Poverty: America vs South Africa

1022 Words5 Pages
Poverty: The United States vs. South Africa Poverty is a very prevalent issue in our world today. It is the tragic economic condition in which one is deprived of something, to the extent of severity that an individual in this condition cannot go on to live “with dignity” in his or her own society, (Conley, 355). The United States has one of the highest poverty rates in the advanced world and one in five American children lives in a household with an income below the poverty line, (Conley, 379). In Mark Mathabane’s autobiography, Kaffir Boy, Mark Mathabane is born into a poverty-stricken family in South Africa where he is faced with the violent struggle of striving towards wealth. Regardless of ones location, the consequences and sacrifices of poverty remain the same: homelessness, hunger, and poor health, (Conley, 357). It is important that we understand the concept of poverty so we are more conscious of this matter and are capable of overcoming or helping others with the fight to overcome this problem. In this essay I will attempt to explain and relate the issue of poverty in America to the poverty of South Africa that Johannes experienced. The issue of poverty is one that is commonly overlooked and forgotten. It is very easy for us to look at someone who is impoverished and assume that they are to be blamed for their own poverty. That is not always the case. Millions of Americans are living in poverty. Some are ill, some are unemployed, and some people have devoted too much of their time attempting to better society, as opposed to bettering their own life. We live in a very ethnocentric society, meaning that we look down upon those of a different culture and tend to assume the worst of them, (Leeder, In Class 1/16/13). This ethnocentric attitude, that many of us American’s tend to have, be it subconsciously or not, is brought upon us through prejudice. The fact
Open Document