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Media overrepresentation of the level of black welfare dependence ... Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy' 5 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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1

Pathways Out of Poverty True Integration Through
Coalition Building and Public Solidarity john a.
powell Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for
the Study of Race and Ethnicity Williams Chair in
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Moritz College
of Law The Ohio State University October 25, 2007
2
American Narrative on Poverty
  • Self sufficiency and anti-government (ownership
    society)
  • Responsibility tied only to the individual
  • Deserving (children/innocence) and undeserving
    poor (mostly people of color)
  • Resulting in durable, persistent and racialized
    poverty

3
Attitudes Toward the Poor
  • Perceived causes of poverty
  • Internal controllable causality (e.g., lack of
    effort)
  • gt personal responsibility
  • Internal uncontrollable causality (e.g., illness)
  • gt no one is responsible
  • External controllable causality (e.g., government
    policy)
  • gt others are responsible
  • External uncontrollable causality (e.g., bad
    luck)
  • gt no one is responsible
  • Perceptions regarding the poor (worthy or
    unworthy, deserving or not deserving, and moral
    or immoral) guide disparate emotional reactions
    and pro- versus anti-social behavioral responses.

Source Weiner, Bernard. When Poverty is a Moral
Failure.
4
Attitudes Toward the Poor
  • Why Americans hate welfare (Gilens)
  • Racial attitudes toward welfare recipients as
    undeserving
  • The undeserving poor are assumed to be black,
    lazy, and lacking in commitment to the work
    ethic.
  • Media overrepresentation of the level of black
    welfare dependence
  • Ethnic and racial fractualization (Alesina
    Glaeser)
  • Racial fractualization correlated with income
    differences
  • All poor are lazy racial differences
  • between rich and poor facilitated
  • the propagation of this view

Sources Alesina, Alberto and Glaeser, Edward L.
Fighting poverty in the US and Europe A world
of difference Gilens, Martin.
Why Americans Hate Welfare Race, Media, and the
Politics of Antipoverty Policy
5
Attitudes Toward the Poor Matter
  • Programs developed for addressing poverty
  • Direct benefit give-away gt produces hostility
  • Programs creating opportunity gt get more support
  • How they think about
  • themselves (the sense
  • of self)

Source http//www.ibiblio.org/prism/mar98/facts.h
tml
6
Individual vs. Collective Responsibility
  • Poverty viewed as personal/cultural failure
  • Emphasizing poverty as a result of personal or
    family failure to take advantage of opportunities
    or lack of motivation
  • System Justification
  • The poor deserve to be poor
  • A highly racialized perspective
  • Linked to the narrative of the American Dream

7
Individual vs. Collective Responsibility
  • Poverty viewed as structural failure
  • Recognizes poverty as the result of inequitable
    access to opportunities
  • A Failure of Opportunity
  • The dominant frame of the left
  • Current debates of the left are lacking, focusing
    more on class not race
  • Ignores the fact that most structural
    arrangements producing poverty are racialized

8
Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle
Class Lost Its Mind?
  • Cosbys assault on the black poor for personal
    responsibility
  • Dyson notes systematic/structural reasons
  • Afristocracy blaming "Ghettocracy, a growing
    cultural divide within the African-American
    community
  • Challenges us all black and white to confront
    the social problems that the civil rights
    movement failed to solve
  • Come on, People On the Path from Victims to
    Victors by Bill Cosby Alvin F. Poussaint
  • Acknowledge systematic and institutional racism
  • But this cant be an excuse for individual
    irresponsibility

9
Individual and Collective Responsibility
  • Its not either/or but together
  • Need programs that bring about change in the
    sense of self and change in responsibility
  • Make an effort to have different understanding
    and then bundle things together
  • Start with a few things that are in the pathway
    blocking opportunity and membership

10
What do we mean by Addressing Poverty?
  • What are human needs?
  • Needs of persons
  • Needs to maintain order and stability (Hobbes,
    Nozick)
  • Need for Legitimacy gt Membership (powell)
  • What is poverty?
  • Income or wealth
  • Freedom (Sen)
  • Membership (powell)

Sources Sen, Amartya. Development as Freedom
powell, john a. The Needs of
Members in a Legitimate Democratic State
Source Klein, David G.
11
Expanding our Understanding of Poverty
  • Poverty (and wealth) is measured by more than
    income, but by the capability to live the life
    one can value and contribute to society, a stable
    and sustainable existence
  • Poverty is the deprivation of basic capabilities,
    including health and education
  • People in poverty cannot fully exercise their
    freedoms
  • Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (1999)

12
What is Freedom?
  • Freedoms are many and varied, and
  • they complement and strengthen
  • one another
  • Sens Five Freedoms
  • Political freedoms
  • Economic facilities
  • Social opportunities
  • Transparency guarantees
  • Protective security
  • Economic development and social development are
    complementary, not competing, freedoms
  • Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (1999)

Image Rendering of the Freedom Tower released
June 27, 2006.
13
Membership in a Legitimate Democratic State
  • Membership, the most important good that we
    distribute to one another in human community
    (Michael Walzer)
  • Prior in importance even to freedom
  • Citizenship, a precondition to freedom
  • Membership, a precondition to citizenship
  • Distribution of membership

14
Capability Inequalities and Needs of Members
  • Individual responsibilities and capabilities are
    affected by health, gender, income, geographic
    location
  • What people need to become full members of the
    society is, everything!
  • We need to look not just at income inequality,
    but at inequalities in education, health care,
    housing, geographical (regional) inequalities

15
Who are Members?
  • And who are not real members?
  • Theory of citizenship
  • Race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • What about poor women of color?
  • Separating people and isolating the poor
  • Affects everybody. Everybody is on their own!
  • Problems with social welfare in the US.
  • Privatizing public issues (eg. healthcare, global
    warming, poverty, education, prison, etc.)

16
Racialization of Poverty
  • Many feel that this racialization of concentrated
    poverty has improved in recent years.
  • In 1960, African-American families in poverty
    were 3.8 times more likely to be concentrated in
    high-poverty neighborhoods than poor whites.
  • In 2000, they were 7.3 times more likely.

Fact Sheet from the Opportunity Agenda, Housing
Neighborhoods and Opportunity. http//www.opportun
ityagenda.org/site/c.mwL5KkN0LvH/b.1433711/k.B7BA/
Housing_Fact_Sheet.htm
17
Cycle of Cumulative Causation
  • Racism exists not in individuals.
  • Race is a web, or matrix of several factors of
    disadvantage culminating, and feeding off each
    other creating a vicious cycle of cumulative
    causation.
  • The structure we inhabit
  • distribute material benefits and burden across
    society
  • also distribute meaning
  • which in turn shapes racial attitudes and
    influences the formation of racial identities

Source powell, john a. Structural Racism
Building Upon the Insights of John Calmore
(tentative title)
18
The Cumulative Impacts of Racial and Opportunity
Segregation
Segregation impacts a number of life-opportunities
Adapted from figure by Barbara Reskin at
http//faculty.washington.edu/reskin/
19
Programs Addressing Poverty
  • Strategic mistakes of separating the poor from
    everybody else
  • Programs that enjoy the most support are the ones
    targeting the non-poor (eg. social security)
  • Programs targeting a particular racial group
    separate them from the other …
  • Not much attention paid to why whites should care
    about integration
  • What about us? - poor white middle class
    reacting to social justice work
  • Need programs that link the poor and the non-poor

20
Targeted Universalism
  • Through collective imagination, we need to define
    what the future should look like
  • A New Paradigm! Targeted Universalism
  • What is our alternative vision?
  • A model where we all grow together
  • A model where we embrace collective solutions
  • This vision requires collective action and will
    require coalitions to be successful

21
Integration
  • Integration is often conflated with
    desegregation, assimilation and diversity
  • One without the other is incomplete
  • Just the universal ignores the marginal.
  • Just the particular ignores connectedness.

22
Integration into Opportunity
  • Segregation is more than just the physical
    isolation of people
  • Segregation is isolation from opportunity or
    opportunity structures
  • Integration is not just about bringing in more
    people.
  • Integration into opportunity

23
Integration
  • We are constantly making our commonality.
  • It is there and not there.
  • Because we are both the same and different,
    dialogue is necessary and possible.
  • If we were all just the same, dialogue would not
    be necessary.
  • If we were just different, dialogue would not be
    possible.
  • This project is not just one of
  • distributing benefit but also identity.
  • It is a deeply political, practical
  • and spiritual issue.

24
True Integration
  • Creative and respective of inter-group relations
    based on mutuality, equality and fairness
  • Transformative rather than assimilative
  • Transforms and enriches the mainstream
  • (cf. desegregation, at best, attempts to
    assimilate minorities into the mainstream)

25
Coalition building
  • Move from transactional level to a deeper level
  • Coalition across groups, space, ideology
  • Ethics of connectedness and linked fate
  • We are seeing us as disconnected.
  • Structure in our society is disconnecting us (eg.
    public utility, public transportation)

26
Transformative View of Race
  • Strategic and transformative use of race requires
    that we show how all groups, including whites,
    are helped and harmed by our current
    institutional arrangements.
  • Structural analysis enables us to understand race
    as a transformative instrument for change.

Source powell, john a. Race and Transformative
Agenda
27
Milwaukee, A Snapshot
  • The 7th poorest city in the Nation (U.S. Census
    2004)
  • 45 of black males unemployed (CEDUWM 2006)
  • The 3rd worst city for African-Americans (Black
    Enterprise 2007)

28
Concentrated Poverty in Milwaukee
  • In 2000, 600,000 people in Milwaukee
  • 37 black, 12 Hispanic
  • In 2006, 26 of Milwaukeans live below the
    poverty threshold
  • 38 of African American population and 34 of
    Latino population in poverty

Source COWS (Center on Wisconsin Strategy),
Moving Outward The shifting landscape of
poverty in Milwaukee
29
African American Population in the Milwaukee
Region
30
The Dynamics of Opportunity in Milwaukee
Population by Race by Neighborhood Opportunity
Level
  • Who is living in low opportunity communities in
    Milwaukee?
  • Nearly 85 of the Milwaukee regions African
    Americans live in low and very low
    opportunity neighborhoods
  • 2/3s of the regions Latinos can be found in
    these communities
  • Approximately 200,000 Whites are found in low
    and very low opportunity communities
  • 225,000 African Americans and 70,000 Latinos live
    in these communities as well

31
  • Subsidized Housing and Poverty in the Milwaukee
    Region 1998 is concentrated in higher poverty
    areas.
  • Milwaukee needs approximately 28,000 units of
    housing for extremely low income families.
  • (Comprehensive Housing Affordability Survey,
    HUD, 2004)

32
Milwaukee Initiatives
  • A Review of the Milwaukee
  • Workforce Development System
  • Low level of business involvement
  • Separation of Workforce Development funding
    streams
  • Lack of employment and training service
    coordination
  • Inadequate transitional support of new workers
    and
  • Meager career development opportunities

Source A Review of the Milwaukee Workforce
Development System and Recommendations for
Improvements
33
Milwaukee Initiatives
  • Residents Preference Program (1991 )
  • Requires 25 of all hours worked on city public
    works contracts be performed by residents in poor
    areas of the city
  • New Hope Project (1994 )
  • Income supplement, subsidized health and child
    care, job search assistance
  • Housing Trust Fund (2006 )
  • Assist in the construction and rehabilitation of
    affordable housing for both for-profit and
    non-profit developers
  • Need for collaborative initiatives

34
Examples of Successful Programs
  • Chicago, IL - Center for Working Families
  • A new approach to help low-income families
  • increase their earnings and income ("Earn It"),
  • reduce their financial transaction costs ("Keep
    It"),
  • and build wealth for themselves and their
    communities ("Grow It")
  • Portland, OR
  • Assign recipients to adult education, vocational
    training, or life skills classes depending on
    their skills and needs.
  • An employment focus, the use of both job search
    and short-term education or training, and an
    emphasis on holding out for a good job
  • Suggests a need to bundle things together

Sources A Review of the Milwaukee Workforce
Development System and Recommendations for
Improvements, 2007 Moving People
from Welfare to Work Lessons from the National
Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies, 2002
35
Pathways Out of Poverty
  • Think about how to serve the poor without
    isolating the poor
  • Identify, test and help sustain pathways out of
    poverty
  • See people move along a road to self-sufficiency
  • Ensure access to meaningful opportunity is shared
    fairly, giving all children, adults, and families
    and communities a chance to live free of poverty

36
Public Face of Love is Solidarity
  • We are all caught up in an inescapable network
    of mutuality, tied in a single garment of
    destiny. Whatever effects one directly effects
    all indirectly.
  • - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • What Are Community Values? (Video clip)

37
www.KirwanInstitute.org
38
Addendum
  • Our current paradigm and its effects on social
    justice work
  • Race and Class
  • Integration vs. Desegregation (Dr. Martin Luther
    King, Jr.)

39
Our Current Paradigm
  • Hobbesian, isolated, radically individualistic
  • Perceives individuals as autonomous-independent
    selves
  • Egoistic, possessive, separate, isolated,
    rational
  • Role of state protect individualism and
    individual property

Addendum
40
Our Current Paradigm
  • This has led to increasing isolation and fear of
    the other
  • This framework creates and marginalizes the
    racialized other
  • Creates false separations negates shared
    humanity
  • As a result we are a nation divided, and have
    failed to achieve true democracy

Addendum
41
Effects of Current Paradigm on Social Justice
Work
  • Within this framework, social justice work
  • Overlooks opportunities for coalition building
  • Is more fragmented and isolated
  • May be competitive and divisive
  • Can lead to guilt or disempowerment
  • Is not connected to an overarching set of shared
    values
  • Lacks a cohesive and unified vision!

Addendum
42
Race and Class
  • From this nations inception, the race line was
    used to demarcate and patrol the divide between
    those who constituted the We in We The
    People.
  • Race is a critical part of the construction of
    class-as-merit. It is this individualistic
    ideology that helps to defeat class solidarity.
  • According to economists Alberto Alesina and
    Edwans Glaeser, much of the difference between
    America and European welfare systems can be
    explained by racial heterogeneity.

Addendum
43
Race and Class
  • Many today argue that class, not
    race, is the greatest cleavage in American
    society
  • There is a fear that talking about race will take
    away from class and economic concerns
  • Race and class, however, cannot be so easily
    separated

Addendum
44
Race and Class
  • As related sociological phenomena, race and class
    analyses are strongest when employed together
  • Race and class are mutually constitutive
  • Differential treatment of indentured servants and
    black slavesled to barriers in collective
    organization
  • Led to racial distinctionmiddle class
    individualism and the black underclass as
    unworthy

Addendum
45
Race and Class
  • Race left a heavy footprint on class
  • Entrenched racial divide continues today
  • White face on the suburban middle class, allowed
    for stereotyping of the black welfare
    queenwhich prevented the development of a
    welfare state similar to Europe or Canada
  • Racial associations made with certain
    occupationsexample of class and race interacting

Addendum
46
Connecting Race and Class
  • Class may be understood even less than race, but
    it is important to recognize it as equally a
    cultural and economic formation
  • Transformative potential lies in realizing the
    link between race and classapply the knowledge
    of the limitations of middle-class merit thinking
    with the best scholarship on race
  • A progressive agenda must account for race and
    not use class as a proxy. The most successful
    multi-racial, multi-class progressive movements
    in the United States tackled race directly

Addendum
47
Integration vs. Desegregation
  • The word segregation represents a system that is
    prohibitive it denies the Negro equal access to
    schools, parks, restaurants, libraries and the
    like. Desegregation is eliminative and negative,
    for it simply removes these legal and social
    prohibitions.
  • Integration is creative, and is therefore more
    profound and far-reaching than desegregation.
    Integration is the positive acceptance of
    desegregation and the welcomed participation of
    Negroes into the total range of human
    activities.
  • Integration is genuine intergroup, interpersonal
    doing. Desegregation then, rightly, is only a
    short-range goal. Integration is the ultimate
    goal of our national community.

Addendum
Source Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Ethical
Demands of Integration. December 27, 1962.
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