?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
08 June 2007 @ 01:29 am
The quiet desperation of poverty  
This article about Barack Obama's speech referring to "quiet riots" among the poor black community really tells it like it is, and I just want to make the point that white people in poverty feel the same hopelessness. It isn't compounded by racism but it is no less real. We really need to look at poverty in America--really look at it and allow ourselves to imagine growing up in that reality, a reality where a college education seems like an impossible dream and dead end jobs and substandard housing appears to be our destiny.

Obama's 'quiet riots' are for real by Roland S. Martin.
 
 
 
Mari Adkins: dork in a bonnetmariadkins on June 8th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
I tell people how I grew up and they just stand and look at me - even my husband doesn't quite believe me. I was always going to show him the house I grew up in, never got a chance (mostly because I was always so ashamed of it) and then it burned down two years ago; there's nothing left. My grandmother raised me on her Social Security income and food stamps. How, I have no idea. I think one of the saving graces was that she owned the house we lived in outright - although her divorce decree stipulated that she had to sell it when I turned 18. :eye roll:

I hear people (some of whom shall remain nameless :cough:) go on about how they "help the poor" how they "volunteer" with this and that. But I'm sorry, unless someone's ever had to go without dinner so that her children could eat an almost decent meal, she has no clue what "poor" means.
Tapatitapati on June 8th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
I think our culture is in major denial about how widespread poverty is and how bad it is. America is built on this notion of self reliance, that anyone can come and make it here, and so on. We hear stories of immigrants who come here and eventually own stores and we assume anyone already living here can do the same. But those immigrants came here because they were led to believe that in America such things are easily achievable. So they believe they will succeed. People who grow up poor here are surrounded by other poor people and never saw anyone get out of poverty, so they believe the American Dream is an illusion. Learned helplessness and the pervasive depression that comes with poverty are not just things one can shrug off. The few of us who make it out are pointed to as examples that it can be done--but they don't see the cost. We no longer fit into our old world and we'll never feel like we truly belong to the middle or upper classes either.

Mari Adkins: dork in a bonnetmariadkins on June 8th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
I think our culture is in major denial about how widespread poverty is and how bad it is

I agree. I honestly never knew just how poor we were until I graduated high school and went to college.

People who grow up poor here are surrounded by other poor people and never saw anyone get out of poverty, so they believe the American Dream is an illusion

And nobody ever says, "You can do it!" or "Let me help you" or "This is what you can do to help yourself."