Despising the Poor, Part I-Assumptions

December 6, 2015

“If a brother or a sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, ‘Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled’; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” ~ James 2:15-16

America the Great hates its poor.

However, this hatred is generally disguised in benign and passive aggressive ways, much like modern day racism.

There are generally two faulty types of thinking that motivate the average person’s hardheartedness towards the poor and impoverished:
1) A person's poverty is caused by poor choices. If they made better choices, they could take the necessary steps to come out of poverty.

2) That even if their poverty is caused by unforeseen events or caused by uncontrollable events, there are ample opportunities and resources available to the impoverished to take the necessary steps to regain financial control. 

Furthermore, the motivation of this thinking is based on the assumptions that;
1)    Being impoverished is a choice

2)    That the lack of  certain resources do not present challenges that someone presented with more opportunities or access to resources may not face; Moreover, a lack of  certain resources do not present challenges that another impoverished person may not face.

3)    That being poor and impoverished doesn’t change you i.e. has an effect on your physical, mental, and emotional state.   


Many researchers have published findings regarding the correlations between poverty and crime. Remember that American values are promoted with the idea that there are equal opportunities available to all, and if a person  finds themselves on the opposing end of these opportunities, it can only be attributed to some fault of their own. Therefore, there is a disconnect in many researchers' understanding of the links between poverty and crime.


There is also a high -level of hardheartedness  from the average American  towards the poor and impoverished who commit crimes. Generally, this is based on two  faulty types of thinking:


1) Since being impoverished  is a choice, a person who is impoverished generally makes bad or irresponsible choices, therefor a poor or impoverished, despite opportunities made equally available to them (i.e. government assistance, college education), then they are choosing to be poor or impoverished.


2) When poor or impoverished persons commit crimes, they have chosen to neglect taking advantage of equal opportunities made available to them, and have made an active choice to commit a crime instead.


More to follow on this topic...





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