View Poll Results: The Source of Black Poverty?

Voters
58. You may not vote on this poll
  • The culture-of-poverty option

    22 37.93%
  • The black culture option

    21 36.21%
  • The racism exists option

    11 18.97%
  • All three, with some lean towards 1 & 2

    8 13.79%
  • Any combo, including government

    16 27.59%
  • Other

    14 24.14%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: The Source of Black Poverty

  1. #1
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    The Source of Black Poverty

    Now, I cherry picked this article, so before you say it's out of context, then "yes" I did not like or agree, at all, with certain aspects of its opinion. But it's an interesting piece, with good talking points.

    I believe, I actually made it more coherent and less bigoted, one way or the other.

    Personally, I think it's a little bit of all three and disagree with the author that it's strictly, option #3. And racism, often thrown around way too much is a notable participant, though existed much more in the past decades than now.


    Article: The Source of Black Poverty Isn't Black Culture, It's American Culture

    "Here is what is beyond dispute: In 2012, 35 percent of blacks lived in poverty, compared to 13 percent of whites. In 1970, those rates were 33.6 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Poverty in the black community is higher, and has been consistently.

    There exist three options for that persistence, if we assume that culture might play a role.

    • There is something about black culture that prevents black Americans from escaping poverty. We'll call this the black culture option.
    • There is something about the culture of being poor that prevents the poor, regardless of race, from escaping poverty. We'll call this the culture-of-poverty option.
    • There are no internal cultural forces at play. We'll call this, partly for the sake of stirring the pot, the racism exists option.


    Put more simply, there are three options for why black people continue to experience higher levels of poverty: it's in part black people's fault, it's in part poor people's fault, and it's society's fault.

    The culture-of-poverty option

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the problem lies with the second option, that there is something about being poor that results in future generations being poor.

    If this culture exists, what are its components? Ryan's remarks offer one view: it involves "men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with." Or, put more crassly, parents who have been out of work take refuge in the welfare state, living on food stamps and government services, and their children learn that this is a viable means of survival.

    The paper [Reconsidering Culture and Poverty] surveys some of the best research evidence of the detrimental cultural outgrowths of concentrated urban poverty on parental expectations, sexual behavior, the willingness of students to engage in beneficial activities, and other things.

    The black culture option

    Perhaps another assumption is in order. Let's assume instead that the black culture option is the correct explanation.

    Paul Ryan got in trouble because he implied that the problem was, in short, laziness. Coates frames it loosely in similar terms "black people are less responsible, less moral, or less upstanding" which Chait quickly steps away from, preferring the gauzy expression "cultural norms that inhibited economic success." The paper cited by Chait indicates a number of very specific behaviorisms and attitudes, some of which he notes, but it also downplays the idea of "culture" as an organizing force.

    Not from article; but a section from Coates piece: Black People, Culture And Poverty - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic

    We can train black youths, we can move their families to better neighborhoods, etc., but changing their way of thinking is not so easy. Evidence of this lies in the many "mobility" programs that move inner-city families to lower-poverty suburbs: Young women continue to have children out of wedlock and, inexplicably, the young men who move out return to their communities to commit crime! These patterns flummox researchers and, according to Wilson, they will continue to remain mysterious until we look at culture for an answer.

    I think it takes a real flight of fancy to dismiss the culture argument. If you are rich and you've been rich for generations, you almost certainly develop cultural habits. Likewise, if you're poor and you've been poor for generations, you do the same. If you've been wealthy for generations and you were suddenly asked to function in the ghetto, you may have problems because you didn't know the rules. You weren't acculturated. Likewise, if you're poor and you're trying to climb up the economic ladder, you may also have problems.

    The racism exists option

    Believing that black culture is primarily at fault means believing that black cultural attitudes are why the black unemployment rate has always been at least 50 percent higher than white unemployment. It likely means assuming that vague, hard-to-identify and complex cultural attitudes are responsible for most of the things on this bullet list: flat wages, higher rates of arrest for possession of marijuana, higher rates of incarceration, a greater likelihood of being arrested at school, a lower likelihood of being accepted to top-tier colleges.

    American history demonstrates countless examples of racist obstruction of black economic success. Ongoing examples show countless ways in which black Americans are still obstructed in the same way.

    African Americans deal with a unique set of durable circumstances that have festered and worsened over the last forty years." The dominant white culture articulated by Coates and that neglected those communities is the more obvious problem.

    Finally, consider this: The poverty level in the Hispanic community was 33 percent in 2012. In 1970, the figure was 24.3 percent. Poverty is entrenched in the Hispanic community. Do we blame black culture? Latino culture?"
    Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    I think it makes some good points, however, my issue is that the "black culture" and "poor culture" options are viewed as separate and divorced. My issue with the (generally conservative) assertion that black culture is to blame for lack of black progress is that that view tends put culture in a vacuum - in other words, there is something specific about black people and their culture that is holding them back, rather than the view that any race that has gone through what blacks have gone through in American history would likely be facing the same situation.

    Whereas I personally believe that if the roles had been reversed - this is is a hypothetical of course - that if blacks had colonized America and enslaved whites and marginalized their opportunities, then whites would be in the same exact situation as blacks are in now. Racial minorities are in their respective situations today because of history and because of ongoing social forces stemming from that history. What many people like to do to too often is to blame the victim. Is that to say that black people shouldn't do more to uplift themselves? Of course not, but if we're going to actually achieve racial equality one day we also have to understand the real root of the problems themselves, and simply blaming blacks for their own problems is not a conclusion that fits the evidence.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Culture of poverty option.

    Laziness, lack of work ethic, unskilled status, and a lack of education are the sources of poverty. I don't give a damn what color you are.

    Blacks just seem more prone to blame external forces, such as "the man".

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    In tribal African societies, Males often have multiple partners and tend to be nomadic family partners. This, when translated into a western culture means many single mothers and limited father influence. After several generations of this pattern repeating itself and the nomadic lifestyle being limited by the "New" society and culture, a stagnant and dissatisfied male becomes the norm. The males in Black culture are responsible for most of the poverty....though the female no longer functions well either.

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    I think it makes some good points, however, my issue is that the "black culture" and "poor culture" options are viewed as separate and divorced. My issue with the (generally conservative) assertion that black culture is to blame for lack of black progress is that that view tends put culture in a vacuum - in other words, there is something specific about black people and their culture that is holding them back, rather than the view that any race that has gone through what blacks have gone through in American history would likely be facing the same situation.

    Whereas I personally believe that if the roles had been reversed - this is is a hypothetical of course - that if blacks had colonized America and enslaved whites and marginalized their opportunities, then whites would be in the same exact situation as blacks are in now. Racial minorities are in their respective situations today because of history and because of ongoing social forces stemming from that history. What many people like to do to too often is to blame the victim. Is that to say that black people shouldn't do more to uplift themselves? Of course not, but if we're going to actually achieve racial equality one day we also have to understand the real root of the problems themselves, and simply blaming blacks for their own problems is not a conclusion that fits the evidence.
    Well articulated and thought out opinion. This is probably the academic position from a majority of Professors educated on the subject. "Black" and "Poor Black" are often lumped together as a singular cultural phenomenon, not providing any separation to identify other mitigating circumstantial factors.
    Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    Now, I cherry picked this article, so before you say it's out of context, then "yes" I did not like or agree, at all, with certain aspects of its opinion. But it's an interesting piece, with good talking points.

    I believe, I actually made it more coherent and less bigoted, one way or the other.

    Personally, I think it's a little bit of all three and disagree with the author that it's strictly, option #3. And racism, often thrown around way too much is a notable participant, though existed much more in the past decades than now.


    Article: The Source of Black Poverty Isn't Black Culture, It's American Culture

    "Here is what is beyond dispute: In 2012, 35 percent of blacks lived in poverty, compared to 13 percent of whites. In 1970, those rates were 33.6 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Poverty in the black community is higher, and has been consistently.

    There exist three options for that persistence, if we assume that culture might play a role.

    • There is something about black culture that prevents black Americans from escaping poverty. We'll call this the black culture option.
    • There is something about the culture of being poor that prevents the poor, regardless of race, from escaping poverty. We'll call this the culture-of-poverty option.
    • There are no internal cultural forces at play. We'll call this, partly for the sake of stirring the pot, the racism exists option.


    Put more simply, there are three options for why black people continue to experience higher levels of poverty: it's in part black people's fault, it's in part poor people's fault, and it's society's fault.

    The culture-of-poverty option

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the problem lies with the second option, that there is something about being poor that results in future generations being poor.

    If this culture exists, what are its components? Ryan's remarks offer one view: it involves "men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with." Or, put more crassly, parents who have been out of work take refuge in the welfare state, living on food stamps and government services, and their children learn that this is a viable means of survival.

    The paper [Reconsidering Culture and Poverty] surveys some of the best research evidence of the detrimental cultural outgrowths of concentrated urban poverty on parental expectations, sexual behavior, the willingness of students to engage in beneficial activities, and other things.

    The black culture option

    Perhaps another assumption is in order. Let's assume instead that the black culture option is the correct explanation.

    Paul Ryan got in trouble because he implied that the problem was, in short, laziness. Coates frames it loosely in similar terms — "black people are less responsible, less moral, or less upstanding" — which Chait quickly steps away from, preferring the gauzy expression "cultural norms that inhibited economic success." The paper cited by Chait indicates a number of very specific behaviorisms and attitudes, some of which he notes, but it also downplays the idea of "culture" as an organizing force.

    Not from article; but a section from Coates piece: Black People, Culture And Poverty - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic

    We can train black youths, we can move their families to better neighborhoods, etc., but changing their way of thinking is not so easy. Evidence of this lies in the many "mobility" programs that move inner-city families to lower-poverty suburbs: Young women continue to have children out of wedlock and, inexplicably, the young men who move out return to their communities to commit crime! These patterns flummox researchers and, according to Wilson, they will continue to remain mysterious until we look at culture for an answer.

    I think it takes a real flight of fancy to dismiss the culture argument. If you are rich and you've been rich for generations, you almost certainly develop cultural habits. Likewise, if you're poor and you've been poor for generations, you do the same. If you've been wealthy for generations and you were suddenly asked to function in the ghetto, you may have problems because you didn't know the rules. You weren't acculturated. Likewise, if you're poor and you're trying to climb up the economic ladder, you may also have problems.

    The racism exists option

    Believing that black culture is primarily at fault means believing that black cultural attitudes are why the black unemployment rate has always been at least 50 percent higher than white unemployment. It likely means assuming that vague, hard-to-identify and complex cultural attitudes are responsible for most of the things on this bullet list: flat wages, higher rates of arrest for possession of marijuana, higher rates of incarceration, a greater likelihood of being arrested at school, a lower likelihood of being accepted to top-tier colleges.

    American history demonstrates countless examples of racist obstruction of black economic success. Ongoing examples show countless ways in which black Americans are still obstructed in the same way.

    African Americans deal with a unique set of durable circumstances that have festered and worsened over the last forty years." The dominant white culture articulated by Coates and that neglected those communities is the more obvious problem.

    Finally, consider this: The poverty level in the Hispanic community was 33 percent in 2012. In 1970, the figure was 24.3 percent. Poverty is entrenched in the Hispanic community. Do we blame black culture? Latino culture?"
    Culture of poverty.

    If options 2 or 3 were true, there would be no successful black people. But that is not the case. There are plenty of successful black people. The black people that are unsuccessful are unsuccessful because of themselves. Not because their race is inherently unsuccessful, or because of racism. They have only themselves to blame.

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Culture of poverty option.

    Laziness, lack of work ethic, unskilled status, and a lack of education are the sources of poverty. I don't give a damn what color you are.

    Blacks just seem more prone to blame external forces, such as "the man".
    What about redneck or hillbilly trailer folk? We can all notice certain factual traits but are looking for possible answers to what causes certain cultural conditions?
    Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    Well articulated and thought out opinion. This is probably the academic position from a majority of Professors educated on the subject. "Black" and "Poor Black" are often lumped together as a singular cultural phenomenon, not providing any separation to identify other mitigating circumstantial factors.
    Basically to put it more succintly, I am trying to draw a distinction between:

    1) "Black culture" (and the negative aspects thereof) are the product of black people being black and lazy and ignorant, versus

    2) "Black culture" (and the negative aspects thereof) are the product of centuries of oppression, segregation, marginalization and discrimination. I think this is a key difference between how left and right wingers talk about race.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Without a mother and father to raise you together, things get pretty bad.
    72% of black babies born to unwed moms; data revive debate - Houston Chronicle

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    Re: The Source of Black Poverty

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    What about redneck or hillbilly trailer folk? We can all notice certain factual traits but are looking for possible answers to what causes certain cultural conditions?
    Same argument.

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