Anti-Poverty Policy and Race: The Need for Policy to Recognize the Continuing Significance of Race
Guggenheimer, Scott C.
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Therefore, the goal of this paper is multifaceted. Through a historical examination of poverty and government response, some beliefs about the causes of and solutions to poverty will be explored. The paper will then turn to the concentration of poverty in the mostly black, inner-city ghettos. Class-based barriers have hindered progress, but race is equally important. While poverty clearly exists among white and other non-white Americans, this paper addresses the question of whether dealing with African American poverty deserves distinct policy given historic and current discrimination. This discrimination runs deeper than prejudice tendencies towards poor African Americans. The extent to which racism plagues American and ways in which white privilege manifests itself and is maintained will be addressed. Then, through exploring two specific poverty programs and their respective recognition and willingness to deal with the fact that they serve a predominantly African American population, some insight on different approaches to race and poverty should be gained. Finally, this paper suggests how poverty and race should be approached in the future. Because the efforts of non-profit agencies should be to deal with causes and effects of poverty and because current black poverty can be attributed to both discrimination and racism, poverty policy must address the concordance of race and poverty. [From Introduction]