The myth that poverty causes racism  | Daily Mountain Eagle

The myth that poverty causes racism 


While I agree with "Filling the void in our lives" (Daily Mountain Eagle, June 18, 2020) that only God fills the ultimate void and that followers of Jesus Christ are mandated to "care for the poor and fight oppression" the real problem dealing with poverty (in general) and black racism (in particular) is not between action or inaction but radically different beliefs how to solve these problems. 

There is no doubt that racism and poverty exists but what we need is brutal honesty about the results between two contradictory world views-socialist or capitalist, left or right, (and in the United States at this time) Democrat or Republican. These two fundamental principles are irreconcilable: between those who want to feed the needy and those who want to teach everyone (including the needy) how to fish to provide for themselves. One side advocates subservience (even if they never call it such) and the other side advocates personal initiative and freedom. 

It is a myth that "poverty causes racism," for if that were true all poor whites would be victims of racism. There would also be no black billionaires. The problem is one worldview is ideologically driven and denies evidence to the contrary: ignores the economic and tyrannical realties of socialist nations like the Soviet Union or Venezuela who take away the freedom of fishing for everyone to obtain the power and resources (by ever increasing policies of taxation) to feed the poor. The reality is that socialist principles cause poverty (we have proof from around the world) but blames poverty on capitalism. In fact many who advocate socialism are more invested in maintaining victims (poverty and racism) to protect their power than to solve human problems. If we look close enough we will find hypocrisy hidden inside claims of higher moral principles: human beings are easily corrupted. Even if the goal isn't the failing of freedom it's the inevitable result of not allowing greater economic opportunity for everyone (even if imperfectly realized at any given point in time). 

Thomas Sowell, an economist, who describes changing his life from being a poor black child through hard work, says it's more important to describe what causes economic success rather than blame poverty. This is a new mindset. My father began dirt poor on a farm in north Alabama and through initiative earned a PhD and became a college professor. My own experience includes being a mediocre student in high school but educating myself through hard work. Ideas matter. The theory of how to build a bridge, a house, or manage a nation will only be successful to the degree of validity of the ideas that frame it. 

David A. Cook, PhD

Jasper, Ala.