Taking the local social system into one’s own hands. I aim to recondition.
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
The invisible posting was written in bold text: Help Wanted! A designer for a “new social system.” What really needs to be placed in the classified ads is assistance for leadership whose work for this state falls short of loving and valued. Take housing issues for example, where mass media branding of “persons without housing” created “homelessness,” and stigmatization and even psychological problems that could kill those in distress. The help arrives not before it’s too late, but once one is out on a limb, with no one and nothing and resorting to shelters like the Delonis Shelter in Ann Arbor or being directed to camp grounds outside in the woods. It is as if our current leadership decided our people just weren’t worth it, or if they could not step to the plate correctly and with financial projections- to exit. “People without housing” is what needs to be reconditioned after Ann Arbor, particularly hostile directed its citizens to camp grounds outside in the woods when without housing, where many died. What I aim to recondition is never to say “the homeless person,” but to say the person without housing or having a temporary housing issue. It’s kind of like the disease branding and how that devastated so many people to be addressed as a disease title like “schizophrenic.” People should in that case-I aim to recondition-say a person suffering with the illness of schizophrenia and never, never a schizophrenic as if that were his modus operandi complete. Strange titles lead people to believe that people are fundamentally those things, when actually they are not.
It dawned on me that what we chiefly need first are good designs and to promote those designs and begin to manifest and implement something new and I felt strangely capable by even caring, even as a humanitarian and recognized that our current leadership may not be aware or qualified to grip the problem. We could use Statisticians. We could use formula designers and architects to lay a new template. Should you feel capable to redesign our social system, I welcome your designs. We need new designs and very often we can figure out what organizations we need and start to chart a course. It would be great to do research and make a speech to University of Michigan Business School or Eastern Michigan University Certified Non Profit Professionals (CNP) about where our holes are in this community for future graduates to build businesses or organizations around. There are many ways to start to bridge those gaps and chart a new course but we need to give up accepting the status quo. There is a proverb, “no bad-better,” meaning not to criticize but to replace with a solution. Sometimes revolutionaries will build another one next to it.
The solution should be within our ideal minds-for example not the woods, or a warming center, or on the floor, but perhaps an ideal, in an apartment, with a grant or basic human account, or in a hotel or transitional housing, but not what we currently have-woods, warming center, floors and inhumanity. We need to value ourselves more. We need to make the system we want. We don’t need the aftermath of once they have closed all the programs and likely reallocated the programs monies and left us with this pitiful social system where everyone feels shame to walk through the door. We need a social system that is humane, in touch with the needs of our population, includes a “net” for us when we are falling, one for which we can be proud and not experience stigma or shame. We can place a ban on birthing, until we have established a social system, reconditioned ourselves and have “value to man.”