The Other America 2012
This is the title of an article by Sasha Abramsky in the Nation magazine. The poor made a brief appearance during Katrina, but are no longer even a blip on the radar screen of life. When the cameras, reporters and dignitaries rushed down to cover this catastrophe every ones guilt feelings were brought to light and we sent them water, food and other necessities; even Bush 1 and Bush 2 flew down to comfort the poor, mostly black. Bush 1 even kissed a black child on the head, very touching. It would have been more touching bringing a couple of these suffering children back to sleep in Lincoln’s bedroom.
That was then and I have heard nothing since about this “Other America”. I was under the impression that Obama, a community organizer, would have brought the “invisible poor” out of the shadows, but Obama hasn’t mentioned them and Romney and other politicians aren’t aware they exist as they have no lobby or money to hire lobbyists.
For years, the story of poverty has been swept under the rug out of reach of our consciousness, but we are developing a new group of all colors and ethnicity and backgrounds that are falling below the poverty line. Poverty creeping into the diminishing middle class may arouse those becoming members of this group. Sasha says that when you get a white guy walking out of his rusty trailer into his pickup truck and he’s got a Vote Republican placard in his yard, then you’ve reached the height of stupidity,” but he wouldn’t be much smarter if he had a Vote Democrat placard as they are also silent in this area.
A disproportionate share of our poor are African Americans and Latinos with more than a quarter of blacks and Latinos living below the poverty line. This doesn’t mean poverty is strictly a minority problem. 47 million of all Americans are living at or below the poverty level.
Most politicians are so removed from the “Other World” they have no conception of the real world. They use the word compassion loosely, but their compassion is for large donors to their next election. I have always felt they should spend some quality time in the “Other World” with the slight chance they would recall the philosophies of “The Sermon on the Mount.” This would endow them with more insight of the real world than having lunch with Donald Trump.
I find it very disgusting watching a president or his wife reading to a group of 2nd or 3rd grade children with a few white children sprinkled in for affect. The children are forewarned about the visit with cameras and secret service personal to make the visit realistic. To experience a real educational situation the politician must visit a middle or high school class, unannounced, in a very low income area with no cameras and just spend the day as observers. They should also spend some quality time in some of the children’s homes. I know this will never happen as politicians spend most of their time raising money and nursing at the breasts of high spending lobbyists.
Conditions have changed little for those who through the accident of birth, color, and ethnic origin, find themselves inexorably trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. They were brought out into the sun light during Katrina, but Census Bureau data showed that 50% of African American children under the age of 5 were living below the poverty line. Post-Katrina Census Bureau found that the figures have spiked to more than 65%.
Those in the Other World are very lonely, but during the Thanksgiving an Christmas celebrations they come out of their caves for free turkeys and food on Thanksgiving and crawl back in their caves the next day. The children are brought out in public again on Christmas with people on motorcycles and other organizations in the media bringing toys for all the underprivileged children who become invisible again the next day.
The media is there with their cameras as they receive their turkeys and toys, but don’t follow them back to their hovels. This wouldn’t be flattering to the “American Dream and would expose the candidates inability to understand the struggles of millions of ordinary Americans.
Out of sight out of mind