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Toby Morris is a illustrator, art director and comic artist. In the illustration above, he attempts and in my opinion succeeds at showing the concept of equality of opportunities and ultimately those outcomes as being harder to obtain than we recognize. I do believe there will be a few that don’t “fall through the cracks.” but most will be another statistic. Children don’t get a choice into what family they are born into, thus starts the cycle.

Karl Alexander who is a sociologist, followed nearly 800 people from low- income neighborhoods. Kids starting in first grade and on ( 1982). This was a 30 year study and here is some of the data from that study by reporter Stephanie Mencimer

Alexander set out to look at how family influences the trajectory of a low-income child’s life. Thirty years later, he’s decided that family determines pretty much everything, and that a child’s fate is essentially fixed by how well off his/her parents were when the child was born.

Of the nearly 800 school kids he’s been following for 30 years, those who got a better start were because their parents had advantages that other families did not…. Resources, education, two- parent home, and support systems.

Out of the original 800 public school children he started with, 33 moved from low-income birth family to a high-income bracket by the time they neared 30. Alexander found that education, rather than giving kids a fighting chance at a better life, simply preserved privilege across generations. Only 4 percent of the low-income kids he met in 1982 had college degrees when he interviewed them at age 28, whereas 45 percent of the kids from higher-income backgrounds did.

Perhaps more compelling in his findings was the role of race in upward mobility. Alexander found that among men who drop out of high school, the employment differences between white and black men was truly staggering. At age 22, 89 percent of the white subjects who had dropped of high school were working, compared with 40 percent of the black dropouts.

These differences came despite the fact that it was the better-off white men who reported the highest rates of drug abuse and binge drinking. White men from disadvantaged families came in second in that department. White men also had high rates of encounters with the criminal justice system. At age 28, 41 percent of the white men born into low-income families had criminal convictions, compared with 49 percent of the black men from similar backgrounds, an indication that it is indeed race, not a criminal record, that’s keeping a lot of black men out of the workforce.

Alexander doesn’t call it white privilege, but that is what he basically describes. His data suggests that the difference in employment rates between white and black men with similar drug problems and arrest records stems from better social networks among white men, who have more friends and family members who can help them overcome many of their obvious impediments to employment.

When I see so much injustice and complete heartbreak in our broken system/society, I turned to God for guidance. Where we are at was not His original plan for His very precious children. I ask myself, why don’t we care more? Why are we so desensitized? How can we break these chains? This illustration is a visual reminder that we can do better. For those of us that have been given the resources and guidance to get ahead in this life, we need to thank the people in our lives  who have had a hand in our progress… parents, teachers, taxpayers, mentors, and our communities. We should always be trying to pay it forward… It all begins with compassion, empathy, and gratefulness. We were put on this earth not to just think about ourselves and our own needs but the real needs of others. God called us to really love not just with words but with actions. I believe God can break any chain that causes oppression so if you are facing hardships of any kind, talk to your creator and let him work in your life. I think we would all be amazed at God’s power if we allow Him in. There is no one better to turn to than Him. He longs to help us.

The Bible states God’s heart for the poor…

Deuteronomy 26:6-9

“But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor. Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Job 5:8-16

“But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.”

Job 34:17-19

“Can he who hates justice govern? Will you condemn the just and mighty One? Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’ and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’ who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?”

Psalm 10:14

“But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”

Psalm 12:5

“‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. I will protect them from those who malign them.”

Psalm 140:12

“I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”

Isaiah 25:4

“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.”

Isaiah 41:17

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”

Amos 5:24

“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

Luke 1:52-53

“He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”

Luke 4:16-21

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’”

Luke 6:20-21

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”

Luke 7:22

“So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.’”

James 2:5

“Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”

Here are some organizations that are making a difference. Please consider how you can help

www.worldvision.org

www.savethechildren.org

www.compassion.com

www.takepart.com

xo

 

 

 

 

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