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obligation to eradicate poverty by utilizing the full constitutional power, statutory authority,
and resources of our government to provide opportunities for all and to develop pathways out
of poverty. Some of these opportunities and pathways include economic opportunities, job training,
livable wages, education, mental health services, affordable housing, health care, child nutrition and a
responsible foreign policy. 19 | P a g e Mass Transit Affirmative BDL Answers to: No Impact to Poverty [____] [____] Poverty is a hidden evil that systematically targets the weak and poor, constantly
James Gilligan, professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center f or the
Study of Violence, 1996
(Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and its Causes, p 191-196)
The deadliest form of violence is poverty. You cannot work for one day with the violent people
who fill our prisons and mental hospitals for the criminally insane wit hout being forcible and
constantly reminded of the extreme poverty and discrimination that characterizes their lives.
Hearing about their lives, and about their families and friends, you are forced to recognize the
truth in Gandhi’s observation that the deadliest form of violence is poverty. Not a day goes by
without realizing that trying to understand them and their violent behavior in purely individual
terms is impossible and wrong-headed. Any theory of violence, especially a psychological theory,
that evolves from the experience of men in maximum security prisons and hospitals for the
criminally insane must begin with the recognition that these institutions are only microcosms.
They are not where the major violence in our society takes place, and the perp etrators who fill
them are far from being the main causes of most violent deaths. Any approach to a theory of
violence needs to begin with a look at the structural violence in this country. Focusing
merely on those relatively few men who commit what we def ine as murder could distract us from
examining and learning from those structural causes of violent death that are far more significant
from a numerical or public health, or human, standpoint. By “structural violence” I mean the
increased rates of death, and disability suffered by those who occupy the bottom rungs of
society, as contrasted with the relatively lower death rates experienced by those who are
above them. Those excess deaths (or at least a demonstrably large proportion of them) are a
function of class structure; and that structure is itself a product of society’s collective
human choices, concerning how to distribute the collective wealth of the society. These are not
acts of God. I am contrasting “structural” with “behavioral violence,” by which I mean the nonnatural deaths and injuries that are caused by specific behavioral actions of individuals against
individuals, such as the deaths we attribute to homicide, suicide, soldiers in warfare, capital
punishment, and so on. Structural violence differs from behavioral violen...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14