Sunday, November 24, 2013

Anthropology Study of a Matriarchal Community

The IndyStar has been doing a series on the cycle of violence in Indianapolis. Today's article is a masterpiece of anthropological work without the journalist knowing it. The piece is called "Saving Damarcus", following a family of seven (two parents) in a rough neighborhood living at Hawthorne Place. Hawthorne Place is near 32nd and Emerson Avenue. The NY Times census tract shows the population has dropped 15% in the three census tracts bordering there, and the area is roughly 90% black. It is a long read but entertaining.

Brilliant Points
1. A murder opens the article but surprise surprise, nobody done seen nothing. No snitching.
2. A tornado destroyed Damarcus' family's previous apartment, forcing them to move to Hawthorne. Things were terrible, the neighborhood was awful, and they lived a rough life. Momma was out of work but she still found time to get pregnant with her new husband, bringing the kid total to five.
3. People are constantly beating and fighting one another for everything and anything.
4. People who cry that they will move out in 30 days become very picky home buyers. "Creepy basement, "beat up floors" and "dead roaches" are NOT obstacles to buying a home when your current home had a shooting right outside, and it was treated as a normal event.
5. The schools are grasping at straws to reward students that they declare "high honor roll" for attendance and good behavior.

Some might argue it is racist to call this a ghetto, but let me quote resident Tyeisha Tillman (Damarcus' mom) who said, "A lot of people around here are ghetto as hell". Not her with the neck tattoo, government assistance and history of bad decisions. This ghetto is a matriarchal tribe, and we know that it is without that label by the most interesting nugget buried in the article (pardon the poor sentence structure, the reporter is a journalist after all).

"The 271 teens and kids in the complex outnumber adults by nearly 100. And single moms dominate, with 164 women aged 18 or older - compared to only 17 men."

The children live with mom so it is matrilocal as well as matrilineal. This community with all its dysfunction has 181 potential voters. Checking the complex's demographics, that equates to 172 Democrats with 258 more in the pipeline.

1 comment:

Portlander said...

As a former Hoosier, I really like the occasional IN-centric post.

Also, saw your comment over at Exurb Nation. Kind of funny bumping into you (so to speak) in that little eddy of the internet.

I think the Dearieme guy has to be the commenter that I've seen span the widest subject range of the blogs that I follow... that would be an interesting project I'm sure the NSA has undertaken at least as a proof on concept. Google among others has maps of popularity. How about a color-coded map showing the sites one frequents vs. other bloggers and blog commenters. Which combination of sites are unique to me?