5 Things to Know About Poverty and Race

5 Things to Know About Poverty and Race

Note: For additional information, click the number in parenthesis following each tip.

  1. Here is where a sense of place really becomes important. There are historical reasons why one community is different from another. The history of a specific place often shapes the long-term fate of the subpopulations in that place. (79)
  2. Not all poor people are minorities. There is an association between race and poverty and there are lots and lots of complex reasons for that, some of which have to do with the history of racism in this country, some of which have to do with crime and family instability and the fact that people are living in poor neighborhoods. (75)
  3. Poverty isn’t racial. There are a lot of ethnic communities with poverty, but if you look at the studies, at least the ones I’ve looked at, there were just as many whites in poverty, percentage-wise, as there were blacks. (76)
  4. Gain a strong sense of whether or not race and poverty are equivalent, don’t just accept the conventional wisdom. I think a lot of people are unaware of the extent to which rural white people are poor. So I think what you would need to do is make sure you are very clear on what the socioeconomic ethnic labels really mean in your area. (78)
  5. Journalists should know that there are elements of society who will exaggerate the cost of poverty programs, disregard their ultimate benefit to society and promote stereotypes of the poor and minorities. These persons or groups will often plant unfounded stories that journalists should carefully investigate for their credibility. (81)