Alphonso Pinkney

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Alphonso Pinkney’S Black American: Chronic Social Problems Essay, Research Paper Pinkney states that when you discuss social problems among black American you must take in account the role of racism in American life and the persistence of inequality generated by racism. Pinkney goes on to state that individuals, social agencies, and social institutions responsible for the enforcement of social norms, operate with in a long- established framework that precludes the equality of treatment for black people. The efforts to move toward equality of opportunity are strongly resisted by those who benefit from the current social arrangement. By this he means that those who enforce the social norms prevent equal treatment of blacks and therefore strongly oppose to any progress that

will give blacks a chance for equality. Pinkney also states that the social structure forces people to engage in conforming and non- conforming behavior. The majority of the social problems that affect minorities in the United States result form their low status in society and the poverty that accompanies with this status. Pinkney goes on to state when individual share a comparable socioeconomic status, that are remarkably similar in behavior, this the social problems mainly stem from the social structure. Pinkney discusses three main social problems black Americans share with millions of others, they are homelessness, adolescent pregnancy and drug abuse. When Pinkney discuss homelessness he starts off by going over the history of homelessness, discussing some of the causes of

homelessness, the health problems the homeless have, the race and ethnicity of the homeless, homeless veterans and the attitudes we have toward the homeless. Pinkney states homelessness as a social problem is not a new development in the United States, before the depression it affected few. The permissiveness of homelessness during the depression, led to the first federal programs to help the homeless including soup kitchens and public housing. After World War II the government made a decent home and suitable living environment for an American family a national goal. Ultimately, federal aid and improved economic conditions served to end mass homelessness for nearly thirty years. Economic developments and public policy decisions in the 1970’s triggered an increase in

homelessness that accelerated in the 1980’s . Those affected by the results of those policies are the elderly, women, children, minorities, immigrants, veterans, disabled persons, and the mentally ill. Pinkney goes on to say that the single greatest impetus to the present situations of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. The funding for new low income public housing were reduced by seventy-five percent between 1981 and 1988 and the ascent of political conservatism is one of the causes of this. Funding for many programs that might have ameliorated the problem of homelessness were eliminated or drastically reduced. The response of the government officials has been to ignore the homeless, to denigrate them, blame them for their plight and even deny their existence.

When the problem became pervasive it could no longer be treated lightly, the federal government enacted the Stewart B Mckinney Homeless Assistance Act That has had little impact on the homeless and had never been completely funded. Pinkney states that it is difficult to know exactly how many homeless they are in the United States estimates by the federal government state that they are anywhere from 250,000 to 350,000 although research by the National Coalition for the Homeless state a more realistic figure of 3 million. To sum it all up, there is not clear cut definitions of homelessness; however , at the very least, the homeless are people who do not have a place of residence in the conventional sense. Pinkney states that some of the causes of homelessness are lack of affordable