an equally ridiculous and contrived notion; ‘Affluenza’.

  10. I’d like to congratulate those of you who think race has nothing to do with it. That must mean you have no idea what it’s like to be racially profiled or simply treated a certain way (on a regular basis) because of your race. Seriously, I’m happy for you. But, just because that’s your experience, does not mean its everyone else’s. Race plays a huge role in so many issues. I’m not saying it’s everything, but you must be in some serious denial to think it has nothing to do with anything.

    • I do, actually. Also profiled on gender and age. By store clerks; by school mates. I do not believe I have ever called a black person by a racially loaded epithet, whether in jest or in anger. I have, in the past, been called names or treated differently by black school mates because I was white. And I was profiled explicitly in a store because I was at the time a teenage girl. It happens.

    • Racism does exist. It’s a human trait. Everybody’s a little bit racist. If you think growing up at a predominantly black school as a white guy was an advantage, I sure would’ve liked to know that years ago.

    • Try being the only white guy in my neighborhood then come talk to me about racism. Racism happens, but almost never is a valid excuse for anything.

      ONE judge in ONE part of the ENTIRE COUNTRY gives a white kid ten years probation for drunk driving.

      A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT JUDGE, with an ENTIRELY different mindset, in an ENTIRELY different situation, with NUMEROUS DIFFERENCES, will probably NOT give that EXACT sentence to a black kid.

      = Racism?

      We can stop joking around here, now.

  11. Reblogged this on Live, Learn, Travel, Teach and commented:
    Maybe you’ve heard of the recent travesty in the American justice system. The “Affluenza” defense which allowed Ethan Couch to kill 4 people while drunk driving and receive probation, and 10 years of rehab instead of jail time because he was too rich to be taught right from wrong or how to understand the consequences of his actions.
    JAM has come up with the perfect solution to the Affluenza defense.
    “If “Affluenza” is real, then I posit that my newly coined “Povertenza” be considered. Instead of jumping to fill up prisons, let’s start putting youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in treatment facilities”

    • That would be fine, except he is only getting 6 months in that rehab and his RICH, absentee father is footing the bill of $50,000.00 to pay for it! Are YOU willing to pay for all of the ‘poor’ kids the same? I know I can’t.. I don’t have that kind of money, even if it were my own son!

  12. Pingback: Affluenza vs. Povertenza | Karried Away
  13. Enough with the name-calling, people.
    Then again, it makes it all the more clear who is unreasonable.
    I don’t believe this article was intended to be divisive, but the fact of the matter is that white people can be affected by poverty as well and can receive unfair treatment in the court system because of this (although a much larger percentage of black people and Hispanic people are actually affected).
    Look at that – I didn’t even use any slurs.

  14. These comments are crazy and super racist. Just because you’re on the internets doesn’t mean you should show all your ignorance and stupidity. And – the author of this piece is so right! If Affluenza is a disease, so should Povertenza. That boy’s parents didn’t discipline him – he’s killed four people – and because of their failure as parents, the state needs to step in and discipline him instead. He should be in jail. Like any other murderer. The verdict absolutely says “If you are rich, you can buy off justice”. Absolutely.

  15. This story embodies the currents political atmosphere of injustice plaguing America today. Injustice can be identified in many forms, like racisim, classism, sexism, but also in the form of ethnocentrism. For a resolution to this scourge of injustice affecting America to be realized, the populace must act in cohesion toward their intolerance to injustice both domestic and abroad. My condolences to the families of the 4 lives lost and my prayers to the reckless boy who took them, in hopes he will make an attempt for atonement even thought the gravity of his actions are to burdensome to rectify.

  16. Also, are we comparing apples to apples: is Davontaye charged with vehicular manslaughter as the result of drunk driving? If so, I think it would be de rigueur for a defense attorney to bring up any mitigating factors such as depression, anxiety, and other emotional or mental problems which might have contributed to his driving drunk. No question. And I am sure there are judges out there who would absolutely consider such an argument.

  17. Had the offender in this case been Barack obamas daughter, she also would have been excused from being imprisioned in a state penitentiary. Your argument is invalid.

  18. Sometimes, I am really embarrassed to be an American. Like right now, reading this article and all these hateful comments. Its damn ugly.

  19. I do have to point out that the Affluenza defense does not apply to ALL white people. There are plenty of white individuals from low socioeconomic strata who suffer many of the same issues you describe in this blog. I couldn’t be more sickened by the ruling in favor of that rich brat, but I definitely think it was a combined issue of the money and the color of his skin, not merely that he was white. To make that claim, I think is a gross overstatement used to support the notion of “white privilege.” I am not denying that privilege exists, but it is certainly not simply a way of life for anyone with white skin. Money plays a huge part and although most with wealth may be white, that doesn’t mean that most whites have wealth…in fact its the other way around…most whites don’t have wealth. The wealthy whites are evidently an elite class of people that should be considered all on their own. The favoritism shown to them should not be argued as a generalized favoratism to ALL whites. That simply isn’t the truth of the world in which we live.

    • Sorry, I hope that I’m not doing too much by answering your post. I’d have felt rude not to after you commenting on mine.

      I think that what you said here is right. It may have been both. I don’t think that you are saying quite what everyone else is. If I can quote you, “I am not denying that privilege exists.” I promise that I’m not trying to use you out of context but I am excited that you can say that. Many people that I’ve met along the way never could. I don’t think that white privilege says that you get away with murder, the four people who died were likely white. To argue that this is about race would mean that the justice system is ok with white people killing each other but not black people killing each other. Maybe the “white privilege” comment was a throw away because the author couldn’t find a fair way to end this article and still incite comments from the likes of you and I. Maybe you or I should be writing our own article or blogs to define exactly what “white privilege” is.

  20. Pingback: Injustice in the Justice System | Alexander Nachaj
  21. Not trying to “show my colors” on the issue but the prison system and its hold on the minority population (black and brown) is disproportionately large. We can say that its not a color issue but a wealth issue, but then that leads us to ask questions about why greater proportions of black people are poor after their being in america longer than most other people. I think that the writer is trying to comment on the way that racism is institutionalized within our economy and “justice” system.

    • Btw.. Obama is half white so his daughter gets off with around a 4th of the time that a full african-american would serve…

      (P.S. This comment is LOADED with sarcasm for those of you who don’t know what it means to be mixed.)

      • I think that your comment about how “he has money” is, today, an overstatement. (http://newsone.com/2291918/r-kelly-foreclosure/) I don’t think that THAT is about race and not about getting away with horrendous things because he has money. Isn’t that the deal with O.J.? We could make it about highly publicized celebrities. Once your name becomes household your almost sure to end a case in acquittal or crazy house.

        My serious thoughts though lie more in the realm of how an instance applies to a trend. I’m not the author of this post but if I were I would have used this instance to highlight that trend that I’ve mentioned. It’s an emotional appeal paired with a logical one. The numbers have to mean something. Since you replied, I’m really curious as to what you think of the dispraportionate number of hispanic and black people who make up our jailed population if there are more white people in poverty than any of these minorities. I can look to find an article regarding it if you need to.

        P.S. Hi, Lisa! You seem cool. (cause you cite sources) :)

  22. Except affluenza isn’t a valid argument for the defense. Neither is this crock of shit. The defendant was first of all a 16 year old kid, and he was given 10 years probation, and his father had to pay 50k for 6 month rehab, and the judge was known for being lenient with youth. He was not proven innocent in any way, shape, or form.

    That being said, the kids punishment is also known as…

    “If you fuck up, even one time, for any reason, even if you’re jaywalking, you will go to jail/prison for the maximum sentence available for that crime, and charges may be brought back into court, charges may come into account for Probation violations, and you may receive an extension on your probation.”

    Just because one rich white kid got away with seeing no jail time at the tender age of sixteen doesn’t mean

    A. That it is at all ok that he only got 10 years probation.
    B. That we can start handing out get out of jail free cards to people who cost lives all because they were living in a “poor” area.

    The definition of poor in this country is so fucking insanely well off, it’s literally a retarded definition because it genuinely doesn’t represent actual poverty. You must be mentally challenged to think that the Housing, Food, Disability, and Unemployment benefits that our government can provide for honest and genuine citizens could ever really leave anyone in a legitimately impoverished condition. Instead, terrible choices are made, and you see people using food stamps to buy Gushers and call their local welfare offices on a fucking iPhone 5.

    Just because something semi-stupid happened in the court system doesn’t mean we can start pardoning and publicly funding rehab for every dude who grew up “poor.” I live in one of the most violent cities in America per capita, it has a 2 out of 100 crime rating which is equal to that of Detroit, Michigan. I’ve been jumped twice, and guess what?

    I have exactly zero things on my record. Except, I might have to mail in that repair order for my burned out tail-light soon.

    Fuck off.

    Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one, and almost none of them are ever worth two shits.

  23. One of the main 3 goals of the worthless rich is to get us to where, if a Mercedes or above runs over a working American, the cops would not even stop the car. To invent anything at all other than corruption, is not on the agenda of the worthless rich. The 3 goals of the 1%, or the .01% if you prefer, are impunity, public acts of sadism, and 1860s reconstruction style debt-peonage. Their hoped-for means of getting us there are wars, bankruptcy, and blowback.

  24. Let me dissect your closing remarks if you will allow it.

    “”The next time someone tells you that there is no such thing as “White” privilege or elitism, ask them why Affluenza is a viable defense but Povertenza isn’t.Jessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com. To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.””

    – White privilege, eh? Apparently you haven’t seen “White Trash”. This criticism is short and sweet. It speaks for itself.

    – Affluenza wasn’t a viable defense, because he wasn’t proved innocent. It’s not as if the courts do not recognize he committed said crime, it just mitigated his sentence. He is still guilty of DUI and unintentional vehicular manslaughter. So stop saying that “Affluenza is a viable defense,” because guess what? It isn’t. It’s not like other, actual, viable defenses such as an alibi, or well constructed self-defense case.

    – You go on and on about racism, yet you founded a site that exists to service “black” bloggers, which probably looks and feels very friendly with some strong and true messages. While it won’t literally prevent someone who is Spanish, Brazillian, Caucasian, Asian, or anywhere in between from joining your sites (because that is against the law if that is the case), it’s clearly strongly discouraged as the name of the site delegates to the reader (and potential member) it’s true purpose. It’s about on the same page as having a “White Club,” where it’s technically ok to join if you’re any race, but it’s strongly discouraged, which for some reason seems a ton more racist. Isn’t that funny? Not very open-minded of you. Want to argue that this very site isn’t racist? How about the fact you used the word “Our” in the website name. This word implies ownership to the next word, “Legaci” (Legacy). Your mission as quoted on the front page is to “Celebrate Black Life & Culture.” I’m using quotes here not to mock anything on your sight but to logically point out why your site is unfortunately prejudice. Thus the legacy you refer to is the legacy of black individuals. Theres no reason that a person of another race would feel comfortable joining this site unless they can share in the legacy that belongs to black individuals. Legacy means something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor from the past, something that someone without such roots would not be able to claim. Therefore, this site is not for them. You can defend it however you want, this site is clearly supported by black people FOR black people. Website owners and developers that mirror this precedent that have roots in anglo-american, caucasian, or germanic roots, or as you call them “White,” are immediately labeled as racists, and they should be. But yours gets a pass. There’s no such thing as positive racism.

    Seriously, and I mean this wholly and respectfully, get the fuck out of here. Racism only stops when people stop identifying socio-economic statuses with race, which you did throughout your entire article which was rife with bias even before the closing remarks. You want to ridicule a situation with a white kid (Affluenza “Defense”), which was a crock of shit to begin with anyway, and then you praise another hypothetical situation with a black kid that ought be on the same level of ridicule (“Povertenza”). You can’t ridicule one version of this hypothetical defense and then praise another on the other end of the spectrum. You should either claim that socio-economic backgrounds are mitigating factors for crimes, or they aren’t. You can’t have both, or guess what? That means you’re a hypocrite, and a potential classist or racist. Supporting one over the other, for whatever reason. Period. By the way, the second we stop clouding issues regarding individual socio-ecomic statuses with issues regarding race, that will be the second we can all as one united people of the same country can start identifying actual reasons why certain citizens are “impoverished,” which in this country, means you can still eat, sleep in a warm bed, go to school, not walk 10 miles to get clean water, and even own an Xbox 360.

    By the way, stop making up words like “Povertenza,” I realize it was made up to ridicule the Affluenza situation, but it looks as if some bright individuals reading this are starting to believe it’s a real word.

  25. Pingback: Racism? Classism? What do U call It?Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza | six1forecords
  26. so far , all the semantics in the world will never take away from the fact that he did kill 4 people . nor will those same semantics bring those people back . nonsense on the “Povertenza” excuse because that is all it will ever be- an excuse after the fact , after killing four and if excused , sets the ‘tone” for further “excusable” wrong doings .

  27. JAM, I think you are referring to the young man from Detroit, who plead guilty to the homicide of four individuals. He was disadvantaged alright, like a lot of the youth in Detroit. But they are not lined up killing people, and neither are the wealthy affluent people in Texas. Your picture with him covering up his eye is to point out the fact that he was blind in one eye and you did not do much to change his name besides add a “y”. The four people he murdered were Michael Robinson Sr, Nicole Chapman, Brian Dixon, and D’Angelo McNoriell. How do I know? Because those people were my friends and had my van NOT acted up, I would have been over there also. Being poor,nor being rich is an excuse for stupidity. We must rear our children so they are all successful and not let what is displayed on video games, movies, and television become the parents. Save the children but if their bad asses commit a crime, send them to prison like they should be punished. Not sugar coating because of money or lack of. I only wish for their sake, God helps them.

  28. Pingback: Chris Critiques: The Elation of Creation | The Talbot-Heindl Experience, LLC
  29. Pingback: Interrogating the AFFLUENZA defense: how poor Black folk suffer from POVERTENZA | JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.
  30. I had to stop reading the comments on here about this bull crap. There are WAY to many idiots making fools of themselves. I can promise that as many whites were upset about the out come of the verdict this stupid judge handed down. There was NOTHING right about it. Hopefully something can be done about it. It won’t be left alone until something is done.

  31. Pingback: Affluenza – What does this mean socially? | The Spaces Inbetween
  32. Pingback: ‘Affluenza’ Judge Gives Poor Black, Kid More Severe Sentence for Lesser Crime | Brown Girl. Wild World.
  33. Pingback: Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza — The Good Men Project
  34. Pingback: CommonDreams – The Affluenza Defense: All The Injustice Money Can Buy – 20 December 2013 | Lucas 2012 Infos
  35. Is it not obvious that saying “poverty can affect anyone” is totally irrelevant to what is actually the case?

    Of course it is possible, logically, even economically, that anyone can be poor.

    It’s hopelessly obnoxious that anyone thinks it adds value to the discussion, to demonstrate grammatical competency with words like “poor.”

    Start actually thinking.

    That’s like responding to poverty in war-torn countries: “Well, anyone can be poor.”

    This U.S. is a war-torn country that economically bootstrapped itself through commitment to slavery. If you don’t know about The Peculiar Institution, you have absolutely no valuable opinion to contribute to this discussion.

    Don’t be an intellectual black hole cum ahistorical knob; stop trolling; and understand.

    • It *needs* to be understood:

      (1) war-torn

      (2) economic model dependent on slavery

      Stop arguing about divorcing socio-economic class from race as if this country does not have the history it has. Many of these Black families are STILL experiencing the effects of slavery in the U.S.

      It’s like you’re bloody arguing that a slave’s child and a middle-class person’s child have the same socio-economic opportunity — and it impossibly ignorant, no matter how much you huff and puff. You do realize economic algorithms which inform things like SSDI (social security) are based on the description of parents’ income/work history, right?

      What is the income history of a slave? These economic systems were set it place during Segregation.

      Why can’t you be intellectually mature about this? Just why?

  36. I have had much experience and thought that goes into this. I find that often there is a real assumption by the judge and jury that jail time is part of the black experience and therefore the jail time they hand out is not considered a harmful thing. Whereas they see children who are white who come into court and they think that jail will ruin their lives and the assume the trama of even being in court and getting in trouble is enough to keep them out of trouble in the future.

    Now while I admit there is a resiliency that comes along with being black, it doesn’t mean that we are better suited to deal with or handle jail time. I personally think that too many of us are already screwed in our ability to better our station in life because of our past interactions with the criminal “justice” system.

  37. Pingback: Please Excuse Davontaye, He Suffers From Povertenza | To the Moon We Go
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