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Wouldnt it be better to approach poverty and

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Unformatted text preview: ine in the realization of our democratic ideals. Why should those working to end poverty and community distress pay attention to structural racism? In America, concentrated poverty and race are so closely intertwined that one can’t properly deal with one and not the other. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are disproportionately represented in our nation’s poorest communities, as are some Asian groups. This is not mere coincidence. We know that high unemployment, poor educational opportunity, lack of affordable housing, and other problems all have important racial dimensions. Reformers cannot hope to find lasting solutions to these problems without attending to their root causes—a powerful one of which is the racial bias embedded in the policies and practices of major opportunity arenas and the social context that allows those biases to persist. Wouldn’t it be better to approach poverty and disadvantage from a class perspective? Wouldn’t it be more pragmatic, especially since adopting race-based strategies alienates some constituencies? The convergence be...
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