“The Myth of the Culture of Poverty”
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As argued by Paul Gorski, "culture of poverty" myth is deceptive and misleading the audience about the reality of poverty. The move by Paul in disputing Janet’s claim about schoolchildren is very incorrect and misrepresents the true qualities defining a teacher. As a teacher, who understands the situation of her students, Janet should focus on encouraging hard work rather than concentrating on the unfortunate fact that the students cannot control or reverse.
Janet and anyone in the society should understand that it has never been anyone’s wish to be from a rich or poor family. Therefore, people should encourage and support one another to work hard and arise from poverty to a better life. Poor parents understand the importance of education in improving their lifestyles. This makes them struggle and spend most of their time working to sustain their families. It is the level of commitment and a tight schedule that makes poor parents miss most of the school meetings in comparison to rich parents who usually have flexible schedules.
The argument raised by Paul Gorski is important because if shared among Americans, it can encourage them to work hard and share optimism among poor families. However, it is hard to dispute and deny that the views portrayed by Janet and in “The Myth of the Culture of Poverty” represent true perception of most Americans about poverty. The American society believes that when born in a poor family, one will most likely remain poor in his/her entire life irrespective of their struggle or intelligence. The society believes that it is always hard for children in poor families to ascend to a higher social class. This fact attributes to the poor quality of education that such families can give for their children. The poor also lack connection with upper social class and wealthy people who can support them to ascend to a higher social class. On the contrary, it is easy for children in rich families to enter the higher social class or maintain the one enjoyed by their families.
Justification of Racial Pofiling and Effect on Target Ethnic Groups
Racial profiling is a security and social phenomenon in America believed to have the power to help detect and identify suspected terrorists. The principle of racial profiling has its benchmark and foundation in the past terrorism experiences that America succumbed to. The American government through its security instruments has largely supported and recognized racial profiling as a way to detect, deter, frustrate and manage terrorist activities within its borders. However, government’s support and recognition of racial profiling appears to be in total contradiction to the Fourth Amendment of the Supreme Constitution that assures equal protection to every citizen (Clegg & Noreika, 2003). As if declaring stands on the matter, the American government holds that it has the responsibility to ensure national security regardless the costs.
The first point where American government appeared to begin justifying racial profiling was just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during the Second World War. It is imperative to understand that bombing of Pearl Harbor was a retaliatory and scaring attack by Japan against America for apparently siding with China by imposing supplies embargo to Japan (Clegg & Noreika, 2006). Pearl Harbor inhabited most of the US naval war equipment and machines. It is after the attack that American government through Attorney General Earl Warren ordered for clear demarcation of lands owned by Japanese in California and ultimate eviction of Japanese to about 200 miles away from the California coastlines. In support of the move, American government noted that continued existence of Japanese in that region would provide an opportunity for another attack on the Harbor.
According to Kundnani (2003), another incident that increased government’s recognition and support for racial profiling as a tool for encountering terrorism was 9/11. This worked to confirm to the security intelligence about the truthfulness of the theory they were working on after studying a series of terrorism activities within America and around the world. According to the American SSecurity Intelligence with reference to the 9/ 11 incident, most terrorist are likely to be brown individuals of Middle East origin. Concisely, Security Intelligence arrived to the conclusion that potential terrorists are likely to be Muslims and Arabs. This conclusion correlated to understanding that 9/11 attack was an initiative of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In that line, most of the potential terrorists are likely to be supporters of Al Qaeda or have a particular connection to Middle East countries where terrorism activities are widely spread (Kundnani, 2006). With this understanding, American Security Intelligence under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 and the USA Patriotic Act of 2001 have intensified search without warrant operations on individuals suspected as potential terrorists. Such operations have largely targeted individuals of Arab origin and affiliated to Islamic religion.
Racial profiling as applied by US security intelligence and as perceived by the general public is very tortuous to the social wellbeing of Muslims and Arabs living within the country. Incessant frisking by the security officials as done on the Arabs and Muslims results to the serious psychological tortures. The practice also compromises and limits the rights of free movement and equal protection of innocent citizens as declared in the Constitution. Racial profiling has attracted individuals of Arab origin causing discrimination and negative labeling among people of other races.
Reproduction of Gender Inequality
Social institutions in the US are increasingly reproducing gender discrimination that now affects men while favoring women. Answering the call for gender equality and implementing programs to achieve equality, social institutions appear to place all the concentration on women while ignoring men (Mabokela, 2007). Since they have the authority to determine who gets employment as well as dictate the use of natural resources, social institutions are increasingly hindering men from accessing the opportunity in effect reproducing gender inequality in a reciprocal manner.
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