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View Diary: "If I Were a Poor Black Kid" BUT YOU'RE NOT!! (330 comments)

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  •  I think it's a stereotype (0+ / 0-)

    that young people of color are focused on an unattainable "glamorous dream."

    If you ask white kids what they want to be when they grow up, lots of them want to be athletes and pop stars. It's not unique to non-white kids at all.

    Also, in my experience white people look at middle-class neighborhoods that are predominantly black or Latino and still consider them "ghettos" simply because of their racial composition. In '08 I canvassed for the SEIU for Obama in predominantly-black (mostly middle-class) neighborhoods and you wouldn't believe how many of my friends and family said "ohmygosh that's such a dangerous 'bad' neighborhood, be careful!" when it absolutely was NOT dangerous, nor was it even a particularly poor neighborhood.

    The problem people of color have in accessing middle class life is that just when laws and society started permitting most young people of color to pursue middle-class dreams, the middle class itself collapsed!

    Government jobs - one prominent avenue to the middle class for people of color - became public enemy #1. Unions are now the enemy of the Right, university affirmative action programs and scholarship programs are thought of as evil, and tuition levels themselves are becoming unaffordable. It's not that people of color live depressed and hopeless uninspired lives, it's that the playing field is constantly shifting in ways that exclude them.

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