Sunday, April 18, 2010

#148 Lack of Understanding (retro)

Lack of Understanding

Today I got some nice Christmas music running in the back, and have been answering a few emails throughout the day from some readers, which is always cool. I always try to give you my very best when I blog, and if you have emailed me, you should be able to tell that I don’t give too many generic responses. If you email me, I email you back.

Today I am blogging over something that happened just a few minutes ago, and I get kinda bent out of shape when this happens. I had been sharing a few of my old blogs on a prison site, and hoping to get some new readers from there.

One of the blogs I shared was my “Inmate Hierarchy of Needs”, many of you may have read that, if not I hope it is still back there. If not, let me know and I will repost it or you.

The idea of that blog, which actually turned out to be over 20 pages long, was to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and adapt it to that of inmates and ex felons, in an attempt to get you to see how critical it is to help change a person or understand some of the reasons why ex felons fail… or in some cases succeed.

Now if you have NOT READ that blog, I strongly suggest you either find it, or google “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” and read up on it for a moment.

I am serious folks, it helps you understand what I am blogging about today.

If you have, then let’s continue….

Anyway, I posted the first part of that on the prison site, and today I got a response from somebody there. I read it and got upset at the comment, because one thing I really, REALLY don’t like is when some jackass comes on a post to try to correct somebody.

This is why I blog, because here I don’t have to kiss anybody’s butt about what I write about, but I keep getting drawn to these sites because somebody asked me to share some of my blogs there.

I read the person’s comments, and went to the site trying to bite my tongue. I did NOT agree with that person said, but I also had to understand that he or she was commenting on what they THOUGHT they knew…I mean, in general, am I not doing the same?

Still, I did not appreciate the comments made on my post. The first thing out of this person’s mouth was that they didn’t think Maslow’s was applied to inmates, but rather “normal” people, with a loving mom and dad in their childhood.

This person also goes on to give us their opinion of where all inmates come from, saying that inmates come from dysfunctional families with a single parent or raised by a foster parent who was abusive. They go on to say that a lack of proper nurturing is why inmates are not successful in life and that these inmates are quick to exert predatory dominance on others.

Further this jerk says that counseling and treatment starts for those who think, “that they are different from US”, and why they feel it necessary to prey on others or do not have the moral conscience that guides us.

I felt sick reading that crap… but let me finish…

This “genius” then gives some stupid example of an elephant who was violent against other elephants, and when they studied into it, they found that the elephant was raised in a circus and kept away from other elephants, and thus developed distrust with others like him, and attacked them to exert his dominance. The person says that they find that article significant to understanding human behavior, and that we need proper nurturing and guidance in our youth or else we will turn out like that violent elephant and exert aggression and predatory behavior.

Forgive me a minute while I step away and vomit this crap out of my mouth….


I was so angry at this ignorance of this idiot that I could have seen red letters here, but instead what I decided to do was go back, make a short answer to that reply, and then post my second part of the 20 part blog. This is what I wrote on that reply:

“I understand your point, but my article clearly says this is an adaptation, meaning it was not designed to be word-for-word by Maslow. What I have presented is an adaptation of how inmates or former felons can get their lives back together. Some here might also debate what you may truly consider "normal" and the idea that every ex felon comes from a dysfunctional home... not always true.

Understanding criminal behavior and finding solutions to help those who have gone through the prison system may sound similar, but there are numerous differences, many in the ideas that lots of people forget about those who have done time, and try to find a reason why people do what they do.

Maslow's theory is based on the basic needs of a human being...regardless of whether they were rich, white, black, poor, dysfunctional or not... and this also include to some degree inmates or ex felons. There clearly must be a realistic attempt to understand how to get ex felons back into society so that they do not go back, and many of these things are based on the fundamentals of life itself.

A person who comes out of a wonderful home can STILL go to prison if the circumstances are "right". A person from a dysfunctional home can turn out to be a fine person if given the right guidances. But when those things don't go right, how then do we as human beings help them back on track? I don't agree with the idea of "proper nurturing" either, because just as Maslow was criticized as this only being a theory, so is most other ideas.

I understand where you are coming from, but we will have to disagree on how you see that inmates are predatory animals, much like an elephant, rather than human being that God created, and deserve a second chance to get their lives back and make amends....even the worst of us can change if given a chance, rather than just seen as a monster.”

After I wrote that, I proceeded to place the second installment of my blog there, as if to say, “as I was saying…”.

So, why am I so pissed off about that response? Well, for many reasons, and all based on the ignorance of the writer. The response this person makes seems quite clear that there is no real sympathy for ex felons, or inmates, moreso that they (me included) are nothing but predatory monsters and should be studied like animals.

My first argument is in the mere fact that this jerk is arguing me on a technicality. I made is VERY CLEAR that the article was an adaptation on Maslow’s Needs, I did not say I was applying it directly. That’s like if you asked me the score for last night’s game and I told you something like, “I know Boston won, I think it was by 3 points”, and then some jerk steps in and says, “no Boston won by 7 points”.

My blog was very clear to say that I was making a comparison, not that I was using the model of Maslow’s Needs for inmates. But this person just had to come off correcting me, while missing the ENTIRE point of the article.

Second, this person says that the model applies only to normal people. Who then is really normal? By this person’s idea, then NOBODY on that entire site qualifies if they have a son or daughter in prison, meaning they are not, and maybe never have been normal.

Be very, very careful how you judge other people when you are on a site of sympathy and understanding. What this person is doing is separating himself or herself from everybody else by saying that they are not normal. Define “normal” to me, and also understand this, if that person is right, then we must assume that ALL families that do not have loved ones in prison are indeed normal…otherwise they would have a son or daughter in prison, right?

Stupid thoughts.

The next thing that gets me upset is how this person CONVENIENTLY places the problems of society on the laps of single parents or foster parents. This person believes that all inmates come from this group, and have been sexually, emotionally, physically or otherwise abused. Now, am I saying there is no truth to this, not at all, but I am saying quite adamantly that this is not the case for every person sitting in a jail cell or prison cell.

See the problem here is that this one individual thinks he or she has “figured it all out” and knows exactly where all inmates come from. Only a fool would think they knew it all. I have written a few thousand pages on prison, and I have not even scratched the surface, how then can some idiot who never set foot in a prison say that they know where inmates come from?

I also really do not like or agree with the “proper nurturing” that this person believes is the cure all for crime in America. If every mother and father did what they were supposed to do, nobody would ever be in trouble…garbage…ever heard of the devil?

You can be properly nurtured from infant to teen, and then go to college and do a complete change in your life. You can be doing the right thing for 30 years and in one day, lose everything and end up in jail. This person foolishly ignores the fact that life changes from one second to the next, and although proper nurturing is fine, it is not a perfect guarantee.

But what makes this worse is that this person seems to think that felons and ex felons are predatory animals, looking for people to bully, or exert aggression on. This person has almost literally stated that every inmate in prison is indeed a monster, not a human being, because they are comparing them to animals.

Then there is the comment about “moral conscience”, and how this person thinks that “they” are not like “us”.

We are talking about YOUR brother, YOUR sister, YOUR son, YOUR daughter, YOUR father, mother, aunt, best friend, boy friend, girlfriend, classmate, wife, husband, and or church member. How can these people be “them” and you be “us”.

To me, that is a sign of someone who truly believes that they are superior to such people, and the moment that is shown, such a person cannot be reasoned with. We as a nation cannot even attempt to define “moral conscience”, how then can we use such a term against one another? Again, these are foolish words spoken by a person who obviously had not a care about any inmates, and sees them only as animals.

And about the elephant thing…don’t compare HUMANITY to animals, we are different. Humans are far more redeeming, otherwise we would not be celebrating CHRISTMAS right now…

So I posted my blog, and came immediately here to blog out my thoughts. If not, I would have said some much stronger words on that post, and we all know how that goes. Some jerk spits on my post, I debate it and I get warned, banned or my post removed, and NOBODY wins.

So right now I am upset at that, but I have read enough of those kinda stupid remarks in the last 5 years, I ought to be resistant to that by now. One thing I do take comfort in, is that on this blog, I ALWAYS get the last word. So maybe it is a good thing that I blogged out my thoughts because I am willing to bet that the person who made that stupid remark is going to defend their remarks on my post, and if I retaliate, then it will just keep spinning. If it happens again, I will just state very clearly, “I do not agree with it”, and then keep posting. No need casting my pearls before … well you know.

Anyway, email me at derf4000 (at) embarqmail (dot) com, I promise not to get mad if you are nice…..

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