I have nightmarish memories of talking to prosecutors and judges in an effort to explain why a client didn’t behave the way they thought a “normal person” should. It’s reminiscent of Angry Nancy Grace’s screeching, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Why don’t people do what reasonably well-educated middle class people think they should?
Two things came across the twitters over the weekend that helped me enormously to understand why. The first is from Huff Post by Linda Tirado, entitled “This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense.” The second is a 1996 article from the Instructional Leader by educator Ruby Payne entitled “Understanding and Working with Students and Adults from Poverty,” courtesy of Shoirca.
There is much here worthy of discussion, but you have to read both pieces first. They are worth your time.
Update: While I appreciate the emails about other posts that you think are relevant or related, these are the two that I have chosen to commend here. The reason is that one is a first-person, as opposed to a third-person (of which there are millions), narrative, and the second is a somewhat empirically based analysis as opposed to an anecdotal commentary (of which there are millions). While I appreciate your interest and effort to “help me out,” these remain my choices. Feel free to post other things on your own blogs.
Update 2: As it turns out, the Linda Torado piece at HuffPo is a fraud. What a shame. My apologies.