Equality, Equity, And Civil Rights - Schooling And Social Class Critical Thinking Examples
Why are Americans blinded to the fact of poverty?
The richest nation in the world, the US has one in three kids living in poverty. Child poverty displays the disappointing performance of policymakers to deal with the challenges faced by the most vulnerable members of society. An estimated 2 percent rise in child poverty has been recorded since 2008. Approximately, 24.2 million U.S. children were living in poverty in 2012, which reflects a steep rise of 1.7 million children since 2008 (as cited in Ingraham, 2014). It can’t be said that the Americans are blind to the fact of poverty; it is owing to the persistent classism and racism in its ingrained social norms that impacts its public policies.
Resolving issues of poverty must start with education, as it would entitle a child to his/her basic rights and pave the path for professional achievements in the future. But, the scenario is not so easy in the US. The education system in the country is rife with injustices. According to Gorski (2007), the structure of the U.S. education system refutes to grant equal opportunities to students living in poverty. The "culture of poverty" in the US is a myth. It is the widespread culture of classism that forces the disadvantaged students to detach themselves from social engagements. These sentiments and reactions are a result of a constant oppression by the American elites (as cited in Gorski, 2007).
The Americans’ love for dominance is not uncommon, and the social and racial segregations are instilling mammoth differences. It is high time that the US government works for the upliftment of the society as a whole, and not limits its responsibilities towards the elite. Undoubtedly, the African-Americans continue to bear the wrath. Successful personalities like President Obama and Michael Jackson have proved the potential of black Americans; unfortunately, the minority section needs further evidences of their capabilities.
How can it be that the wealthy country (U.S) has the largest amount of child poverty in the world?
However, owing to multiculturalism in the US, the definition of poverty is slightly different here. Author Ruby Payne argues that poverty is not limited to the economically poor section. Poverty is also applicable to people who carry the mindset of a poverty culture. Even if families have good levels of income, they may still have behavior patterns and attitudes similar to that of poor people. A class analysis of the US reveals that only 1% represents the capitalist elite, while the rest belong to the working class and middle class. Payne notes that this section has particular negative traits. She portrays the poor people as the section with color, while in reality it is the white population that is mainly poor (as cited in Bomber et al., 2008).
It is tragic to witness an esteemed author like Payne taking such an unrealistic view of the economically and socially backward section of society. This is the basic problem of the Americans. They fail to realize that problem lies within their individual mindset and biasness for race and class. Education is for everyone; even people who are labeled to carry a ‘poverty mindset’ shouldn’t face inequalities. Discrimination in schools gives rise to several revengeful psychologies that hampers a child’s development into a responsible citizen. Undoubtedly, the US youths doesn’t think twice before taking up gun shootings or conspiring with radical thinkers against the West. The interconnection of poverty, schooling and class is a vast subject that needs to be analyzed from various perspectives. A narrow approach towards this nagging problem would continue to pose further threat to the US social, economic and political scene.
Bombr et al. (2008). Miseducating Teachers about the Poor: A Critical Analysis of Ruby Payne’s
Claims about Poverty. Teachers College Record. Vol.110 (12). Columbia University.
Gorski, P.C. (October, 2007). The Question of class. The Education Digest. Prakken
Ingraham, C. (2014, October 29). Child poverty in the U.S. is among the worst in the developed
world. The Washington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/29/child-poverty-in-the-u-s-is-among-the-worst-in-the-developed-world/.
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