From Page’s article: The National Urban League released its annual “State of Black America” report. Predictably, as with previous reports that the 99-year-old league has conducted since the 1970s, the state of black America is pretty miserable.
Blacks were twice as likely to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty and more than six times as likely to be imprisoned compared with whites, the study said. Blacks also lost their homes due to foreclosure at a greater rate than other ethnic groups. This is partly because many blacks had been targeted for sub-prime loans during the economic boom, civil rights groups charge, even when their credit was good enough to get them into conventional loans.
Mainstream black leaders tend to blame black poverty on external barriers like racism, discrimination and the disappearance of low-skill jobs. Conservative critics tend to blame black poverty on black behavior, attitudes and other “cultural” conditioning.
Blah, blah, blah! My response is: it sucks to be Black apparently. Do I really need a reminder of all the problems? These Civil Rights organizations are still not providing SOLUTIONS. Let’s talk about the various social classes that exist that they’d like to otherwise ignore. Having access to resources and being not only encouraged but expected to excel does impact your life. Let’s talk about white racism but we’re not in a position to ignore how our attitudes and choices compound it.
Tami writes: Are low achievement, unemployment, substance abuse or criminality elements of black culture? Native culture? Italian or Irish culture? White culture?
And they are not the culture of the poor either.
But these ills are often the result of living forgotten in poverty in a country that is all about symbols of wealth and “getting yours.” These ills are the result of no opportunity in the land of opportunity. These ills are the result of schools with old books or no books. These ills are the result of being warehoused in dangerous, rat-trap, public-housing high rises, and tenements, and reservations and isolated Appalachian villages and trailer parks. These ills are the result of inadequate healthcare and childcare.
I agree…but I don’t. Apathy, anger, depression, hostility, hopelessness, mediocrity and imbalance. I think about how all of these things color challenging situations for people of color. We can only change the things we can control. The first thing we have to control is ourselves. Then we can address the ills of society. If you’re running with a broken leg you won’t get very far.
If the “culture” hasn’t failed it is severely damaged. Or perhaps the question that should be posed is: “What Is Black Culture?” There are differences amongst ethnic groups of Blacks as well as different behavior patterns amongst the social classes. Of course individuals make personal choices that may differ from the majority of their group of origin but certain generalities do prevail. We’re not all Middle Class and we don’t all possess Middle Class sensibilities. Whatever that’s supposed to mean today.
I think we can safely establish a yard stick of a dominant generic “Black” by which non-Blacks may be attributing to us all because they don’t do shades of grey, er black. It’s like lumping all Asians together or not realizing that China for example has something like 50 diverse ethnic groups. I will continue this conversation in another post because despite my efforts at editing I have so much more to discuss.