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?"