its not just in the mountains.

Discussion in 'Race Relations/Racism' started by Huey, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Huey
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    Huey Silver Member

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    This post’s title is a rhetorical question. Of course poor whites exist, but not that you’d know so if you’re informed by the mainstream media. While Ronald Reagan was successful in painting urban black women as “welfare queens”, whites receive nearly 2/3 of all welfare benefits administered by the federal government. Still, Shaniqua Jackson, not Samantha McMullen, is the face of American poverty.
    Last Friday’s edition of ABC’s 20/20 tried to shed some light on the woes of dirt poor rural white Americans, a group of folks so routinely (and IMHO, intentionally) ignored they’re damn near considered invisible. And while A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains is a fairly nuanced portrait of life in the hills of Kentucky, it both informs and pisses off at the same time.
    The promo trailer:

    A young girl discusses her Mom’s drug problem.

    Notice how Whoopi is literally biting her tongue as Sawyer pitches her special on The View. Peep her under the table remark about the tooth-rot. I love me some Whoopi, mane.

    I’ll admit, despite having grown up in an area with lots of impoverished white folks, even I didn’t realize the depths of the issues in Appalachia. Children out-of-wedlock, awful graduation rates, incest, generational curses, excessive prescription drug abuse, abysmal heath statistics, rampant crime, broken families, and joblessness abound. If you closed your eyes, you’d swear they were talking about Detroit. It’s all packaged together in a pretty intriguing (albeit depressing) 60 minutes.
    The thing that sorta pisses you off is how the one hour story is told. ABC’s Diane Sawyer, a Kentuckian (from Louisville, not the hills) herself, tells a well-rendered story of the invisible residents of her homestate with the sort of compassion and restraint seldom afforded when the media depicts poor minorities.
    The drug problem is blamed on pharmaceutical companies who systematically dump OxyContin in the mountains as a catch-all pain reliever.[1] The declining coal industry leads to unemployment. Poorly-funded schools lead to high school dropouts. An epidemic of toothrot is blamed on Moutain Dew addiction.[2] A football player who feels alienated and leaves behind a college scholarship (after just 8 weeks) does so because of the pressures from back home, not because he found himself suddenly overmatched on the gridiron. These issues all accumulate and take their toll on the ties that bind the families featured. It’s almost as if there’s a logical explanation for why everyone’s so f*cked the f*ck up. They’re victims of circumstance and products of their environment. Personal responsibility isn’t even discussed. The word “bootstraps” isn’t uttered a single time.
    Contrast this with the way poor blacks are blamed for everything. Pumping drugs into their communities. Leaving their children behind with single moms. Killing each other. Leaching off the government when they should really just get off their lazy black asses and do better. Hell, some folks are even blaming Negroes for the recent mortgage crisis. No, really.

    Never mind the fact that merely 6% of all “risky” loans were given to minorities. It sounds so much better to say the gubb’ment was forced at gunpoint to hand these shifty, lazy Negroes keys to a duplex, for fear of otherwise being tabbed as racist. As if the GOP was ever concerned about being accused of racism.[3] Also never mind the fact that the Republican who presided over this nonsense was the main dude claiming that minority home ownership reaching all-time high levels in the mid 2000′s was proof of his commitment to leveling the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. That’s right, when you’re writing revisionist history, you can have it both ways. Those are the rules.
    The next portrayal of blacks as “victims of circumstance” I see at the hands of the MSM will be the first. I’m not holding my breath, because that would be pointless. A similar Diane Sawyer expose about poor minorities in Camden, NJ a few years ago was pockmarked with the typical “violent, babypoppin’, lazy gubb’ment leachers” nonsense. And lest anyone get it confused: inner-city poverty is hardly an exclusively black thang. If you’ve been to Fishtown in Philly[4], or any random backstreet from B-More or Beantown, you’ll know exactly what I mean. You can attempt to marginalize it to your liking, but white poverty isn’t just some epidemic confined to a handfulla’ folks up in dem’ dar’ hills. Lets change that tired narrative for once and for all, please.
    Just so nobody gets it confused, I’m emphatically not saying black folks don’t need to claim personal responsibility for their own destiny. Of course I agree with that, this blog more or less says so everyday! The problem is, when that very same set of expectations isn’t extended to poor whites, we’ve got a really big disconnect. And I don’t know bout’ ya’ll, but I smell a Grand Hu$tle here.
    Question: Did you see ABC’s A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains? Why do you think the MSM portrays poor blacks as shiftless and lazy, yet chooses to completely deny the existence of whites living in even more dire situations?
    Watch ABC News 20/20 A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains [ABC.com]
    [1] Hmmm, but saying the gubb’ment might could have something to do with the crack epidemic in inner cities is batshit crazy?!?
    [2] No, seriously. They more or less blamed toothlessness on the soft drink industry.
    [3] Barack The Magic Negro CD’s anyone?
    [4] I had the misfortune of taking a couple of wrong turns off I-95 once. That sh*t looked like Beirut with white people. I had no idea this sorta thing even existed before then.:clap2:
     
  2. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Yes, there ar definitely a lot of poor white people, and yes, there are a lot of white people on welfare.

    This certainly runs contrary to what I hear on this site everyday that the issues the U ha with crime and poverty are because of illegal immigration....!
     
  3. Barb
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    Barb Carpe Scrotum

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    In Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy, Martin Gilens explains that, inconsistent with common belief about American’s attitudes regarding social spending, Americans are dedicated to the welfare state programs that help people out of poverty. While there is greater support for event based social programs rather than “means tested” maintenance programs, the majority of Americans who respond to survey questions express the belief that we should be doing and spending more to help the poor. Divided opinions concern what programs serve that end most efficiently and fairly, and who should receive how much and what kind of help.

    Most important to the divergence between attitudes regarding the bulk of the safety net programs and cash welfare are media distortions that portray black Americans as the greatest recipients of cash and cash like welfare, and racial stereotypes that depict them as shiftless people with a looser connection to a work ethic many white Americans feel is uniquely their own. These beliefs about welfare in general and black Americans in particular not only perpetuate suspicions of laziness regarding welfare recipients, but also generate greater barriers to the very participation in the workforce that a large minority of white Americans view as lacking in the black community.

    Discrimination deprives minorities, women, and those in the lower economic classes of the opportunity to develop human capital and to use it in the market, keeping poor people in poverty and adding to the generational pressure of their progeny. Even when the economy improves, discrimination keeps poor and minority people in low paid jobs, and prevents them from advancement.

    Subjective and changing images of poverty in the US media
    The US media started reinforcing racial stereotypes during Civil Rights gains made by black Americans in the 1960s and 1970s that decreased the states ability to discriminate in application of welfare policies, and again during the recession of 1982-1983. After ignoring poverty suffered in black communities throughout US history, the poverty images the media published the 1960's and later in the 1980's disproportionately depicted black faces. However, unlike the positive stories accompanying images of white poverty, black people were overwhelmingly connected to negative news coverage and commentary.
     
  4. eflatminor
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    eflatminor Classical Liberal

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    I suspect that has to do with the rate of recipients compared to the overall population. Blacks make up about 12-13% of the population but also make up almost 40% of all welfare recipients...or something close to that, the numbers vary slightly.

    Of course, that's because everybody is a racist...:eusa_eh:

    IMO, the entire argument is bullshit. Even the poorest Americans are rich compared to the rest of the world and when you look at what America's poor own, they're not exactly hurting for modern conveniences. Facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau as taken from various government reports:

    • 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning.
    • 92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
    • Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
    • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.
    • Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.
    • Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.
    • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
    • 43 percent have Internet access.
    • One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
    • One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.

    Understanding Poverty in the United States: Poverty USA

    I argue all these handouts are not helping anyone of any race. Dependency on government is cruel and debilitating.
     
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  5. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Yes, that is true, but it is also relative.

    Some 12% of Americans live below the poverty line.

    In Switzerland it is 6.9%, Canada 9.4% and Holland 10.5%.

    Now the poverty line does vary from country to country, but I do think 12% is quite high for a country with as much wealth as the US.

    Also, the US has the least distributed wealth of any developed country - so maybe more needs to be done to ensure that 12% work their way out of poverty.
     
  6. eflatminor
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    eflatminor Classical Liberal

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    And the MOST PROGRESSIVE tax rates. So maybe we're doing plenty.

    There will always be poor. In America, we've raised the overall wealth so high that even our poor are considered rich, both in terms of income and possessions.

    It's the PURSUIT of happiness, not guaranteed happiness.
     
  7. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Really?

    Can you prove that?
     
  8. Barb
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    Barb Carpe Scrotum

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    Not in the right direction.
    The Federal Tax Code and Income Inequality | Center for American Progress
     
  9. eflatminor
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    eflatminor Classical Liberal

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    Yes. According to an OECD report "Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries" (OECD © 2008 - ISBN 9789264044180), America's income taxes were the most progressive of the 24 countries in the sample. This ranking takes account of employee-side payroll tax as well as the federal income tax.

    There are many articles out there demonstrating that the US has the most progressive tax system. I like this piece in particular because it also takes into account all the loopholes::

    The Increasing Progressivity of U.S. Taxes: And the Shrinking Tax Base | Alan Reynolds | Cato Institute: Congressional Testimony

    From the article:

    Bottom line, the US has the most progressive tax system out there. Big picture, we have the top 20% of earners footing the bill for the other 80%.
     
  10. squeeze berry
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    squeeze berry Gold Member

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    25% of blacks are on welfare
     

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