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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Nshangalume: No Success in Prejudice

Enacting bills that promote inaccurate, racist, classist and discriminatory initiatives in classrooms will not lead to success.
%28Design+by+Sam+Garcia+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
Sam Garcia
(Design by Sam Garcia | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

In the 2024 session, members of the Utah Legislature are attempting to destabilize and dismantle initiatives aimed at leveling the playing field and improving young lives across the state. Others are attempting to introduce new methods to ensure success.

Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R-Salt Lake) introduced S.J.R. 3, a joint resolution aimed at tackling the economic disparities and life outcomes of children. This new success sequence will allegedly alleviate the economic burdens many of our marginalized students are experiencing.

Forcing young minds not to have pre-marital sex, graduate high school or get a job will not fix their economic prospects.

Success Sequence 

The success sequence was championed by conservatives to help children avoid poverty. The sequences only take three steps in helping fix the age-old problem of poverty. These steps are finishing high school, getting a full-time job after high school and getting married before having children. Just like that, all children will get their happily ever after.

There are creeping systemic issues that this initiative fails to acknowledge. Throughout history, the state and the country have stripped themselves of accountability by enforcing inaccurate and misleading narratives.

Though the bill may bring success for children with the resources needed to escape poverty — it cannot and will not be made universal for all children. It doesn’t try to fix the systemic issue of poverty and economic inequality across the nation. The success sequence instead tries to blame all poverty on bad planning.

It’s the System

Our economy has seen rising income inequality and saw a 200% increase in layoffs in 2023. Youths are just not seeing the point in playing by the rules anymore. The American Dream promised a life of success; however, with the current political and economic environment, millennials and Gen Z are calling out these lies. In A USA Today poll, 65% of Gen Z and 74% of millennials said they believe they are starting further behind financially compared to previous generations.

People of color and their children are told that all they have to do is work harder to accomplish centuries worth of destabilizing their ability to gain economic mobility. But this isn’t true. Change needs to happen on a systemic level to fix poverty within marginalized communities.

Effective Change is Not Racism 

We must recognize a change to be made and a problem to be fixed. We cannot shy away from government help. Rather than ignoring the systemic problem, Utah needs to utilize equity-based methods. Expanding social safety net programs for low-income families, usually people of color, will alleviate the burden of providing adequate necessities for their families.

We must ensure social security, subsidize healthcare and offer a trade adjustment assistance program. These programs have helped alleviate poverty for millions of Americans.

A study conducted by the Utah Department of Workforce Services found that ensuring economic stability must start early on. Implementing free or subsidized preschool programs and childcare helps lessen the economic gap across the state. These programs aim to provide self-efficacy for many low-income families, which helps lessen the burden of raising children.

Furthermore, encouraging young minds to not stop at high school will help lead to economic mobility. A study conducted by the Brookings Institution found that college graduates are more likely to climb the economic ladder. Children born in the lowest quintile who do not earn a college degree are four times more likely to end up at the bottom of the income distribution.

Utah must keep its DEI initiatives to ensure more under-resourced students will gain economic stability and stay out of poverty.

DEI It Is 

DEI is the answer to our poverty problem.  However, we must make sure the basics are covered and protected first. High school, marriage and children are not the right way to deal with the systemic problem of poverty.

We must not enable these politicians. We must hold our legislature accountable for their actions, especially those that prevent the success of our children. Let’s begin by remembering poverty is not a personal problem, but a systemic problem.

It is time to stand up against these enablers through the ballot. Voting these people out will help secure economic prosperity for Utah children.

 

[email protected]  

@iragilume 

View Comments (3)
About the Contributors
Iragi Nshangalume, Opinion Writer
(she/her) Iragi Nshangalume is an Opinion Writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle. Iragi grew up around the Salt Lake valley, but spent most spent of her childhood in West Valley and Magna. She’s currently pursing her degree in Economics and Political Science. Outside of school and work, Iragi enjoys talking, music and the arts!
Sam Garcia, Designer
(she/her) Sam Garcia is a junior studying Graphic Design and minoring in Computer Science. She has a bubbly and energetic personality. Loves drawing, painting, taking care of her plants, and getting shredded at the gym.

Comments (3)

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  • C

    Cindy SKFeb 7, 2024 at 8:31 am

    Thank you Iragi for your thoughtful analysis of the systemic issues affecting us all. When injustice affects a group of people it affects us all by diminishing our ability to share in our greatest resource–human beings.

    The response from the first commenter is canned. It appears as a response to other articles tackling issues like the one written about here. (A tactic ALEC uses to great [dis]advantage to drown out others.)
    While we all have the right to share our views, amplifying anti-equality, anti-equity views that take up an inordinate amount of space and discourage those trying to make a positive difference in addressing systemic issues of inequality seems unfair at best.
    I encourage
    1) writers like Iragi Nshangalume to continue doing their work! It is important.
    and
    2) the Daily Chronicle to better monitor abuse of the comment system to address the misuse of the comments section when one voice attempts to overwhelm the conversation with lengthy diatribes that are copied and pasted from one pro-equity article to the next.

    Respectfully,
    Cindy

    Reply
    • J

      John HedbergFeb 7, 2024 at 1:16 pm

      Cindy,

      Respectfully, Equity is racism. As an intersectional BIPOC undergraduate here at the U, that’s been my experience from the first time I came to live on campus, as many of my other comments have also indicated (now that you bring that up~). 😋

      You don’t have to read my comments, but characterizing them as “forcing” other people to be inclusive of diverse opinions is a favorite Marxist technique, falsely claiming that my free speech, which you’re just as free to ignore, is somehow “oppressing” listeners, even though I come from marginalized groups and I’ve been treated with actual suppression by campus Equity bigots trying to virtue signal to cover their cowardice and hateful intents (like you, maybe?). Why do diverse views frighten you so much? 😎

      Unlike Equity’s Prophets and sycophants, I view every human being as equally valuable and equally worth our best consideration, no matter what their flavor, while Equity picks and chooses those who deserve their fabricated grievances based solely by how they feel about the sight and sound of a person: your comment is a fabulous case in point~! Equity’s transphobic attacks on Chloe Cole and anyone else with similar lived experiences is another recent example here on campus.

      Equity is systemic racism. Own it, so you can measure your responsibility for the mess you create (i.e. your own injustice to the rest of us as human beings).

      Cheerfully & honestly, with Love

      Reply
  • J

    John HedbergFeb 6, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    Iragi,

    I think you mean well, but you talk about disparities like someone who’s never actually seen or lived in an impoverished neighborhood. Unlike the “inclusiveness” of DEI (hate toward any majority), poverty really is inclusive of everybody, of all stripes and colors, and those neighborhoods with endemic broken families, bad schools, and worse crime and living conditions have pale Euro people living right in the mix with everyone else. Outside of brand-new immigrants, which my family can broadly attest to, most poverty isn’t race-based but cultural: families whose interior culture stresses family, faith, hard work/play, and education rise out of “ghetto” zip codes with bad school districts in one generation, but people like my parents who succumb to immaturity, grievance, addictions, and their own uncurbed and unbridled instincts end up right back in those same neighborhoods along with their kids, and they stay there unless the kids find a way to be the grown-ups their parents never became or refused to be. It’s that simple, and so the family culture and zip code you grow up in has much more to do with who gets into professional programs (or even finishes high school) than racism or any form of bigotry (besides prejudice against taking responsibility, which is a real thing 🤪).

    The opportunities in this country outstrip nearly every other in the world, and nowhere is more open to choosing your own better life and achieving it than here, or branches of my family wouldn’t have all flocked here from 10 different countries and married each other (family of xenophiles: what can I say? 😊). I grew up in the Greater Boston Melting Pot, surrounded by (and taught by) immigrants from literally every country on the planet, and the fact is that slavery ended in this culture first out of the whole planet, and there’s still no place that offers more freedom and inclusiveness than America does, or people wouldn’t still be streaming here to build lives and families together every single day.

    Equity is poison, since it highlights, promotes, and perpetuates prejudice based on sight alone by falsely concluding that race is at the heart of disparity in this, the most socially- and economically-mobile culture on Earth. True religion teaches us that our identity is based on our common humanity, which we all share equally, and to Love each child of God (by Whatever Name) the way good parents do, since we, very diverse children, are all equally Loved, and our mutual well-being and happiness is a Parent’s first responsibility at all times. That’s why every great culture has its own version of “Love your neighbor as yourself”, since “the least of these” neighbors is just as human as you, just as fallible as you, and just as Lovable as you, in God’s eyes By Any Name, and in each other’s, if we’re honest and choose to value each other the way good parents do, which is Love.

    This human identity is what Dr. King taught, who was a Protestant minister (Christian Nationalist! 😂😂 hardly!). This human identity is what Malcolm X taught after his epiphany in Mecca, and he was Muslim. This human identity is what Mahatma Gandhi taught, and he was Hindu: both he and Malcolm were killed by brethren who refused to give up worshipping Equity’s divisive and divided hate-totem, as was Jesus of Nazareth, who also taught this same human identity, and he was Jewish.

    Equal Love for every individual based on our common human Family is why these folks (among many others) remain so vividly in memory, and why their message spread so widely. Among every diverse group, individuals recognized the common identity we all share and decided to act on it, to live by it.

    Diversity, EQUALITY, and Inclusion are based on equal Love for every unique individual, a standard we all fall down striving to meet every day, but it’s the Love which forgives the scrapes and inevitable bumps along the road to maturity, forgives even as we are forgiven by good parents, out of Love which picks us up to keep us striving continually for that more perfect union that’s the only real ‘safe space’ we’ll ever know: each other, our Common Family. That’s the actual path to Peace, the Mountain-Top Dr. King tried to get us all to see together.

    Just BTW, Dr. Thomas Sowell has the receipts which prove that graduating high school, getting a job, and getting married before starting a family actually is at the root of disparities in this country. That’s how he grew himself out of Harlem as a poor young man, and he’s been collecting government data for decades which prove that diverse people of all backgrounds who do these 3 things (which often precede graduating from college, not prohibit it) have almost zero socio-economic disparity. He recently showed statistics that African American married college graduates are actually doing better by some measures than their less melanin-rich brothers & sister~! You should talk to scientists before nailing yourself to hasty conclusions without seeing evidence beyond Marxist-Equity hate-mongering coming from anonymously funded algorithms~

    Just as an example, one of my grandfathers was first generation whose parents came right off the boat. His father was a factory worker assembling soda fountain machines, and they lived in the poorest part of Boston, but his mother believed strongly in education, so he worked his a** off in school, leveraged himself into Boston Latin Academy (premier public high school), and graduated to go on to college and medical school in 1 generation. His older sister worked to pay his college tuition (his parents were too poor), which he paid back with interest once he finished his residency. That’s been the story with most of the very diverse branches of my family, except for the ones whose individual life habits put us right back into that poor neighborhood again. I’ve worked to get through college, I have a sister who owns her own business, and another who rose out of our impoverished zip code to get her doctorate. Hard work and good life habits pay dividends on a human level, every human, even for diverse immigrant families~! (Have you read the 3 autobiographies of Frederick Douglass? I highly recommend them, even just to show how far we’ve come as a society, and how much faith, good principles, and a willing determination can achieve).

    Aim high, if that’s the pinnacle you want to reach~! Faithfully,

    Reply