Growing up a well-off suburbanite who never experienced this sort of thing, the who thing was kind of shocking to me. It amazed me that people would try and put people down for doing well, but with an entire community with this sort of mind set, I can see how many of these people have trouble engaging themselves.
So much of this is about culture and people not realizing what opportunities they actually do have (of course in many cases, people don't get an opportunity as well). I cannot blame them because we all have unchallenged assumptions and views. Probably the best thing we can do for people in this sort of situation is to find a way to let them know that there is something out there for them and if they apply themselves, they will be rewarded for it. So much of what surrounds them tells them the opposite. It is not solely a personal failure for these people, but a failure of an entire community.