The Hot Un-Ghetto Mess!

RightWatch: A love child, an alleged sexual assault, unpaid bills at Tiffany. Wait. It's not the black underclass misbehaving -- it's the white elite.

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None of this is to say that members of the black underclass should be excused for their self-destructive behavior. It's their responsibility to do all they can to lift themselves up while society -- including government -- does everything it can to help them out.

But as we go about the monumental task of creating more opportunity for upward mobility, we need to stop acting as though the poor deserve their plight just because they are bad people behaving badly. It's much more complicated than that. If being a moral screw-up were the cause of being poor, some of the wealthiest and most powerful white folks in the world would be on skid row.

Jack White is a regular contributor to The Root.

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is a former columnist for TIME magazine and a regular contributor to The Root.