Politics and Religion

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As some of you may know, poverty is always something that has concerned me. Different people may disagree with how best to address it, but it certainly helps to understand how poverty happens in the first place.

For the last few days, I've been looking at this: It's a list of the poorest counties in America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowest-income_counties_in_the_United_States

An interesting thing to note is that each of these counties have a majority who are racial minorities.

The three worse centers of poverty in the United States are the Native American communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Mexico; the Hispanic population in southern Texas and and New Mexico, and the black population in Louisana and Mississippi. There are a handful of white counties that are in the list as well, but the overwheming vast majority are racial minority counties.

Another thing to note about this, is that this all happens in red states, where the majority race of the state is white.  

For instance, South Dakota is nearly 85% white, and while South Dakota has had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, of just 3%, in counties like Shannon and Buffalo Counties, which are 80-90% Native American, 50-60% of the population live below the poverty line, many have homes without running water, per capita income is the lowest in the country, and the unemployment rate is 13-14%.

You only have to look at our current Presidential election to see how much racism is masked by the words "debate"...even though its well hidden, racism runs rampant throughout the campaigns.

Sitara


"If you disagree with Obama, you're a racist?"  This seems to be the newest variation on the same old theme of using race-activated,  white guilt to stifle dissent and make political life some easier for OUR GLORIOUS SUPREME LEADER.

Not too long ago, the charge was often heard that, "If you don't support Obamacare, you're a racist."  Or, "if you don't believe that Obama was born in Hawai'i, you're a racist."  The repetition has become nearly endless.

If there is such a strong, "rampant" undercurrent of racism here in America, could you please tell me how Obama got his half-black, half-white ass elected in the first place?

yeah, there are some elements of racism but I suspect you only see the half of it.

a white guys says "debate", that's racist? a white guys says "cut taxes", that's racist?

oh, those evil white guys....

Posted By: sitaradevi
You only have to look at our current Presidential election to see how much racism is masked by the words "debate"...even though its well hidden, racism runs rampant throughout the campaigns.

Sitara

The Black vote only contributed
1% to Obama's victory....

Where's the racism in being elected
by a majority of white voters!

"Though many people believe that our first African-American president won the election thanks in part to increased turnout by African-American voters, Stephens-Davidowitz's research shows that those votes only added about 1 percentage point to Obama's totals. "In the general election, this effect was comparatively minor," he concludes. But in areas with high racial search rates, the fact that Obama is African American worked against him, sometimes significantly. "


And that research talked about in the
article is laughable...  alot of blacks
call each other "Nigga" more than whites!

Snowman39223 reads

Did you even bother to look at other factors, like education level?  
I am sure I could fina a correlation about the amount aof rainfall and the poverty level as well, does not mean that have anything to do with one another.

I know you want things to be a certain way Willy, but that does not mean that they are.

For instance, the counties that have a high Hispanic population in southern Texas must likely have little to no education. Many probably can't read even in their own language. The counties that have a majority black population probably has lousy public schools since there's no money to fund them.

What is a stark contrast for me though is the Native American counties in South and North Dakota. The per capital income in many of these poor counties are from $7,000 to $10,000. But the poorest county in America is Native American, and the per capita income is only $5,000. One can't say they're immigrants because they were here before us pale faced motherfuckers, and they're surrounded by whites who only have a 3% unemployment rate.

Regardless of how this happened, it's apparent to me that these are counties where the majority are racial minorities which reside in red states where the total majority is white.

It's possible there's political reasons for this disparity, many (nearly all) of these counties are the only Democratic strongholds in these red states. It may be as simple as Republicans diverting state resources from Democrats. It just so happens, that these Democrats are racial minorities.

I believe something positive can be done about this. I see no reason why we the per capita income of any US county should be five grand. I think if we focused stimulus money on these particular counties you'd likely get the best bang for your buck. You'd have to be mindful not to waste it, but I think it could be done.

Snowman39214 reads

Gives these kids some school choice and get rid of the teachers unions.

In addition, some cultures do not value education and kids are actually made fun of by their peers if they do too good.

We've been throwing money at education for years and it just get works. The definition of insanity is dong the same thing time and time again and expect a different result.

Read up on Joe Clark, that man knew how to educate, and he understood step one was discipline.

Snow, I believe your heart is in the right place, but I think you're gravely mistaken on a few things.

I certainly agree that we should expand school choice. What I'm opposed to is using public funds to pay for private schools. Private schools should be paid for with private dollars.

There's a lot of things public schools, by their very structure, can't be good at doing. They're not going to do well teaching kids who have been rescued from an abusive home, kids who have serious mental illness, and things of that sort. That requires specialized education, and private schools would be best for that.

I don't think getting rid of teacher unions will do a damn bit of good, and will probably just make things worse. It's not like teachers in the USA have it particularly good. A few intersting stats can be found here.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/teacher-pay-around-the-world/

I don't think our own culture values education very much, given how much we attack teachers. Our culture seems to have a higher respect for stupidity, self-centeredness, and consumption. When you ask other people around the world about Americans, they won't be particularly inclined to say "smart".

We do spend a lot of money on education, but not as much as you'd think.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_edu_spe-education-spending-of-gdp

I did read up on Joe Clark, and it looks to me he didn't do too well, the state had to take over control of the school a year after he retired. He got criticized for kicking kids out of school, who just went on the streets and caused more trouble. You can't blame the guy too much, he was handed a bag of shit, and not too many people in this world can turn shit into gold.

Generally speaking, I don't think discipline is particularly valuable when teaching kids. It's one thing to teach a child that there's consequences for his actions, it's quite another to beat the shit out of him. I do think that a lot of parents have allowed their kids to get away with too much (you see Democrats and hippie types do this all the time), but the kind of physical abuse that kids were often subject to when you were young is probably worse.

Ever heard of Dr. Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber? He was a German physician in the 1860's. He did a lot of work in children's health. Schreber said that if children cry they should be beatened or frightened. He emphasized total obedience to authority. He even went so far as to try to design chasity devices to prevent children from masturbating.

Schreber's books were incredibly popular in Germany, and it created a generation of Germans who valued obedience to authority. These attitudes helped the Nazis take power.

-- Modified on 6/13/2012 6:58:33 AM

You see that there are area of poverty in some states, often typified by racial disparity - higher poverty in X group - and assume it is racism.

First, there are often in ethnic representations in classes that have nothing to do with racism.  For example, from the mid 40's to at least the late 2000's, Jews were heavily represented in Broadway composers, probably at a rate of 20 times their percent in the population.  But it was not that non-Jews were discriminated against.  For some reason, these composers touched a chord (bad pun) with most of America.

There is a reason why American Indians are more entrenched in poverty. In many parts of the Navajo reservation, to use one example, many people still have a semi-nomadic life style.  Many parents do not see the value of "western" education.  The natural result will be a far lower economic result.

Many people from Mexico do not demand academic excellence the way Japanese parents do.  Without being discriminated against, they will do less well.

And to be touchy - when my SO was a teacher, many Blacks thought that studying hard and speaking standard English would turn them into Oreos.  This is not a term the white racists invented, but a derogatory term invented for Blacks who may have been on an upward track.

If you discourage X% of the group from studying, X% will do worse, X% will drop out, and X% will be poorer.  It isn't that X% was denied a job even though they are equally qualified.

In short, your nice statistics don't ask "why"

Quenstion for you.  D.C. spends more per student than almost every other district.  The school board and teachers are more represented by "people of color" than  a lot of other districts.  But their kids are doing terribly.  Is that because the racism of the D.C. school district is oppressing the local population?  Or what is the reason.  More than may other districts you have Black role models, black graders, black administrators.  Where is the racism producing shit.

OH. I forgot. If you questiona  system that harms blacks, if you object to Black kids having their lifes destroyed, you must be a racist piece of shit like me.

Posted By: willywonka4u
As some of you may know, poverty is always something that has concerned me. Different people may disagree with how best to address it, but it certainly helps to understand how poverty happens in the first place.

For the last few days, I've been looking at this: It's a list of the poorest counties in America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowest-income_counties_in_the_United_States

An interesting thing to note is that each of these counties have a majority who are racial minorities.

The three worse centers of poverty in the United States are the Native American communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Mexico; the Hispanic population in southern Texas and and New Mexico, and the black population in Louisana and Mississippi. There are a handful of white counties that are in the list as well, but the overwheming vast majority are racial minority counties.

Another thing to note about this, is that this all happens in red states, where the majority race of the state is white.  

For instance, South Dakota is nearly 85% white, and while South Dakota has had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, of just 3%, in counties like Shannon and Buffalo Counties, which are 80-90% Native American, 50-60% of the population live below the poverty line, many have homes without running water, per capita income is the lowest in the country, and the unemployment rate is 13-14%.

I certainly agree with you Phil that there's many likely causes for this. But I wouldn't discount racism as one of them.

One of the most disturbing books I've ever read is called The COINTELPRO Papers. It's a collection of FBI memos and other documents what the agency did while running their Counter Intelligence Program. It was quite eye opening to see just how excessively the agency targeted racial minorities, particularly Native Americans. I have no doubt these efforts left a lasting effect.

You're also quite right that cultural differences among different populations make a difference. But the income of a students parents also plays a big role. Students who have financially secure parents are more likely to buy anything the student needs, from tudors to computers, to school supplies.

DC's schools have a long history of performing poorly. There's a lot of reasons for that. The students parents often are lower middle class, they don't encourage their kids to excell, and there's certainly plenty of corruption in the DC school districts. An abysmal amount, actually.

But the surprising thing is that on a per student basis, DC doesn't spend the most in the country. New York State does.

When you break things down on a county by county basis, DC's spending is still quite high, but so is Alaska's.

DC is a city, and there's only 600,000 people who live in the city itself. It's going to cost most counties or cities a certain minimum to run a school system, and costs per student will be higher if you have fewer students. What's also interesting to note is that many of DC's schools were built in the 70's, when the population of the city was 756,000.

For these reasons, costs per student doesn't mean that those costs are translating into a better education.

A few interesting links:

http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/09f33pub.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Washington,_D.C.#Historical_population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

-- Modified on 6/12/2012 2:04:33 PM

First, it makes it impossible ot have intelligent debate when a response relies of multiple links of great length.  To much data is almost as meaningless as none.

That said, you don't seem to disagree with my contention that there are thousands of reasons why there may be different poverty standards. In fact, you almost echo the most conservative who say that parents not encouraging kids are more of a contributor to the problem than many other causes.

Likewise, if the Agency "targeted" minorities for intelligence, how did that have any effect on poverty.

In other words, you have tons of data, but none of it relates to what I perceived to be your original point.

Funny thing about my debates with the left.  A lot of times they throw out tons of studies and data.  Studies can be pure shit.  If a "study" is contrary to everything I ever have seen, I question it automatically.  

When I was in college I saw a published study in a science mag that bumble bees can't fly.  The author based it on valid aerodynamic principles.  Obviously, it was a spoof of "studies," but it was pretty damn accurate in terms of science.  I have always believed bumble bees fly, regardless of that study.

I remember another thing fnom the same era.  A professor wrote an article that was jibberish. He wrote it as a spoof on academic journals.  The problem was the next spring there were six letters praising his academic work, and he was very embarassed when he has to say it was a joke.

If you get a chance, check out that census link. A ton of interesting stuff in there.

Yes, poverty happens for a number of reasons. It's an incredibly complex issue with no easy answers. Everything you said about it I think is perfectly valid. I also think that racism plays a significant role as well, as well as many other factors.

As for COINTELPRO, all can I say is check out that book. Once you read it, I think you'll know what I'm getting at.

mrnogood333 reads

the white, and blacks... even worse the boob tube makes us hate.. The most hateful Americans are the ones being terrorized by their tv..

The only thing that keeps america going at this point is all the division and hate.. and it's the ones who refuse to wake up, and get sucked in to this bullshit that are most guilty of it..

It's not only racism, it's clasism, ageism, its right against left, this boob tube has us more divided than we've ever been..

I read your post and all I could come away with was memories of doing volunteer work on an Indian reservation and the Tijuana dumps. And, as a high school student, during the summers, working alongside the migrant workers on a truck farm. The oppressive atmosphere in each place was mind-numbing. The poverty, hopelessness, unsmiling faces can make one feel totally powerless and without meaning. However, it is in just such circumstances where one can learn how little it takes to bring some relief, happiness, hope to one living in such a place. We're always going to have the poor. And, we are always going to have one group or another exploited by those who hold power over them. Until the day we're a country that provides equal opportunity in education, jobs, business, and protection under the law, the best we can do is do unto others as we would have others do unto ourselves. Just think what a different country we would have if everyone did so. Sure beats trying to get our elected politicians to do the right thing, because it hasn't worked yet! In fact it is they who play us all against one another in order to get and maintain their power! ;)

why don't you try taking someone under your wing and spend a few years with them, actually helping them up and out rather than driveby feel good missions.

more then anything, poverty is a state of mind rather than an object reality and nearly ANYONE can get up and out if they take the right attitude.

TIME is needed far more than money.

Another big leap to an assumption! Just because I mentioned three situations in referencing experiencing the oppression of poverty (two of them volunteer), you concluded that all I have done is "driveby feel good missions." In your knee-jerk need to edify yourself, while putting me down, you seem to need to believe that! Too bad you're wrong!!!   ;)

If your experience had been different you would have cited it.

LMAO

I was citing specific situations where I experienced a specific emotion, oppression, due to being in the midst of people who lived extremely poverty, and have felt hopeless for prolonged portions of time, if not all their lives.  I'm wondering how it is you can't see the difference?

Besides, my arguement was directed at this quote from you:

"Until the day we're a country that provides equal opportunity in education, jobs, business, and protection under the law, the best we can do is do unto others as we would have others do unto ourselves."

If you had had direct contact with someone in poverty over an extended period of time and helped them out of that situation, you would know the above to be not true. It's not that driveby humanitarianism does'nt have it's value, it's just that it's limited and does not result in a good understanding of real world solutions.

would accuse me of talking out of both sides of my neck, while never really pointing out where I had done so. I'm imaging you are doing exactly what you accused me of doing! I suspect you indeed were referring to my references to two of my volunteer situations, because the "Golden Rule" is not a "driveby feel good mission," but a way of life! And, if it's important, why is it part of so many religious texts? ;)

Again, my original post had nothing to do with an attempt to present myself as a paragon of virtue. That's not my nature, and even if it was, I wouldn't be doing it on fuck board, so why would you???  ;)

And, one last word; you have no idea where I live, what I do, and who I do it with. So, all your references to what I do or don't do, to help others, are mere assumptions!  ;)

detecting assumptions.

Would "imagining" and "suspecting" fall in the same category or is there some bright line of distinction you'd like to point out?:D

When I talk about what comes to my mind, or suspecting your possible intentions, when you write something, I am not assuming anything. Assuming is taking action on what one is imaging or suspecting, like making a declarative statement that explicitly or implicitly claims to know the "truth" about the other. I don't, nor am I making a claim to, hence my careful use of the terms, imagine and suspect.  ;)

Hispanic poverty near the
boarder merely proves poor
illegals are living in those
states.  thats not racism!

Poor American Indians near
reservations are moet likely
caused by the money they
get from the US government for
staying on their reservations.

That does not prove white people
are racists in those states.   You
need more credible research than
that!

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