Poverty and the ‘Tailspin of Culture’ | Jacobin
… Today’s political realities stand in stark contrast to those years [the 1960s]. The black movement is in disarray, with a black man at the reigns of the most powerful country in the world and a black political elite that can barely see beyond its goal to curry favor with his administration. A generation of young African Americans is being disciplined not to dream, let alone have their dreams deferred.
In the city of Chicago, for example, not only have public officials closed the largest number of schools in the history of the nation, but also last fall there were genuine questions over whether the school district could provide toilet paper for all the district’s students. Third world conditions coexist with gentrification, corporate profligacy and a political leadership in this country that is so out of touch it can barely conceal its absolute contempt for the poor and the ordinary.
Paul Ryan’s calloused comments echoed this reality, but Obama has been just as quick to blame those same “inner city men.” While the liberal establishment relished the opportunity to pound on Ryan, Obama continues to get a pass for making the same point. The overlap of Republican and Democratic explanations for the persistence of poverty fifty years after the War on Poverty was declared demonstrates how much the two parties have in common on this question — not where they diverge.