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Widening Class Divide among Black Americans

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2007 08:51 am
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,026 • Replies: 51
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tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2007 09:22 am
Re: Widening Class Divide among Black Americans
Quote:
37 percent of African-Americans polled felt that "blacks today can no longer be thought of as a single race" because of a widening class divide.


social/economic class = race now? i mean i think understand the point being made, but what an odd way to express it... no?
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2007 10:43 am
I think what he means is that there is a striking polarity between wealthy Blacks and poor Blacks.

Good examples can be seen in recent African-American novels by Stephen L. Carter:

The Emperor of Ocean Park

New England White

Also of social/economic significance is the use of the word ghetto today. A black or white person can be "from a ghetto" or they can be from an upper middle class non-ghetto suburb and still act "ghetto"-like.

(Of course one could be living in either a ghetto or up scale suburb and not be acting "ghetto-like").
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2007 10:51 am
Miller wrote:
I think what he means is that there is a striking polarity between wealthy Blacks and poor Blacks.


I think this is true about any race. We are now a world divided more by economics than skin color.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2007 10:57 am
Miller wrote:
I think what he means is that there is a striking polarity between wealthy Blacks and poor Blacks.

Good examples can be seen in recent African-American novels by Stephen L. Carter:

The Emperor of Ocean Park

New England White


The Emperor of Ocean Park. I tried reading that book and for reasons unremembered I just couldn't get into it. It is still somewhere in the vicinity of my nightstand. I might have to give it another look.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2007 06:57 pm
Does anyone like sociology? Well, just about, for all ethnic groups, there has been a class divide, as a portion became upwardly mobile.

This has happened first, I believe, with WASPS, then Irish, then Jews, then Italians, and likely many other groups.

Just read Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell, and you'll wonder who these Irish of the 1920's could be. Not like the successful Irish of today.

And in the first half of the 20th century, many Jews and Italians were fairly poor. That's not their image today.

The fact that Black Americans now have an upwardly mobile class just means they arrived, so to speak.

But, why put Black Americans in the news for this? Every group that became upwardly mobile did not identify with those members of their group that stayed part of the respective ethnic group's underclass. This is not news, I believe; it is Sociology 101, or perhaps a second year of Sociology?

But if the concern is to help the poor Black Americans that are not part of this Black upwardly mobile group, I have to wonder how the Irish, Italians and Jews managed to move out of the urban slums? The answer is likely not appreciated these days, in respect to this new concern.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2007 08:14 pm
The economic divide between rich and poor is growing.

If you read Miller's posts for a while, you'll understand why she/he would post this story about statistical "facts" about black people, even though it is a socioeconomic issue that could be said about any ethnic group.
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2007 08:37 pm
snood wrote:
The economic divide between rich and poor is growing.

If you read Miller's posts for a while, you'll understand why she/he would post this story about statistical "facts" about black people, even though it is a socioeconomic issue that could be said about any ethnic group.


okay...I typically remain purposely inattentive of these things in relation to online conversation, but now i'm going a'searching...
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tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2007 06:58 am
funny how just because all modern society is poisonous enough to create class divide, foofie treats it as status, or joining a club, instead of a problem.

if everyone had tb except one group, and they finally got it, would it be good or bad? of course i don't think class divide among african americans (or african africans, for that matter) is anything new.
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aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2007 07:33 am
I watched a movie that my son had rented the other day that had me thinking about this same issue, but coming to exactly the opposite conclusion (as far as class and its divisions go - nonspecific to race).

This movie depicted upwardly mobile white professionals who lived in nice houses, had good careers and were parents and who were speaking and behaving like absolute idiots. The language was absolutely atrocious- but I had to admit to myself that it was no longer shocking to hear this kind of language out of anyone's mouth in America despite what their socioeconomic circumstances might be, so it was probably a pretty accurate depiction. The level of discourse was abysmal and indication of any kind of social consciousness informing their behavior was absolutely nonexistent.
It scares me to think that this movie provides any indication of the true level of "CLASS" (and by that I mean "decorum" or "dignity") in our society- but I think it does.

I think the class divide in terms of behavior (and again, nonspecific to race) is lessening, not widening. And it seems to me that instead of anyone being uplifted- we're all allowing ourselves to be dragged down. It always seems to go that way...I guess it's easier.

* I was encouraged however, that my son found the movie as disturbingly stupid and degrading as I did. That fact gave me some hope...
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2007 11:15 am
snood wrote:
The economic divide between rich and poor is growing.

If you read Miller's posts for a while, you'll understand why she/he would post this story about statistical "facts" about black people, even though it is a socioeconomic issue that could be said about any ethnic group.


I believe the reality of a capitalistic system is like any athletic track competition; some people get lapped, and the eventual winners often open up a wide lead ahead of the "pack" before the eventual win.

Needless to say, Black Americans were held back from equally competing for hundreds of years. However, I don't think that is corrected by dumping assets into their laps. I think they should get the best lower, middle, and high schooling this country can offer.

But, there is still a sociological thing going on, since Southern Black Americans have more cohesive families, I believe, and also the West Indian Blacks that emigrate to the Northern American cities. I thought their children are ahead in academic achievement. Class is just not money.

But, what I believe, is if one doesn't want a growing gap between rich and poor, regardless of race, then this might just be the wrong economic system to be living under. I'm not saying change the sytem; people can move to more socialistic climes!
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2007 06:55 am
he's got a point, if a glib one. i'd recommend the united kingdom, but it's a nice little catch-22 if you can't afford to move out of the country.

still, i think canada and cuba are going to become more popular as the red-scare myths wear off and america becomes yet-increasingly ridiculous. people can only take so much nonsense, although americans can take more of it than i can personally grasp. more's the pity.
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2007 07:13 am
Re: Widening Class Divide among Black Americans
Miller wrote:

LAST week, the Pew Research Center published the astonishing finding that 37 percent of African-Americans polled felt that "blacks today can no longer be thought of as a single race" because of a widening class divide.


The use of the word "race" is problematical, but the statement isn't really.

The problem is the demoKKKrat party and the divide is between those blacks still laboring under the yoke of the demoKKKrat party, and those who have escaped.

95% Of everything anybody figures to be "black" problems in America are in actuality demoKKKrat problems. Outlaw the dem party and ban it, and most of the problems blacks experience living in America would evaporate within a few years.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2007 01:01 pm
If Black Americans don't necessarily think of themselves as one race today, what do they think of themselves as racially?

Is this thread lost in semantics? Socio-economic class is not race for anyone. So, unless Black Americans all get DNA tested, and then can claim different percentages of genetic material from different racial groups, what is really being said of Black Americans all not subscribing to one Black race?

The result of DNA testing of Black Americans would be no different than if all Caucasians were DNA tested. Some would show only European ancestry. Some would show European ancestry with some other ancestries also. Caucasians, I believe, just have different identities based on national and/or ethnic backgrounds. And, within that hodge podge of Caucasians, are wealthier Caucasians and poorer Caucasians.

Doesn't anyone empathize with Caucasians that can't send their children to private colleges? Or buy Ozzie and Harriet type homes? Can't there be equality in concerns for the poorer amongst us?

Is the concern over Black Americans and poverty really the intractable guilt over slavery? If so, I would like this to be admitted, rather than, perhaps, couch the concern in statistics that may prove to be not too different from statistics for some states' rural whites?
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 05:45 am
i'm not sure exactly how much race has to do with dna either. i remember some argument that genetically, whites and blacks are closer than whites and asians. interesting, when race seems to be based largely on skin color, and when there are theories about asians coming over to north america to eventually become the natives of the land.

so what the hell is race, then? it seems almost completely made-up to me. perhaps it was meaningful up to a time shortly after travel by boat was possible.
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aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 06:09 am
Foofie wrote:
Quote:
Is the concern over Black Americans and poverty really the intractable guilt over slavery? If so, I would like this to be admitted, rather than, perhaps, couch the concern in statistics that may prove to be not too different from statistics for some states' rural whites?


Maybe for some Americans it's not so much guilt as the willingness to admit some responsibility for the laws that either they or their ancestors voted to enact that resulted in the conditions in this country that effectively put a lock on education and home or land ownership and economic parity with whites for most blacks until forty years ago.

But I think the author was speaking (in terms of race) culturally- not genetically. And if makes sense to me that middle class blacks probably do feel culturally closer and more familiar with the mores of middle class whites, than with people who share an entirely different lifestyle from theirs. I know as a middle class person, I feel more familiar and consistently in agreement with the cultural mores of the middle class black people I know than I do with the poor white people I meet (even though I myself am white).
But yes economically- the divide is consistently enlarging among all racial groups- but money doesn't instill class or culture in a person. That's my point- and I think culturally- the sort of divisions in behavior and language that you used to see are lessening, not widening.

*I am concerned about poor whites- they face the same challenges of poor people of any race, and in alot of ways, they've been priced out of their chance to further their education, buy a home, access decent health care and achieve economic success for themselves and their children.
And unless I vote to change that situation, I will feel guilty and/or somewhat responsible for the continued ensuing mess.
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tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 06:20 am
i don't think slavery is quite dead yet, and it contradicts our values around the idea of freedom.

until slavery is truly dead, and not just buried, i think we have an obligation to continue working on the problem, or at least stop talking out our asses about "freedom" as if we know anything at all about it, or as if we even stand for such a thing. if you're going to promote yourself as a bastion of any solution, you're going to have to solve problems, retire, or admit how full of crap you are. pick one!
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aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 06:25 am
Who me? If so, then I pick work on solutions...I'm too young to retire.
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tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 06:28 am
sorry aiden, i was hoping it was clear that my post was parallel to yours, not pointed at it.
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aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 06:32 am
I got it as soon as I pressed submit- sorry TG- yeah- alot of Americans would just like to forget the reality and the ensuing consequences...
0 Replies
 
 

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