quote:Originally posted by Ganzfeld: It's true that "black culture" is an oversimplification but there certainly is a part of the American society who grow up in these neighborhoods and there just isn't an easy way out. It's easy for us to sit on the outside and talk about working your way out day by day, job by job, but when you're right in the middle, it just is not easy to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
I used to live right smack in the middle of one of those neighborhoods in the article tootired posted and it's extremely bleak: Everyone tries hard every day to be positive and pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps and all that but when the bank on the corner closes (as mine did there, at the beginning of the 90's) and the mom-and-pop shops go down one after the other like dominoes and the crime goes up and there aren't any new jobs coming in... I was, being a white kid from the suburbs, never caught up in that but I could see the people around me. It's easy for black conservatives and religious leaders, most of whom are now on the outside looking in, like the rest of us, to say it but, really, in the end, it's going to take leaders who are willing to go back in to those neighborhoods, move back from the suburbs and retake the cities (come hell or high water, as it were) to make the change. As long as it's only outsiders criticizing the people who live in these communities (and, yes, I do think some insiders who blame the outside are also to blame but I understand them much more), nothing is going to change.
(I'm extremely sleepy, a little tipsy, and this post is not very thought out. But I'll leave it as it stands.)
I also want to add, the saddest thing about living in a "ghetto" is that you see the wasted potential every day. You'd think that all these people kind of deserve to be there for one bad choice or another. Maybe they do; I don't know. But you meet people who are as hardworking and good, even people with college degrees from good universities, and they are struggling just like the rest. I find it hard to believe that all these people are just victims of problems they made themselves.
I think the same malaise can be witnessed in rural America, as well.
-------------------- "When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw Posts: 19266 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Jun 2002
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quote:Originally posted by Lainie: The conflation of "culture of poverty" and "black culture" is actually very dangerous, IMO. It's much harder for black kids to break out of the culture of poverty if, by doing so, they risk being labeled as "less black".
I'll get behind this statement 100%.
But the folks I generally see promoting that conflation aren't white folks, so forgive me if I go all Pseudo_Croatish and ask what can "we" do about it, beyond disparaging the conflation?
I have no idea, and I didn't attribute the conflation to any particular group.
-------------------- How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black Posts: 8322 | From: Columbus, OH | Registered: Aug 2005
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Thanks for the links glass papaya, wanderwoman & tootiredtocare. Not a subscriber (and we've been holding back on putting our information out anymore) to NY Times, but I read tootired's link. This was interesting: "They include an effort in San Francisco to sign up 10,000 new low-income banking customers and one in New York in which the state agrees to deposit public funds in branches that agree to open in underserved areas." Sounds like a great idea; hope it doesn't stop with San Francisco and NY.
-------------------- Let's just pretend we're normal for a minute ~ New favorite T-shirt quote Posts: 1193 | From: Ohio | Registered: Apr 2004
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