What do we assume is normal, and what creative solutions can we come up with to solve problems in our communities? Who benefits from the fear that is generated when creative solutions are labeled as “radical?”
Jamel’s message is simple, but to hear it, he asks us to believe two things: every problem has a solution, and scarcity is a myth. Jamel talks about being born into the zip code with the highest incarceration rate in the U.S., where we have come to accept poverty and violence as “normal as the sun.” He breaks these issues down into their component parts, pointing out that where there is violence and poverty, there is a community need that is not being met. He outlines the work he and others are doing to meet those needs and interrupt those cycles: violence interruption to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and basic income to disrupt cycles of poverty. Jamel is asking us to consider who benefits when these problems are not addressed, who benefits when we aren’t made aware of creative solutions to these problems, and who benefits from labeling creative solutions as radical. Perhaps most importantly, he reminds us that all of these problems do have solutions, and that we can work on these solutions together.