Is Poverty in Black America More the Product of Racism or Culture?

Apr 2013
34,873
23,582
Left coast
#2
I don't think you can separate them. Racism was and to some extent still is a major factor in developing the culture of the poor blacks, but it is now a counterproductive factor.

Obviously, these are generalizations.
 
Likes: leekohler2
Dec 2013
31,089
18,647
Beware of watermelons
#3
I do not see how it could be racism in this day and age. There are impoverished communities of white people throughout the nation too. Then there are the Cambodian and Vietnamese who came over long after the slaves were set free and we don't hear about them.

This is the great society showing its brilliance.
 
Jul 2018
695
181
Earth
#4
I do not see how it could be racism in this day and age. There are impoverished communities of white people throughout the nation too. Then there are the Cambodian and Vietnamese who came over long after the slaves were set free and we don't hear about them.

This is the great society showing its brilliance.
You don't hear about it much today but it was very recently that some whites used to crap wombat shit every time a black person got into an upper level university. Their favorite whine was "affirmative action" and how they were suffering from reverse discrimination.
 
Likes: leekohler2
Dec 2018
659
386
Wisconsin
#5
I think culture as a whole, but not necessarily “black culture” which is what I think the options are implying.

Put it to you like this. My wife spent a year working with inner city middle school students in Milwaukee (if there’s a heaven, she deserves a seat). At the end of the school year she attended a middle school graduation and was shocked at the number of moms and dads who were crying during the ceremony. She asked a coworker “why are so many people crying?” Her coworker responded “this is the last graduation a lot of these kids will have.”

When you grow up in neighborhoods where a decent education is not a feasible option, the deck is stacked against you. It doesn’t mean you can’t make it. It doesn’t mean you won’t make it. It just means your road is a lot tougher than most.
 
Jul 2014
12,816
7,737
massachusetts
#6
It's due to a culture of Racism.
Yeah, we don't have human slavery anymore, but there is an inherent bias against people of color that makes itself felt in the job market, in the housing market and in the legal system.
America has a racist culture, always did, and yeah, it's not as bad, but it's still there.
 
Dec 2018
553
214
New England
#8
Apologies, I'm rushed tonight, so sorry for the typos and absence of links. I'll try to clean this up later.

First, I think the root cause of poverty of in black America, i.e. it's original cause, is racism. First in the form of slavery and the Jim Crow and everything like it. I think that is an open and shut case. Blacks simply weren't allowed to success in early and not-so-early America. Hopefully no one disagrees with this (if so, it's back to junior high history class for you).

Where it gets interesting in 2018, i.e. today. Is racism perpetuating the poverty that it (racism) created? That's where I start to wonder. An economic achievement gap continues to exist between white and black America; again, no one could argue otherwise. Racism also clearly exists in America; all but the lunatic fringe understand this. Where the the left may (repeat, may) go wrong is to presume the latter is the exclusive cause of the former; i.e. that is all about -- and only ever about -- racism. I wonder if it is.

We know of circumstances other than racism that cause poverty. For example, we know one can greatly increase their chances of winding up poor by 1) failing to finish high school; 2) having a child at a young age; 3) having that child out of wedlock. It doesn't matter if you're black or white, these behaviors dramatically limit economic opportunities. Studies from groups at opposite ends of the political spectrum such as the Brookings Institute and the Heritage Foundation tell us the same thing: avoid these three problems and you dramatically reduce your chances of winding up poor; the data shows the assertion holds true regardless of race. It is also beyond question that these three conditions are higher among blacks in our country than they are for any other demographic. Knowing what these studies tell us and that these conditions are so regrettably high in black America, is it any surprise that an economic gap does exist?

This all leads to the uncomfortable possibility the the I've never seen the political left acknowledge: in 2018 it's individual behavior, at least in part, that is fueling the cycle of poverty in black America. The "trouble" with this reality is that avoiding these conditions doesn't require a government subsidy or a belief that the "other party" is incurably racist. It doesn't require a thesis on robber-baron-inspired racism in early 20th century production era. It doesn't require a chattering class injecting racism into every headline of the day. It takes a recognition that as individuals the choices we make have consequences, and if we wish to avoid poverty there are some choices we should and should not make. More than anything else, this realization opens up the possibility that black America is empowered to improve the condition of black America by healing itself.
 
Dec 2018
659
386
Wisconsin
#9
As with everything, there’s no black or white answer (pun intended). 25% of white children grow up in a single parent household, as opposed to 65% of black children. And it’s incresingky difficult to get an education and gain the proper life lessons from a single parent rather than two parents. That’s a major problem among blacks. Again, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Just means it’s hsrder.

Ps before the PC police blow up, I use the term “black” and not “African Americans”. Why? A. Because we’re all Americans. And B. “African American” is not an accurate term for people from Jamaica, Haiti, etc.
 
Dec 2018
659
386
Wisconsin
#10
Apologies, I'm rushed tonight, so sorry for the typos and absence of links. I'll try to clean this up later.

First, I think the root cause of poverty of in black America, i.e. it's original cause, is racism. First in the form of slavery and the Jim Crow and everything like it. I think that is an open and shut case. Blacks simply weren't allowed to success in early and not-so-early America. Hopefully no one disagrees with this (if so, it's back to junior high history class for you).

Where it gets interesting in 2018, i.e. today. Is racism perpetuating the poverty that it (racism) created? That's where I start to wonder. An economic achievement gap continues to exist between white and black America; again, no one could argue otherwise. Racism also clearly exists in America; all but the lunatic fringe understand this. Where the the left may (repeat, may) go wrong is to presume the latter is the exclusive cause of the former; i.e. that is all about -- and only ever about -- racism. I wonder if it is.

We know of circumstances other than racism that cause poverty. For example, we know one can greatly increase their chances of winding up poor by 1) failing to finish high school; 2) having a child at a young age; 3) having that child out of wedlock. It doesn't matter if you're black or white, these behaviors dramatically limit economic opportunities. Studies from groups at opposite ends of the political spectrum such as the Brookings Institute and the Heritage Foundation tell us the same thing: avoid these three problems and you dramatically reduce your chances of winding up poor; the data shows the assertion holds true regardless of race. It is also beyond question that these three conditions are higher among blacks in our country than they are for any other demographic. Knowing what these studies tell us and that these conditions are so regrettably high in black America, is it any surprise that an economic gap does exist?

This all leads to the uncomfortable possibility the the I've never seen the political left acknowledge: in 2018 it's individual behavior, at least in part, that is fueling the cycle of poverty in black America. The "trouble" with this reality is that avoiding these conditions doesn't require a government subsidy or a belief that the "other party" is incurably racist. It doesn't require a thesis on robber-baron-inspired racism in early 20th century production era. It doesn't require a chattering class injecting racism into every headline of the day. It takes a recognition that as individuals the choices we make have consequences, and if we wish to avoid poverty there are some choices we should and should not make. More than anything else, this realization opens up the possibility that black America is empowered to improve the condition of black America by healing itself.
First off, fucking bravo. That’s perfectly summarized. Amazing how the truth is often in the middle and no one wants to fucking talking about it. Two things can be true at the same time.

Secondly, this gets into populism 101. Everyone is trying to find a reason there life isn’t the way they want it to be and populism provides that answer. On the left: it’s not your fault. Your oppressed by a racist, sexist, rigged system that is trying to keep you down. On the right: it’s not your fault. The government is taking all your money and the people who don’t look like you are taking the jobs. It’s hyperbolic nonsense that take fractions of truth and amplify them for anyone who wants an excuse for their life.

Sometimes the reality is yes, the system has set up hurdles that other people don’t have to go over. But sometimes the answer is understanding your the only one who can jump over those hurdles.