In Jonathan Kozol’s “Amazing Grace”, he explains the unfair treatment and inequalities of people in America by using the people of New York as an example, namely the youth/young adults. Population losses “within the 20 to 40 age brackets,” he (McNeil) believes, are “far more damaging” in this respect than “destruction of either the very young or the very old.” Indeed, he writes, “any community that loses a substantial percentage of its young adults … finds it hard to maintain itself “materially” or “spiritually.”
Naturally if a population’s numbers are being capsized via its youth, then the literal future of that society is being erased. Due to the “Black Death” of AID’s striking this community, the populous of young people, the literal life essence of New York is being snatched away. Additionally, it shouldn’t be a coincidence that the majority of these numbers are coming from the black and Hispanic populations of this state. In a state where its superiors spend nearly ten time as much money on prisons than it does education for possible future leaders, its no surprise that these numbers are the way they are.
I believe that in bringing this up, Kozol is trying to get a statement across that those who live in the poorer parts of New York, like the Bronx or Brooklyn, live in way worse conditions than that of the richer parts, Manhattan or Queens. The lack of a clean environment and ability to get supplies needed for living is a major part of his argument. Bringing up the fact that 25% of the women in the Bronx have HIV and no means of combating or dealing with it should bring light to the ominous fact that living conditions there are much harder than living conditions in Manhattan where assistance is plentiful for issues like that. It’s understandable when he spoke of the children in those areas being depressed.
“The cost is justified,” says a woman who runs an education program on the island, “in terms that go beyond financial calculations. Without this island, the attractive lives some of us lead in the nice sections of New York would simply not be possible. If you want to get your outcasts out of sight, first you need a ghetto and then you need a prison to take pressure off the ghetto. The fact that it doesn’t make financial sense is not the point. Short-term terror and revulsion are more powerful than long-term wisdom or self-interest. That’s why corrections are one of the few growth industries in New York City now.”
Life has value. Kozol wants us to understand that by showing how the youth of New York feel they are being treated. People say that you died twice, once when your life ends and again when someone forgets you ever existed. The sad fact that these teens likely realize that if they did die, they would just be seen as a statistic is a very sad affair. Kozol truly brings light to the fact that people truly don’t care about what happens to them during and after their lives has ended. And this is the youth, the future of New York. That’s no way to live.