Unformatted text preview: ectly shape the life chances of poor people.
4 . COUNTER POPULAR ASSUMPTIONS THAT WORK
TO REPRODUCE THE STATUS QUO
While few Americans alive today openly sanction racism or consciously engage in
practices that maintain structural racism, many beneﬁt from its existence and help to
maintain it as they follow society’s conventions and participate in its routines. In hundreds
of ways—by acquiescing to negative cultural stereotypes, by moving to segregated
suburbs, by taking advantage of exclusive job networks, by accepting regressive tax
reforms, by neglecting to participate in democratic citizenship, and so on—Americans, in
their everyday lives and roles, end up sustaining racial hierarchy. Difﬁcult though this may
be to accept, we are responsible in differing degrees for racial inequities simply because we
generally participate uncritically in the systems and processes that sustain them. Note here that taking personal, organizational, and political responsibility for racial equity
is not the same as acceptance of blame for racial disadvantage.26 Rather, t...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14