Thursday, October 21, 2010

Making the misguided credible. . .

This New York Times piece is disturbing:

'Culture of poverty' makes a comeback

The assumptions and distortions at the heart of this discussion is why the work of Ruby Payne and the support of "no excuses" charter schools are flourishing within our classist/racist views of people who happen to live in poverty. . .

This comment from John Fullinwider on the NYT article is more credible than the article or the scholars examined in the article:

"What would make for some interesting sociology is a study of the 'culture of wealth.' Why do rich people remain so willfully blind to the injustice that benefits them? Why do landlords who defer apartment maintenance pretend that it's the tenants who "don't care"? Why do cops haul poor black men out of their cars during a minor traffic stop, but give prosperous-looking whites a pass? Why are there a thousand studies about unwed teenage mothers who are poor and zero about the disposition of unwanted pregnancies among Ivy League co-eds? Why don't the sociologists at Harvard study the moral failings of their largest donors? Why doesn't Professor Sampson study his own amoral 'culture of well-funded curiosity' as he drops fake letters on the sidewalk of destitute, devastated neighborhoods to see which poor people care enough to return his mail? Why not study residents of the wealthiest census tracts in Chicago to learn why they don't care enough to end the devastation? Instead of studying the disadvantaged, why not study the ones who put so many at a disadvantage?"