Classism: The Unspoken Ism upper class vs lower classes current state in America and how it effects the people who live under these conditions and possibly, what we could do about it.

Essay by bave37College, Undergraduate December 2003

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Classism: The Unspoken Ism

We have all heard of and discussed racism, sexism, homophobia and many other forms of bigotry, but one thing we have left out of the discussion is the poor. Why are the poor getting poorer while the rich are getting richer? This appears to be a fundamental problem in America today for a number of reasons all of which hinge on the simple question, "If we are the land of opportunity, then why don't the poor get opportunities?" This is a question of education, families, community involvement, job placement, and much more.

To look closer at this problem we notice that the inner city schools are consistently lower standardized test scores than the private or suburban public schools. With just this one indicator we have a number of problems we must face. Maybe the quality of education is lower. If this is the case we have to ask why.

In many areas of America, only a small portion of the schools funding comes from the federal government, most comes from local property taxes. This makes it clear how the inner city school would have fewer resources. The poorer neighborhoods have lower property values, so they collect fewer taxes and have fewer resources. Inner city students also face problems of gang violence and drugs at a completely different level than any other type of school. For example, take the existence of metal detectors at the junior high schools so that kids don't enter school with knives and guns. Another common rule at inner city schools that are prone to violence is the abolition of book bags because you can conceal a great many things in a book bag. These are all little things that point toward a larger more menacing problem. What is happening to the...