Paul Gorski’s “The Myth of the Culture of Poverty” is a very informative article that talks about some of the commonly held stereotypes regarding poor people. This article explains that poor people have been unjustly judged by the society, which attributes their present state of affairs to the believes, values, and behavior they purportedly share.
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Some of the most commonly held believes or perceptions regarding poor people include poor people are unmotivated and have weak work ethics, poor parents are uninvolved in their children’s learning because they do not value education, poor people are linguistically deficient, and they tend to abuse drugs and alcohol.
As explained by Gorski, such stereotypes are incorrect and it is indeed wrong and unjust to come up with values and attributes that claim to describe an entire demographic of people based on their current economic status.
Unfortunately, rather all of the stereotypes regarding poor people are widespread in many societies and this has served to further increase the problem of generational poverty. Poor people are regarded to be in the state they are in because of their own making. Therefore, little is being done to remedy this situation.
It is indeed true that in many societies, poor people are perceived to be lazy, lacking in ambition and, therefore, unable to rise above their current statuses. As Gorski rightly puts it, such perceptions must be done away with in the society and learning institutions, which are meant to mould students to achieve their greatest potential. It is only after doing this that the society can manage to effectively address the issue of poverty.
Racial profiling has been and continues to be an issue in the United States and many other developed countries. There are various times in history when the United States government has justified some of its actions that can be described as downright racial profiling.
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the United States government, through its various agencies, some of which were created just after the attack was involved in various acts of racial profiling. The government targeted members belonging to the Arab and Muslim communities for special scrutiny in many public facilities including airports, malls, and subway stations.
In addition to that, the government targeted both legal and illegal immigrants belonging from these two communities, arresting, and detaining them in Guantanamo and other detention facilities on suspicion of being involved in terrorist related activities. The government used national security to justify their actions claiming that the people held were genuine suspects and, thus, must be held for questioning.
During the Second World War, hundreds of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans were subjected to unauthorized searches where their property and houses were searched by the government officials in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attacks.
In addition to that, most Japanese Americans and immigrants were forced to leave their homes and stay in concentration camps as a result of a government issued order. In this incidence, the government claimed that it was acting for the greater good of the American people and that taking such an initiative was necessary to ensure the safety of all American citizens including the Japanese Americans.