Category Archives: Poverty

Bill O’Reilly: The truth about white privilege

At the risk of copyright violation, I’m reproducing the whole text; from here.

Published August 26, 2014 | O’Reilly Factor | Bill O’Reilly

By Bill O’Reilly

Last night on The Factor, Megyn Kelly and I debated the concept of white privilege whereby some believe that if you are Caucasian you have inherent advantages in America.

Talking Points does not, does not believe in white privilege. However, there is no question that African-Americans have a much harder time succeeding in our society. Even whites do. But the primary reason is not skin color. It’s education and not only book learning. Here are the facts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black Americans is 11.4 percent. It’s just over five percent for whites, 4.5 percent for Asians. So, do we have Asian privilege in America? Because the truth is, that Asian American households earn far more money than anyone else. The median income for Asians, close to $69,000 a year; it’s 57,000 for whites’ $33,000 for black — so the question becomes why? And the answer is found in stable homes and in emphasis on education; 88 percent of Asian Americans graduate from high school compared to 86 for whites and just 69 percent for blacks. That means 31 percent of African-Americans have little chance to succeed in the free marketplace because they are uneducated. They are high school dropouts.

Asian Americans also tend to keep their families intact. Just 13 percent of Asian children live in single parent homes compared to a whopping 55 percent for blacks and 21 percent for whites. So, there you go. That is why Asian Americans, who often have to overcome a language barrier, are succeeding far more than African-Americans and even more than white Americans. Their families are intact and education is paramount.

American children must learn not only academics but also civil behavior, right from wrong, as well as how to speak properly and how to act respectfully in public. If African-American children do not learn those things, they will likely fail as adults. They will be poor. They will be angry, and they often will be looking to blame someone else.

One caveat, the Asian American experience historically has not been nearly as tough as the African-American experience. Slavery is unique and it has harmed black Americans to a degree that is still being felt today, but in order to succeed in our competitive society, every American has to overcome the obstacles they face. And here is where the African-American leadership in America is failing.

Instead of preaching a cultural revolution, the leadership provides excuses for failure. The race hustlers blame white privilege, an unfair society, a terrible country. So the message is, it’s not your fault if you abandon your children, if you become a substance abuser, if you are a criminal. No, it’s not your fault; it’s society’s fault.

That is the big lie that is keeping some African-Americans from reaching their full potential. Until personal responsibility and a cultural change takes place. Millions of African-Americans will struggle. And their anger, some of it justified will seethe. The federal government cannot fix this problem. Only a powerful message of responsibility can turn things around. And that’s “The Memo”.

It comes down to this.

I ask anyone the same question I ask myself every day:

What will you do
today
to improve your lot
today?

On the other hand, many people are incapable of responsibility, for reason that they lack any understanding of cause and effect.  I will discuss this more in a subsequent post, How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty, currently scheduled for release November 29.

FOOTNOTE, 2014-10-24:  Remark from my diary:  “Responsibility presumes ownership of power. But ownership of power is impossible without a grasp of cause and effect.”

(Originally posted 2014-09-13.)

Podcast – Rich and poor

If I prosper, will God love me?

The William Tell Show — Rich and poor

Mike and the Mechanics, “The Living Years”

Related:  Questia – Martin E. Marty, “An ordinary oppressor”

A simple lesson

(Originally posted June 22, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 2014-09-10.)

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Continue reading A simple lesson

Choosing chaos

The problem isn’t that the system’s white.
The problem is that it’s a system at all.

I first meant to title this, “Choosing disorder,” but settled on using a word that’s a bit more edgy, and consistent with my past vocabulary.

There are interesting relationships among some words. Continue reading Choosing chaos

Out of reach

From my diary:

Thursday  2014-06-19.  13:30.  In a recent column, Dan Rodricks mentioned Manna House, which I’d never heard of before.  At McD this morning, Roy was talking to somebody and mentioned having been at Manna House last night — “with the critters and the crazies.”  I was quite surprised to hear him talk like that, since in my book, he’s “a critter and a crazy.”  The people who frequent that place must be really bad off.  I would recall [a former therapist, whose principal practice was in addictions]‘s saying, when I asked many years ago about the mentally ill among the homeless, that “they’re so sick they can’t be treated.”  Part of my heart reaches out to them; can it be that I might sink so low as to become able to see the world as they see it?  What does the Gospel look like to a hopeless schizophrenic?

Continue reading Out of reach

Courage to walk unarmed

A Nation of Cowards

Jeffrey Snyder suggests that carrying a handgun is both a right and a duty of every law-abiding citizen.

This is hard for me to relate to; as, for all practical purposes, no such people exist in my world.

Gun lovers’ slogans include, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Forget laws; in my world, only outlaws have guns now.

I have no impulse to join them.
Continue reading Courage to walk unarmed

Chaos overwhelms the poor

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor

Andy Kessler: Guilty as charged

I participate on a certain online discussion board. My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade. He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time. He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections. It has nothing to do with me. He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.

Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different. In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt. I hear gratitude; he hears guilt. I hear hope; he hears guilt. What’s up with this?

Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation. That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.
Continue reading Andy Kessler: Guilty as charged