Civil Rights: The Fight to be Equal with God

Selma_to_Montgomery_MarchesTo be discriminated against in America is so common that those who live in the wake of it come to expect it in some form or another daily if they are awakened to see it. In fact, to be black in America is rough, difficult to be so; however, the problem is not the people who are progenitors of racism and discrimination it is the people who believe themselves equal to the whites perception of themselves. This is not to say that in any way should so called blacks be continually mistreated, or to place themselves in harms way; however, to come to a realistic view and see that if white people see themselves as God in their own eyes, and they rule the country—then also in their eyes every single person that comes to America willingly or not is considered to be, or should become a servant. Consequently,  there is a problem with thinking that everyone should be a servant, and the problem with that thought is those who feel that way have a tendency to mistreat people. Another view is that people who are descendants of slave owners typically have a mindset that America, the nation is theirs because they built it, and that if their money paid for the country to become great; then  regardless of how they came about that money while committing immoral acts against mankind in their minds they are God, that is, God has the money, God owns the land, God writes the policy, God is America’s Dream, and because of this thinking of themselves as God by the white people others should just look over the fact that GOD is racist. In this article there is discussion concerning current policy in regards to civil rights initiatives so called blacks pursuit to become like God.

The Fight to be like God

Of course, today, with President Obama’s position as head of the country some people  may consider that there is not discrimination any longer, or that the country has had a breakthrough since he took office, however, the election of a mixed race only adds fuel to the fact that Obama is half black and half God to the whites, or rather, a pawn to be used by those who to many in their own minds are GOD. In explanation, the CEO of the National Policy Institute, Sam Dickson (2014) spoke concerning the policy set  during the writing of the Declaration of Independence for the country’s break with their motherland Britain, In his video, “America: The God that Failed”, he said that the section of the declaration which speaks about ‘inalienable rights’ was taken off the paper of Britain’s document and placed into the American one. In that he stated that “a man without a country” cannot possibly have the type dedication to the cause of those who call America their home and built it (Dickson, 2014). Speaking frankly,  Dickson is saying that no one can be equal with God–one nation under God rule. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, was created from legislature in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that mentions rhetoric such as ‘alienable rights given by God—life , liberty and pursuit of freedom’, and ,’ all men are created equal’; however, at the time of the signing did not include blacks. Further, a realistic view of this is that no one can be what God says he is not—equal or otherwise, and it is a fair statement to say that words written by God becomes law. Consequently, here one should be reminded that the three-fifth human clause has yet to be amended. It is the case that great strides have been made as  result of rallies of civil disobedience to God, and notably the subservient blacks did not ask for much.

Initiatives in the Fight to be like God

Dye (2010) wrote that there are differences of opinion concerning racism in the country where whites think not much of it and do not think it a problem, and blacks see it differently stating there is a serious problem with racism (Dye, 2010).  Although, civil rights issues most popular are covered in the legislation there are others that have yet to be such as police brutality which is really brutality by God in uniform and the right to not be murdered in the streets, unarmed like dogs is an ongoing pursuit. Hence, the initiatives set pertaining to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is paled in comparison to these unsolved. More specifically, civil pursuits of equality  to be like God have been broad and include many milestones in the rights of people of color in all areas of living—mainly protection against discrimination for:  (a) publics places, but not the right to assemble peaceably, but also includes equal access to schools and or equal access to, restaurants, restrooms, (b) outlaw of Jim Crowe laws which prevented access to voting, (c) employment for black people and equal pay standards, and (d) housing which include mortgage lending discrimination and the tendency for landlords to be slum lords. Presently, however, there have been several amendments to the act which now include protection to women in the work place and working while pregnant, right to choice of healthcare, gay or sodomite marriage rights, right to not be bullied, and several court related rights that are written also but are still unequal in quality and perception in the pursuit to be God’s equal. For example, although there is legislation to state that negroes can work along side God instead of being relegated to back doors, cleaning God’s toilet or watching God’s children black women can now work alongside white women and may be as  qualified even more so in some cases or equally as qualified but still make less than their non black colleagues. Additionally, black women and men are lowest paid who work along side their white colleagues, and who all are degreed status; however, here is where the inequality lies, that is, blacks chosen last over whites and even if chosen are paid considerably less than whites and this occurrence can happen in the hiring process. In explanation consider the following scenario:

A local auto parts company is hiring for a management position. After the interviews, however, the Human Resources Department has narrowed the search for a manager down to two candidates who both hold the degreed status required for the position, and they both have the required amount of management experience needed– their names are Christopher Columbus, and Michael Spears. Hence, unable to decide between the two the hiring manager calls both in for a second interview. In the interviews; however, no salary is ever discussed, but  in a meeting between the hiring manager and her boss is where the salary for the position was initially decided that the position would pay $32,000 per year. Additionally, after the interviews the team decides that they will not hire Christopher Columbus and call Michael in for a third and final interview where they will offer his package at that time. Subsequently, at the interview they tell Michael that the position pays $10.00 an hour which is $19,200 per year instead of the $32,000 a year that the hiring managers had previously planned to offer. Hence, this begs the question and asks why? It is the case, that not only is Michael an African American but the team sees that as a chance to save money, and decided that he has the skills needed to fit the job description; however, their decision to not pay him equally as unto the white candidate because of his race is discrimination.

The Right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness equal to God

How unfortunate, that anyone living in a country as great as America would be subjugated to such biases and discrimination, and one could say that the white man was discriminated against as well, however, the opportunity will await the white over black in greater measure. Moreover,  this type discrimination is difficult to prove and applicants should obtain the ability to seek out information regarding pay in a field or for positions before applying. Generally, however, in the interview applicants are discouraged from raising questions about pay before the subject is brought up. Hence, this occurrence removes any chance of the applicant being warned concerning the agenda against them. In his address concerning women and equal pay discrimination, President Obama stated that unequal pay is not just a woman’s issue but a family issue and the aforementioned scenario addresses that more so, because men are still the heads of the household in many cases, and although in so called black families there are women who are forced into the role of head of the house there is a need for men to be paid as much as white men in the workplace so they too can take care of their families.

President Obama wrote concerning the  Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act:

Because while this bill bears her name, Lilly knows this story isn’t just about her. It’s the story of women across this country still earning just 78 cents for every dollar men earn – women of color even less – which means that today, in the year 2009, countless women are still losing thousands of dollars in salary, income and retirement savings over the course of a lifetime. But equal pay is by no means just a women’s issue – it’s a family issue. It’s about parents who find themselves with less money for tuition or child care; couples who wind up with less to retire on; households where, when one breadwinner is paid less than she deserves, that’s the difference between affording the mortgage – or not; between keeping the heat on, or paying the doctor’s bills – or not. And in this economy, when so many folks are already working harder for less and struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing part of each month’s paycheck to simple discrimination. So in signing this bill today, I intend to send a clear message: That making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone. That there are no second class citizens in our workplaces, and that it’s not just unfair and illegal – but bad for business – to pay someone less because of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion or disability. And that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory, or footnote in a casebook – it’s about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives: their ability to make a living and care for their families and achieve their goals (Obama, 2015).

Notably, the pursuit in the fight to be equal to God is ongoing for both genders of the black race, and future policies should reflect change in the areas of: (a) three fifth human amendment, (b) raising the minimum raise, (c) equal fair pay for black men and women, according to their educational level, and more thought and effort placed on anti-bullying legislation to include police brutality.

In the strides to become equal to God, blacks have not gained strides equal to whites in the fifty plus years of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 execution. Moreover, in the shadow of the attitude of  whites in America blacks made a huge mistake in the supposed fight of equality, that is, that God cannot accept the people who they crossed the Atlantic to steal them  from their families, a people of culture, of a continent of African people who were sold into slavery. In addition, so called blacks would be wise to remember that in the eyes of America the slaves cannot be equal to their master whether in education, the workplace, health or welfare, that the servant is not equal to their God, and pursuit to find a place equal is for the white man a dream but for the black man in America who covet such a place has become a nightmare. That a said the pursuit continues.

Related Articles

 America: The God that Failed

Dye, T.R. (2010).  Understanding public policy (13th ed.).  Longman: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780205757428. Custom ISBN: 9781256054160

 Strengthening Civil Rights 

Civil Rights Issues

Your Sunday Bread: The Most High Comforts Where it Hurts

65954_896879876991310_6976952092739595466_nI had no idea Lady GaGa was so pretty. She is a beautiful woman and speaking of her rape at 19 years old, and a subsequent video about the event she says, “I was messed up!” Notably, the star says that she was not so messed up when the event took place, but decidedly pronounces that years later did notice her plight. She spoke about not telling anyone, and even a time when she saw her attacker in the store where she shopped she says though afraid she never told. In essence, it is that way until we own up to the truth, that is it happened and learn to deal with the pain.

In saying that we learn to tell with the pain, Lady GaGa doesn’t see herself as messed up but her outer appearance is a matter of deviance to cover up something and says something altogether different.

In essence some of us are all covering something, that is, hurtfulness never dealt with. Hence, we do outlandish things to draw attention away…lest any one know our secret. No matter, Yah knows our hurt and he cares.

Today: Cast it away!

For your hearing:
Cast your burden on יהוה, And let Him sustain you; He never allows the righteous to be shaken. For You, O Elohim, do bring them down To the pit of destruction; Men of blood and deceit do not reach half their days; But I, I trust in You. (Psalms 55:22,23).

Your Sunday Bread: Why do People Dress Up on Pay Day?

1468515_10152111525343352_1742747995_nTrue. It is insecurity that causes this phenomena, that is, the thinking of not having enough so that we try to ‘think’ to mirror those we think are better than ourselves.

So then, if money is how people supposedly ‘think’ to live better, then,  in a person insecure they believe that putting on clothes and showing off, living flamboyantly makes them like those they covet most. If I am making money in this covetous mind then I spend it all on what I covet to look like those I covet. Except for the case that those I covet are thrifty in their thinking, that is, they do not covet that they already possess and as such have no need to spend all looking any kinda way but themselves.

I said, that today as Lynn and I went to do business for our new [needed home] when I saw him dressing up. I had already been meditating on this truth, that is, taking off the pretence. Hence, concerning this house Yahuah said to me he was giving me something to proposition with. Hence, if Yahuah be fore us then who can be against us. It is the case, that I wore tennis shoes and Lynn was dressed up and I had a problem with that, because this is a come as you are type thing. Accept or reject moment and I know that all things work [out] for the good of them who love Yahuah who are the called according to His purpose. Therefore, it doesn’t have anything to do with what I look like, but who I belong to. Subsequently, no make up and dressed down and richer and more wiser in my stance than those who put on a show.

Somebody ought to know that Yahuah runs the show.

In essence, it is the will of Yahuah that we prosper not what we wear. It is how we think.

Today: Restoring the years that the locust ate up.

Your Sunday Bread: Dying to Self

10703712_859830564029575_2814385030972626307_nWhy are we holding on and continually fighting when the scripture says “If my right hand offends, then cut it off”?

Let’s look at that.

Some of us are so attached to our things it is pathetic. I am that way too, because I will hold on to stuff for reasons that do not make sense. For example, when my mother died I took possession of many things that really didn’t mean much, but because they were ‘Mama’s’ I held on to that with an iron clad grip. Not to mention, that duplicating certain things is easy, because depending on one’s income it is easy for me to have what you have. It is the case, that I can come to your house see something I like and go out an buy it. So this is what happened I liked what she liked and when she died I ended with too much of the same stuff.

It is the case, that I had some visitors to my house [I had moved into my mother’s]. Mind you I had not gotten rid of anything and just crammed my things into that which was already there. Hence, the visitors stated, “Someone sure likes ceramics”,  and I looked over to that shelf as if it were the first time I had seen them and saw two and three of the same things lined in a neat row, as like, on a store shelf. I didn’t say anything to them, but I thought that’s insane. I saw the need to get rid of that.

I still have a problem with holding on to things that are not mine really. Inherited stuff that might have sentimental value, but in order to pick up the new I have to put that away. This includes houses, cars, and other materialistic things that can ruin relationships. Someone’s marriage might be in trouble because of jealousy towards stuff. I say keep the marriage and put the stuff away– divorce it.

Scripture says that we cannot put new wine in old wine skins and neither can we keep our old life holding on to yesterday. Cut it off. In that, we have to see that when Yah speaks of inheritance he is not speaking about keepsakes. In essence something has to go.

Dying to self.

Human Resource Planning and Organizational Strategy

d631938f4d2c2d977ae6708f2e1f27ca-300x272Staffing is a huge concerning in organization building efforts. In any event, executives and managers of the organization, company, or business should have on their agenda ways to hire and retain good employees within the organization for the long term. Hence, beginning with the vision and mission of the entity the future of those people hired should be the first and foremost concern for a successful business, because, unless there is a one man show the employer should want someone dependable, able to do what is required of the job; as well as, an employee who views their place of employment as a stable one. Therefore, deep thought should be considered as to description of duties generated, interviewing of prospects and specification of the job once hired. Hence, through analysis the process of how people perform their given duties as it pertains to job description is of essence.

Plunkett (2014) wrote that Job Analysis is a “Study that determines the duties associated with a job and the human qualities needed to perform it” He added, “The duties of the analysis is to observe the employee, review surveys, conduct interviews and form committees to sum up the conclusions.” (Plunkett, 2014, p. 330).  First off, this review of the analysis dismisses employers who give a description and expect the hire to follow the proverbial script verbatim. Hence, the term ‘human qualities’. If one might give personal opinion then this view is not one of a cattle drive or round up where the animals are herded into a stall and made to produce a product, but rather adds a flare of humanity. Hence, an analysis does not ‘watch the cattle graze,’ but actually knows that if one is allowed to be themselves then their production is more authentic.

In reference to the four duties of the analysis on page 330 Plunkett (2013) gave a list:

  1. Prepare the job analysis
  2. Prepare the Human Resource Inventory
  3. Prepare Human Resource Forecast
  4. Compare Inventory and Forecast. [Figure 10.5; p. 330].

Basically, these would include the job description defined, and began the observation. For example, in a call center a person is hired to collect money, however, there are many skills needed to work the call; such as phone etiquette [first and foremost], communication skills, knowledge of the computer system, the data base, how to problem solves, sometimes trouble shoot, transfer calls, file the correct paper work and so on. Hence, all these are under observation with the analysis. However, the human qualities would come in the sender to receiver message.  In planning, as in observation of the employee there is information gathered such the Key Principles given in the article, “Human Resource Planning Guide for Executives”. The writers stated that “Challenges to key risks to delivering on priorities are identified, and options to mitigate critical issues are outlined [Key Principles Section; p.8].  In essence, one can always spot a business where management is untrained or at least if not identify there is need of training then are signs that something is not quite right.

In reference to the cattle where a rancher would need to count heads to keep an accurate inventory this example would work the same way with personnel. In essence, one would need to estimate the anticipated production of those personnel per day. In other words, again to narrow, if one is in a call center environment the reasoning would include what all the employees’ capabilities are as it pertains to handling each call.

Plunkett (2013) wrote:

The human resource inventory provides information about an organization’s current personnel. The inventory is a catalog of the skills, abilities, interests, training, experience, and qualifications of each member of its current workforce. A human resource inventory tells managers the qualifications, length of service, responsibilities, experiences, and promotion potential of each person in the firm [Human Resource Inventory Section; para. 2].

In review of training, it is the case that human resource and monitoring employee efforts are a must and is significant in planning before hands. However, thought of monitoring can bring forth other problems as well. Some people struggle at their work and thorough monitoring can identify trouble spots in areas, rather than going by description only employees can help their employees and later give a good review of what training solutions there may be. Unfortunately, these efforts of identification also are a thinning process as well and lead to termination. Plunkett (2013) wrote, “Strategic plans determine the company’s direction and its need for people. A long term plan to stabilize the company at its current employment level will mean the need to replace those who leave’ [Human Resources Forecast Section; para. 1]. In addition, employers who hire more employees than needed, generally, have an agenda. For example, in a call center which typically seats two hundred or more people is filled to capacity even with several shifts. Hence, not only do the employers hire an additional one hundred people, but found it difficult to seat them. It is the case, that one shift had not ended before other employees were coming in for their shift. The only notable cause for such an event would be: (a) high turnover, because of inability to keep staff because of low pay, and (b) agenda to fire and hire so that no raises would be given, or (c) fire the older employees and hire in more qualified staff with more pay.

Concerning strategy management and execution, the authors at Strategy Management Group wrote, “Strategic management is the comprehensive collection of ongoing activities and processes that organizations use to systematically coordinate and align resources and actions with mission, vision and strategy throughout an organization.” (Strategy Management, n.d, para. 2). In essence, analysts who observe and read surveys from various employees are primed with tools needed to work out programs, such as, training to bring subjects up to par identifying areas where production might be slow.

In closing, Job Analysis has much to do with organizational management where culture is concerned, or rather how the companies culture inspires or oppresses its employees. It is the case that in order for employees to function more humanly there needs to be recognition of problems which arise beforehand of how any employee follow through with the job description throughout there term of employment. In essence, once a solution is known to problems, employers should be sure to execute those programs which best meet the employees individual needs as well as those of the company.

 

Related Articles:

Strategic Planning Basics. Strategy

Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, Practice.
Plunkett, W. R., Allen, G. S., & Attner, R.F., (2013). Management: Meeting and exceeding customer expectations (10th Ed.). Mason, OH : South-Western Cengage Learning.

Human Resources Planning Guide for Executives.

Organizational Leadership and Today’s Workplace

homepage_business
Organizational culture or rather the environment of the organization is the heart or soul of the establishment. The organization, in essence can be seen as a living thing because culture determines thinking; whether individual or society. For instance, being part of a society where freedom of religion is a choice people from all over the world find America an ideal place to live, to work, raise their children, and also have hopes to worship their God without restraint. Notably, most businesses have those same ideals, except a few where laws established by the government help to curb those business who infringe upon the rights of their employees. Not only the right of religion, but one law in particular where employers and managers who discriminate in regards to race, ethnicity, women and sexual orientation, and where law provides release from those troubled through equal opportunity measures. In essence, this paper will provide content that focuses as a how-to guide to leadership while re-establishing a workplace where the culture is restrictive as far as religion, that is, to reorganize its culture  so that their employees’ work is not hindered; this reorganization includes, promotion, and other challenges of these diverse groups.

The First Amendment to the United States reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” [First Amendment]. Hence, with regards to the amendment one can ascertain that most people carry their God with them into the work place, however, this has presented a problem and begs the question that asks what if ones God is not Christian? In accordance, with this occurrence the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] was established to handle cases of just cause due to employer inconsideration or violation of someone’s rights. Considering this, in an effort to restructure culture of this organization which supports these diverse employees mangers must consider their employees as people; instead of, employees, said Peter Drucker in his article, “They’re Not Employees, They’re People” (Drucker, 2002). In explanation, one can say that people run companies while managers do their duties behind the scene. For example, a restaurant worker, whether cook or waitress are deciding factors in whether a patron will come back. It is the case, this thought is not withstanding upper management who handles cash flow all the way to the bank, however, it is the cook who does the ‘meat’ of the work as well as the waitress who serves it to interact with customers in a friendly and professional way. In essence, one should know that without good food and good service people would be one time customers to any establishment, and this same thinking would carry over to a print shop, a cleaner, a hotel or a bank where customer satisfaction is a must. Moreover, if employees and those they serve make the business would it be just to deny them their needs? Certainly not, and as Drucker (2002) added, in essence, that employers today have lost their first love of people where many employees have not intimate relationships with bosses because of outsourcing and lends to [those who use this hiring process] employees being more of a commodity than people.

He wrote:
The attenuation of the relationship between people and the organizations they work for represents a grave danger to business. It’s one thing for a company to take advantage of long-term freelance talent or to out-source the more tedious aspects of its human resources management. It’s quite another to forget, in the process, that developing talent is business’s most important task—the sine qua non of competition in a knowledge economy. If by off-loading employee relations, organizations also lose their capacity to develop people, they will have made a devil’s bargain indeed (Drucker, 2002, para.2).

Hence, the first part of the plan to reconstruct culture would be to have all employees work in-house for at least one year so that employers can learn who they are, which includes religious preferences, because one of requirements of EEOC is that employees tell their employers of their religious preferences before filing a claim. It is the case, that people cannot accommodate what they know nothing about and is not a ground for discrimination if this requirement is not meet. Also noteworthy, is knowing who is a single parent, whether, male or female, because these people have a tendency to be off work and is a chance to review policy on Paid Time Off [PTO] to make changes for all, but, especially for these reasons. It is the case, that while people do tend to take off unnecessarily not everyone does and employers should be empathetic to those needs. The premise of PTO lends further assists, as well as; to those whose religious preferences might take them off of work because of services and Sabbaths other than Sunday, Christmas and the other various rituals of Christian worship.

This section of the article will include the House and Mitchell Path Goal Theory. Plunkett (2013) wrote that a path-goal theory is such that shows how leaders treat their subordinates, that is, that an employee is successful or hindered by the way their employers treat them [House and Mitchell Path Goal Theory Section; para. 1]. In these terms Plunkett (2013) further wrote The path–goal theory suggests that a leadership style is effective or ineffective on the basis of how successfully leaders influence and support their subordinates’ perceptions of certain factors” (Plunkett ,2013, p.458, para. 1).

The factors are:
1. Goals that need to be achieved

2. Rewards for successful performance

3. Behaviors that lead to successful performance (Plunkett, 2013, p. 458. para. 1).
In accordance with the freedom religion problem in the work place managers should be aware sense people tend to take their god everywhere they go and sense, at least eight hours of the day are spent in the workplace that they cannot expect religion to be left at the door. In essence, mangers should note that when an employee clocks in so does their religion. Therefore, performance can be hindered when certain needs are not met such as (a) accommodation such as scheduling or rescheduling, (b) lack of consideration in dress if needed, and (c) no address of PTO when needed to address worship days. For example, Jane needed informed her managers that she needed Saturday off in honor of the Sabbath Day referencing. In explanation any person with regard to employment would tend to be enthusiastic about going to work, a supportive environment and their managers if they are respected in all aspects of who they are.

Plunkett (2013) wrote:

According to the path–goal theory, leaders can influence subordinates’ motivation by (a) teaching employees the competencies they will need to perform successfully and gain rewards, (b) tailoring rewards to meet employees’ needs, and (c) acting to support subordinates’ efforts. Teaching (coaching, development, and training) builds confidence and competencies. Adapting rewards to the specific needs of individual employees makes them more appealing. Supportive behaviors assist subordinates as necessary, enabling them to achieve both personal and organizational goals (House and Mitchell Path-Goal Theory; para. 2).

It is the case, that managers are not baby sitter and need skillful and reliable employees, however, people cannot do their job properly if they feel they are no liked, or that they will be fired because of their preferences. According to Business Management Daily the authors, concerning leadership wrote, “Don’t just be a boss — be a leader. Maximize your leadership skills in the five most crucial areas: decision making, executive coaching, leadership training, strategic management and understanding your leadership style.” (Business Management, p. 2, para.1). Additionally, managers should make themselves available to answer questions, schedule meeting with subordinates when requested or as a group as a whole. It is the case, that employees need to see their management more than when work is slow, but also when work is going well. For example, if the only time employees see their bosses are when goals are low then this says something about the boss. In general, money usually is the motive and not a caring spirit behind to visit. Contrastingly, if one person is doing well on a project and are praised, should those who do not do so well be motivated as well. To finish the Business Management article concluded, “Situational leadership changes depending on the type of leadership (direction and support) each of your employee’s needs.” (Business Management, p. 2, para.2).

Lastly, issue ultimatums for a manager who cannot be supportive in regards to all employee needs, because of uncaring managers in business many companies have become respondents in lawsuits. It is better to open one’s mind to the diverseness of other people. In this article not everyone is Christian, but see too, that not everyone is Jewish, studies Buddism, and not everyone even believes. Hence, companies should be understanding of these, that is, that others might think differently. Comparatively, not all employees have the same skills, where one can some or better in one area and other another. Therefore each situation is different. Managers need people skills first for themselves and secondly for their employee that way everyone grows. In turn, House and Mitchell Path Goal Theory applied so that their employees work is not hindered; this promotion, schedule days off and other challenges of these diverse groups.

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Religious Freedom Linked to Economic Growth, finds Global Study.

The Lifestyle of Poverty among Black People

hebrews Urie Bronfenbrenner, an ecological theorist proposed that human development is best known in terms of the interaction between individuals and the environments in which they live. He proposed what he calls the “Ecological Theory,” and in this construct is what he termed,  Microsystem,  Mesosystem, Exosystem, and Macrosystem and  says these entities consist of one’s “daily environment, family, school, religion and group affiliations”, and further adds that these can range from poor to excellent. Conversely, all the connections of  the theory have an effect or impact for the individual whether child or adult (Witt & Mossler, 2010). What do all of these have in common? The commonality is that all have played a magnificent part on the black mind which either keep people in poverty or releases them from it. The Bronfenbrenner theory sheds light on most human beings where environment along with other relationships are crucial to development. In this case, poverty and the underlying issues which are indicators of how a person may view the world around them. According to a report from Black Demographics, there are an estimated 44,456,009 million black people living in America which amounts to 14.1 percent of the population as a whole. Conversely, in proportion to these numbers, statistics show that 28.1 black families in America live at the poverty level. (Black Demographics, 2012, Paraphrased). Sadly, there is a stigma attached to African American people which says that all black people are lazy, some do not want to work, or they are criminals.  It is the case that, though these conditions may be warranted in some cases they do not apply for the group as a whole. Consequently, there is difficulty for some when speaking of this lifestyle of poverty from the inside out. Therefore, let this essay serve as a voice for those who cannot speak that the lifestyle of poverty supports everything people do from how a person might view themselves; including, their spiritual self, interaction  in relationships, and especially how one views problems, and/ or the inability to resolve them.  Poverty is multifaceted in American society and it affects more than just shelter but consumes ones entire existence, and to combat it each individual would need to examine and eliminate certain factors or barriers to their impoverished self; hence, mental health is a factor, unemployment, education, relationships, spirituality and other areas of life.

In order to see the entire picture of how the black population has ended up in an impoverished state one would have to go back to the past venue of slavery, because these venues convey truth of how traumatic an event slavery actually was, and as a result create an impoverished lifestyle today.  No one wants to talk about the mental and physical cruelty which was subjected on a people all those years ago, and even today people shout ‘get over’ it as if the hurt, pain and shame can be so easily put away from ones soul.  Inherited grief, the ridicule the scorn, the brute force of a hatred which is seemingly so deep rooted that one cannot dare believe that someone can be so evil against another, and most harrowing of all is that some used Christianity to make their way seem right. It is prejudice and discrimination which still lives on today in the white race and that which keeps black people down. In the article, “What are slavery’s Lingering effects?, the author wrote,  “The enslaved immediately found themselves dependent on their captors for food clothing and shelter, which has subject their descendants to the inequalities of colonization for decades.” (NCR, 2014, Para. 2).  Consequently,  a dependent mind tends to stay that way unless there is light to shed insight that the way out of poverty is to learn to think for oneself; hence, it is the premise that acceptance of a life given is generally passed down to one’s young whether they are rich or poor. It is the case, if one has been viewed as a social outcast for centuries then this would serve as a premise for lifelong habits formed, and what happens next is the acceptance of a poor lifestyle without necessary tools to change their environment. Bronfenbrenner definitely has a great point. Hence, his theory will be used to back up other sources throughout  this article.

Society tends to shun the impoverished adult rather than the children in most instances. Hence, one has a tendency to feel sorry for the children while being most critical of the adults’ inability to come from this lifestyle of defeat. Of course, one would see the reasoning behind this thinking, because no one wants to see a grown man sitting on the lap of a woman, or even worse the lap of the government. However, one should also note that these men and women were children once raised in poverty themselves.  Byron A. Brown, director of Educational Research Solutions consultancy in Botswana writes, “For many years, poverty has dominated international headlines as a global condition. Poverty is pervasive, and it is a chronic socio-economic problem affecting all population groups; adults, adolescents and children in many societies. The impact of poverty on adults can be far-reaching as adults are household heads. In household structures, adult poverty often has a ripple effect downwards, debilitating even the youngest family members. As part of a strategy to alleviate poverty, many societies are encouraging their adults, particularly young adults living in poverty, to participate in programs geared towards poverty reduction. But poor adults are not like mainstream well-to-do adults; poor adults often have complex learning and psychological problems that must be understood before they can participate in any programs. In most cases, these issues are locked in the identity which they developed by virtue of their sustained poverty conditions.” (Brown, 2005, p. 393, Para. 2). I agree wholeheartedly with Browns’ perception of the lifestyle. In the text he deals promptly with the initial impact of generational poverty across the board then narrows that concept down to the black households. However, even though this is enlightening news that someone else sees the clear picture of poverty among the black race does not to ease public conscience of the plight. He adds further, “The common assumption is that adult identity develops as individuals work through conflicts, stigma and stresses that are related to their poverty conditions. Resolving feelings of rejection, the direct physical consequences of deprivation, the consequences of severe stress on social relationships and the stigma attached to being poor, adults gradually consolidate an affirmative sense of self that enables them to accept their position and class in the community/society.” (Brown, 2005, p. 393, Para. 2). The information, in a sense might seem disparaging; however, the acknowledgment that there is a situation stemming from poverty passed down from one’s ancestry does not present biased information. Conversely, when speaking of Bronfenbrenner’s theory of people’s contact with their environment then the premise becomes that one’s choice is limited to their environment; especially in childhood. Hence, people living in poverty have no sense of seeking help outside of their environment. Furthermore, if social programs are available these might lend to help entertain an image of life without poverty, but do nothing to change the mind to free itself from poverty which is inbred thinking wherever that impoverished lifestyle happens to be in the world.

The Exosystem denotes Bronfenbrenner’s theory on social programs. Therefore,  in consideration of fundamentals that slavery has wrought a mind of dependency is one that society has yet to accept and the reproach of such sentiment is seen further in the venue of governmental welfare programs of the United States.  In the broadcast, “’The War on Poverty’Splitting up Black Families Podcast (2005),” guest speaker , Cherylyn Harley LeBon, co-chairman of Project 21, a leadership network of black conservatives suggests that the breakdown of black families as a moral and social construct;  along with,  or even more than slavery began with the entrance of welfare programs. The war on poverty introduced by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1960 set the premise for the downfall of the American black family in that these programs set in place under the pretense of help, actually, tore down the unity of the black family system even further when a mother has to choose whether to have shelter and food for the children; or keep the father in the home when there is not a legal marriage involved. Further notes presented, in statistical data show that in 1964 poverty was about 19 percent and since has dropped to only a 15 percent decrease total for blacks families which is a 4 percent decrease in 50 years. Therefore, however surprising this information might be for some people , it is the case, that one cannot hang on to untruths that an impoverished mind can be freed without provoking thought so the person can see they need the help first. Essentially, a mind which accepts poverty as a way of life has accepted their enslavement and will stay this way until a life changing thought provokes it to seek outside of the environment to which the mindset was bred. Moreover, one must see the United States Government as the slave owner, and see themselves free to walk away. There is no bias in the broadcast, no deceit, because further information was brought forth from the Reparations site (2014), where a study concluded that all states within the Cotton Belt are living in poverty, and shows that in parts of Texas alone there are 81to 100 percent families who live in poverty. Hence, the lingering effects of slavery are overwhelming. Similarly, the reality that black families were split up because of murder or being sold away as is seen in slavery where without the father to protect the wives and children became dependent solely on the slave owner; instead of the man. Hence, this is the same exact scenario just another time frame of life.

Reference to absent fathers is manifest in the article, “Wired for Success,” which speaks to the public in general concerning fathers not living with their children. However, the plight of the black man has been this way for centuries and is a further add to the premise of the impoverished lifestyle. Here we note that society has tagged these men dead beat dads, and granted this is what some are if they do not support their offspring. Here also is a barrier, because for those who work for low or no pay equals no money for the children who live elsewhere. Moreover, not all are dead beats who fall behind in their payments. There are many reasons why some men cannot pay. Consequently, many black men view child support as a modern day ‘lynching’ and do not want to be caught in the noose so they run. The article also links some common factors concerning poverty and the absent parent in general, saying, “Approximately 30% of all American children are born into single-parent homes, and for the black community, that figure is 68%, and also shares more insight which says “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics. Over half of all children living with a single mother are living in poverty, a rate 5 to 6 times that of kids living with both parents; Child abuse is significantly more likely to occur in single parent homes than in intact families In single-mother families in the U.S. about 66% of young children live in poverty ”. (Williams, 2011, Para 4). Ray Williams, author of the article brings good data to the table  statically as like that provided above but that is where ‘good’ stop here, because he goes on to group black people and American values in a lump. This information is not all inclusive when the majority of citizens where slave minds frequent are black and poor. He adds this saying, “The Scholastic Aptitude Test scores have declined more than 70 points in the past two decades; children in single-parent families tend to score lower on standardized tests and to receive lower grades in school according to a Congressional Research Service Report.” (Williams, 2011, Para 4). I add, to this in defense of the so called ‘fatherless’ children and say that it is biologically impossible for any child on earth to be produced without the aid of a man. Hence, the term ‘fatherless’ needs to be dispelled from the equation. This statement brings me to my next point while we remember that education has not come easy for black people in America.

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory  pointed to how one’s environment would influence poverty through the ‘Microsystem.  The Mesosystem is of value as well. In the book “Adult Development and Life Assessment” the authors write, ‘The Mesosystem refers to the connection of all the microsystems influencing a child. Changes in one microsystem can impact others. For example, fighting parents create distress in the home, which can influence how well children perform in school.” (Witt & Mossler, 2010, Para. 3). Education in black communities can leave a bad taste in one’s mouth, because in black impoverished neighborhoods there are not only poorly funded schools, but as a result of poor funding there are not adequate resources for learning. This is a personal experience I had with my own children being that we live and have lived all our lives in impoverished neighborhoods, and having experienced single parenthood for the most part I can say that the children suffer for lack of funding because not only do they not have textbooks to take home but they do not learn well. In these schools state testing is given and the children are lowest in the state in the areas of history, reading and math. Furthermore, along with being low-income schools some were pressured with the added threat of passing the test or having their schools close. To date, several high school students who did not pass the TAKS test have not graduated.  Consequently, the tendency for low income school districts to hire  less than adequate teachers or low paid teachers who might have made only C scores in college themselves are not equipped to prepare a child for A grade work; not to mention the ones there for a paycheck only and fall into the category with others which says‘under the pretense of help.” Additionally, parents who are uneducated, or who have to work outside the home cannot help their children. In essence, an uneducated parent, a working parent in some cases are in the same category of an absent parent being that they are not there; or rather cannot be supportive of their children by helping with homework. Conversely, if one or both of the parents cannot read then there is no help there as well. Therefore, what academically can they help with?  Hence, Bronfenbrenner’s theory, although correct, means more than just arguing parents or abusive parents. It is the case that a parent in absentia of an education can affect a child’s performance as well. Society will say here there are opportunities available, however, if the choice of a meal on the table means work, rather than learning to read then the choice is made to work. On the contrary, not every black person sits at home to live off the state. It is the case, that generations of people have inherited their parent’s educational values. Perhaps if there had been rights given to read in slavery then all black people would have literacy would they not? As mentioned earlier, the premise now is that it takes a thought provoking light to reveal the need to look outside of ones environment to seek help to stand up

Of course, poverty is not isolated to the United States because across the globe there are people struggling to break free from the lifestyle. In this we note, that many other countries are adopting social programs as like those in the United States with great success. How can this be when the United States is known for its success in business and otherwise, and still their own citizens; black people are still the poorest of the land? Greg Corombos, author of ‘War on Poverty’ writes, “In some communities, public assistance programs have become a subtle destroyer of the spirit because when you’re looking at multi-generations of families who have been on public assistance, where is the incentive for individuals to want to start businesses and become entrepreneurs? It’s just not there,” (Corombos, 2014, Para. 8). Corombos is exactly right, because an impoverished mind has not a mind for business, except to put food on the table and in many instances it might seem better to allow the government to feed, clothe and shelter as generations before were conditioned to. Slave mentally breeds poverty, and the mind which says why work when I can get all this for nothing. In other words, Massa takes good care of the slaves or so they believe.

A study was presented by Byron Brown (2005) with five adults who had lived their entire lives in poverty, the focus being on individual poverty and households. Results concluded that lifestyle of poverty presented the following: “(a) the participants acknowledged being poor and believed ‘poverty’ is a label that others used to identify them (some reject the poverty label); (b) all held a strong belief that there were important purposes and meaning to their lives, even though they were poor; (c) for many poverty meant, ‘unbelief in self, that they hardly travel  out of the village—frustrated, just locked indoors’; (d) they felt rejection and a sense that other people see them as ‘nobodies’ because of their poverty conditions; and (e) many talked of discomfort, emotional pains from poverty stigmas, deprivation, inadequacies and feelings of hopelessness.” (Brown, 2005. p. 398,  Para. 2). History, education, religion, identity and spirituality have a connection with all of the above. The study is an accurate view into the minds of those who live the lifestyle of poverty. In this view, one can gather that until there is a mind changed then people literally see themselves as having no choice, no hope of a better life and sometimes unknowingly pass that same mind down to their children. This thinking is why society sees entire generations living on the welfare system. Hence, grandmother lived on welfare, daughter lives on welfare, granddaughter, father left his wife, son left his wife, and grandson left his wife and so on.

Spirituality is a great motivator, contributing  to how one gains a meaning into what happens in life. However, for blacks the belief in God far outweighs that of the white people. One may ask how is it that a group of people who have been kidnapped, beaten up, murdered, raped, enslaved, and rejected can still believe there is a God who loves them. Christianity has presented a God who is all about prosperity, and also presents a question that if the God of Christianity is all about prosperity then what happened to the black people? Why are all other people prosperous and this prosperity seen everywhere except with people of color? Since Brenfrenbrenner’s analysis speaks of church as an influence, let us talk about church; or rather religion as it pertains to poverty among blacks and the downfall of the blacks race in America and otherwise. According to a Pew Research study, black people are the most spiritual people in the United States. In the article, “African Americans top U.S. religious measures-Pew”, Stoddard (2009) writes, “Nearly eight in 10 blacks (79 percent) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent among all U.S. adults.  Blacks attend religious services and pray more frequently than the general population. While 39 percent of all Americans report attending religious services at least once a week, 53 percent of blacks report the same. Similarly, while 58 percent of all Americans report praying at least once a day, 76 percent of blacks report praying daily. The vast majority of blacks are Protestant (78 percent), compared with 51 percent of the U.S. adult population as a whole.” (Para. 1-3). There is much to be said concerning this because religion, identity and lack of education has much to do with these findings, because although blacks pray to the so called God of prosperity in the Christian sect they are still poor. The Scriptures can explain, “Hear the word of יהוה, you children of Yisra’ĕl, for יהוה has a case against the inhabitants of the land: “For there is no truth or kindness or knowledge of Elohim in the land.  “Swearing, and lying, and murdering, and stealing, and committing adultery have increased. And bloodshed follows bloodshed. “Therefore the land mourns, and everyone living there languishes, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens. And the fish of the sea are taken away. “However, let no one strive or reprove another, for your people are like those striving with a priest. And you shall stumble in the day, and the prophet shall also stumble with you in the night. And I shall make your mother perish.” (Hosea 4:1-5). History recounts that the slaves were stripped of their names, forbidden from reading, or speaking their native language of Hebrew and worst took away our God. How do we know this? One knows because of some of the lyrics of so called slave songs such as Kum Ba Yah (Come by here Yah) in the Hebrew tongue. The book of Deuteronomy Chapter 28, also conveys truths of this matter, saying that the children of Yisra’el would be taken to another land by ship and that the occurrence would not been seen again, there to be sold as bondsmen and women and no man would redeem us. Redeem in this instance would be as in Kinsman Redeemer, however, if all one’s people are sold and scattered to the four corners of the earth then there is no man (kinsman or otherwise) to save us. Hence, poverty is a part of the curses; verse 31-33 says,  “Your ox is slaughtered before your eyes, but you do not eat of it. Your donkey is violently taken from before you, and it is not given back to you. Your sheep are given to your enemies, with no one to save them.  “Your sons and your daughters are given to another people, and your eyes look and fail for them all day long, and your hand powerless.  “A people whom you have not known eat the fruit of your land and all your labours. And you shall be only oppressed and crushed all the days.” (Deuteronomy 28, The Scriptures). It is the case that black people were stripped of their God and forced to worship the god of Christianity. Hence, poverty is the result of idol worship which is a breach of Covenant to the Most High. Hosea conveys truth: “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.  “As they were increased, so they sinned against Me. My esteem they have changed into shame.” (Hosea 4:6-7). The study is correct, black people do pray but to the wrong god. It is the case that one cannot argue with statistics.

In closing, I leave a quote from William E.B. Du Bouis, PH.D, from the article, “The Individual and Social Conscience, “It is impossible for the individual to reach the larger social conscience by sheer expansion, by a benevolent endeavor to be interested in all men. This leads inevitably to a tenuous filmy consciousness, a loss of grip on the realities of human beings—on the concrete man. It becomes easily a theoretical rather than a practical humanitarianism, and has often been illustrated in the world’s history by the wavering and doubting of the philanthropic mind. We can only be interested in men by knowing them—knowing them directly, thoroughly, intimately; and this knowing leads ever to the greatest of human discoveries,—the recognition of one’s self in the image of one’s neighbor; the sudden, startling revelation, “This is another Me, that thinks as I think, feels as I feel, suffers even as I suffer.” This is the beginning, and the only true beginning, of the social conscience.” (Excerpt from: The Sacred Unity in All the Diversity”: the Text and a Thematic Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois’ “The Individual and Social Conscience” (1905)). This is a powerful statement. One that surmises the condition of those who live in an impoverished lifestyle because many cannot understand why years after rights of equality were given do people still have hatred in their hearts, and worst why do people still live in poverty. The Messiah said, that poor would always be among us. Our children want to know why they cannot live in a good house, go to the same schools as their white peers, and seemingly the margins and divides are unconquerable when we see disparages even against the children who can go to college but are not prepared for college when they get there. Hence, education for a black mind is a farce. What about religion? Even the preachers are dumbed down, and are educated fools who do not know truth, and in actuality are helping the lynch mobs to kill our people. Therefore, Religion is a farce. The welfare system is system designed to break up homes and families under the pretense of help, therefore government assistance is a farce. It is the case that the only thing real thing in all this to the black person is their poverty. Hence, each day a person gets up to start another day walking through their impoverished mind, unable to solve problems, unable to find answers because like their mothers and fathers before them their ability to think is limited to the life passed down. Therefore, each individual would need to examine and eliminate certain factors or barriers to their impoverished self.  It is therefore the case that mental health is a factor, unemployment, education, relationships, spirituality and other areas of life. A great writer once wrote, “A theorist, said that family, church, school, and state programs help shape a child’s mind and the world around them. It is my opinion these have failed the black child. Family has failed the black child, religion has failed the black mind, school has not provoked thought, except to brainwash our children when there is no identity to gain of who they are other than how society sees them.” (Spears, 2014). It is written.

Watch: Poverty In America

 Bibliography

Black Demographics, (2012). 12 Black Population: 44.5 million, 14.2% of USA. 

Brown, B., (2005). The incorporation of poverty into adult identity over time: implications for adult education.  INT. J. OF LIFELONG EDUCATION, VOL. 24, NO. 5 (SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2005), 393–404. Retrieved (19 March 2014) from: http://library.ashford.edu/databases_a_z.aspx#J

Gillam & Griffith (2010). Prayer and Spiritual Practices for Health Reasons among American Adults: The Role of Race and Ethnicity Author. Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 49, No. 3 (September 2010), pp. 283-295. Published by: Springer. 

Grohol, J., (2014) The Vicious Cycle of Poverty and Mental Health. 

North American Reparations Task Force (2014). What Are Slavery’s Lingering Effects? Sponsored by: National Commission for Reparations. 

Stoddard, E., (2009). Reuters, African Americans top U.S. religious measures-Pew.

The Scriptures (1998). Translated, Published and distributed by: Institute of Scripture Research. North Riding, South Africa. The Scriptures Publication History, First Edition 1993, Second Edition 1998. IBSN—13-978-0-9585045-4-6

Williams, R., (2011). Wired for Success The decline of fatherhood and the male identity crisis. Psychology Today (2014).  

Williams, R. (2012). “The Sacred Unity in All the Diversity”: the Text and a Thematic Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois’. “The Individual and Social Conscience” (1905). J Afr Am. (2012) 16:456–497  DOI 10.1007/s12111-011-9171-4. Published online: 23 March 2011. Political Science, Bennett College, 900 East Washington St., Greensboro, NC 27401, USA. # Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 201.

Witt & Mossler (2010). Adult Development and Life Assessment. Ashford Discovery Series. ISBN 10: 0-9841823-3-0, ISBN 13: 978-0-9841823-3-6, Published by Bridgepoint Education, Inc., 13500 Evening Creek Drive North, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92128. Copyright © 2010.