How do "we" eliminate the "deep, persistent poverty having roots in racial discrimination" such as we've seen in the Gulf Coast region over the past three weeks?
The answer is: We can’t. There has never been a historical precedent for eliminating poverty. Even the wealthiest nations have areas of dismal poverty. Jesus Himself said;
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. Mark 14:7
So if God Incarnate says that there will always be poor, I’m confident that no plan, program or government agency will eliminate poverty in this country.
But the question has a bit of a spin to it. It suggests that the poverty we have been made aware of in the past three weeks (mainly the Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans who were “too poor” to evacuate) is based on racial discrimination. Can we eliminate racially based discriminatory poverty? I think so. Here’s why.
This highly specialized poverty exists only in the minds of the race baiters and democrats. It is blown out of proportion and magnified by the liberal media. They harp on it and point out the failure of the federal government (that is Bush’s government) to meet the needs of these poor black people. The implication is that if we throw more money (higher taxes) at the problem and elect a caring human being (a Democrat like oh say Hilary Clinton) then these poor people wouldn’t be so poor. So if during the next election cycle, we put in office a liberal caring Democrat who will raise taxes and establish more government programs for the poor (maybe the return of Night Basketball!) then I guarantee we will not see poor black people who have been discriminated against. Don’t get me wrong, the number of poor people will stay the same or maybe even grow as higher taxes force lower income earners onto the public assistance programs. But the media won’t spotlight poor discriminated black people. On the contrary, I am sure the media will harp on how happy and content poor people are, especially blacks, since the Democrats got in the White House.
Sounds far fetched? Remember all the homeless people who haunted the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations? Where did they go during the Clinton years? Nowhere. They were just as homeless only without the media coverage. The principle is the same here. The left gripes and complains and promises change but delivers none. They use the plight of minority poor as a talking point in their overall agenda to create the nanny state. When they hold the White House, all is good and the plight of minority poor doesn’t seem newsworthy. It’s like they have gone away. But when the Democrats are not in the White House, they have to point out the plight of the poor Blacks to make it seem that the Republicans aren’t doing enough.
The poor in this country are poor not because they are black or any particular color. They are poor because they will not take the steps needed to rise above poverty. It can be done. BEEN THERE DONE THAT! When I was young we had real Black leaders who inspired young blacks to rise above what was dealt us. The emphasis was education, and economics, NOT entitlements. And there were non-black people and organizations that were willing to help. I received a scholarship to attend a prep school instead of going to an inner city high school. An opportunity that I had to take advantage of or risk falling into the same welfare trap that now has completely consumed people I went to elementary and junior high school with. I am not wealthy but I am a long way from poor.
I do not believe there is a way to defeat poverty on a national or global level. I do believe that personal poverty can be defeated. A person who is poor does not need to stay poor. So if I could give advice to the poor blacks of New Orleans I would say get Jesus. His promises are better than the governments. Want to be sure your needs are met? Trust Jesus. Philippians 4:19 says
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Next get an education. And the first most important thing to be learned is that there are consequences to every action we perform. Opportunities come in windows. These windows close quickly if we make wrong decisions early on. Understand that your actions today could limit your opportunities tomorrow. It is no coincidence that single people who do not have multiple children from multiple partners have move opportunities to rise above poverty. A single woman of any color with seven kids has very few options. The same is true for a man with half a dozen child support payment orders waiting for any income he might legitimately make. Stay clean (and by clean I mean stay celibate) because a pregnancy immediately chains you to a child, to a partner and if you are female it chains you to public support if you have no income of your own. Once that chain is forged it becomes increasingly harder to break out of the poverty trap. Remember that opportunities are available but YOU have to take advantage of them. When I was young, a black leader whom I admired said to me, “It is a mistake to think that the government owes you education no matter what the law says. It is your responsibility to TAKE an education.” An education is an important step out of poverty. A healthy work ethic is essential and knowing that going to work every day is a more sure way to beat poverty than getting a monthly check and trying to win the lottery.