By Angela Grant
“Why can’t they pull up their own bootstraps? I did it, why can’t they? They skirt accountability and their ‘ghetto behavior’ doesn’t help!”
Many are convinced this is the case. They boldly declare cultural differences — such as, social class, ethnicity and gender — do not limit opportunities. Disadvantaged groups are deservedly stuck in poverty because of laziness and attitude.
But can there be alternative explanations? Explanations that do not skirt accountability and blame “ghetto behavior” for the plight of those struggling to survive in America.
Here are three alternative explanations (there are many more). These alternative explanations are grounded in research and I included a partial reblog of a well-written article from the World Health Organization (WHO) on health determinants.
- Poor environmental conditions profoundly impact health by creating unhealthy social, physical and emotional environments; as well as producing self-imposed social isolation and societal-imposed social isolation. People living in desolate, impoverished and unhealthy environments are often blinded by the darkness of their world. They can’t see, making it extremely challenging to find boots, let alone pull them up.
- Media coverage reinforcing negative stereotypes stigmatize disadvantaged and targeted ethnic communities and their members. Positive media coverage of disadvantaged groups are sparse with very few societal reminders that they are main characters in this movie called “life.” Disadvantaged or unprivileged groups are given few opportunities to break the cycle of poverty but many opportunities to stay where they are. The media plays an important role in keeping the status quo.
- Access, equity and justice are unfairly meted out to disadvantaged groups and targeted ethnic groups. Instead they are treated like children without brains. Decisions are made about their best interest without their input. Unintentionally giving these communities, boots filled with gaping holes without strings — impossible to pull one’s own boot straps up.
Have poor people and other ethnic groups stopped pulling themselves up by the bootstraps? No, they are walking bare-feet.
This story was reblogged from Failure To Listen