March 22, 2002
What About The Other Poor?
I am not a Liberal by any sense of the word. In fact Liberal thought is pretty much alien to me unless I am in the mode of debunking it. OK, so you know where I stand now on most given issues, and now with that I said that, I want to tell you all about a discussion I had with Jenny yesterday afternoon on the way home from Wal-Mart. (Yes I do shop there).
We were discussing all sorts of things when that Lotto commercial that is run here on the radio ad nauseam, in NY came on. (Lord I hate that one too!). Well to make it short I made mention about how I have a small amount of money deducted from my paycheck every two weeks thru the CFC, and it is sent to a charity that helps the poor people in the Appalachian regions of West Virginia and Kentucky. Many of these people are looked upon as white trash, hillbillies, etc. Many of them have been trapped in this vicious cycle for generations. Some come from families that have been coal miners all their lives. As the words from the Bruce Springsteen song The River laments;
"...that mister when youre born, t hey raise you up to do, just like your daddy done."
Now I dont know how many folks have watched those infomercials about the Save the Children Fund, but if you have you know the people I am talking about. Almost all of these families are trapped in this way of life without many of the simple things that even the people that live in the slums of the major cities have taken for granted. I am talking about simple things that we consider necessities for living. Things like electricity, and running water that would include having water inside the home in the way of sinks, and bathrooms. That old Jeff Foxworthy joke about having to use a flashlight and shoes to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night would apply here, with the exception that many of these people dont even have those items. Most of the homes, if you could call them that, are nothing more than rundown shacks with dirt floors. Health care, while provided by the Feds, is for the most part of poor quality and very distant to get to, making it hard to obtain. Just as a side note here, I was at lunch in a Pizza Parlor here in Queens NY, when a report came on stating that Black Americans on average receive less in the way of quality medical care. Just imagine yourself, in a situation wherein your child is ill, maybe with appendicitis, and you cant get to a hospital, because you have no means to get there, and its way to far to walk, and you cant call a doctor, because you dont have a phone.
Many times we have heard the statistic that there are more white folks on welfare than there are most others. Well, when you consider that there are more white folks in general, that would stand to reason. Id be willing to wager a large majority of them come from this area. Jenny told me, that once, when she was watching the aforementioned infomercial, that she had seen an interview with one of these poor folks and was astounded to hear that some of them basically go the last week of each month with nothing more than a few cans of vegetables, or beans, or something along that line, to eat. The interviewee, stated that the do receive a monthly check, but that, as typical with any Liberally run HRA program it is barely enough to sustain one.
As she watched this infomercial unfold Jenny was telling me about how the kids have rags for clothes, no shoes, and no education. Even the worst public schools in NYC, would be a boon, a Godsend for these kids. These little ones will never be literate enough to get a job, and so the cycle continues. On and on and on, from family to family, from generation to generation. Like a river this cycle just keeps rolling along.
After talking about all of these things, I began to formulate todays article. I thought about all the programs that are available for this countrys minorities. How those big mouths like Alec Baldwin, a local Long Island boy, seem to forget about these people. They rant and rage about how this country needs to do even more for those that have less, how they should be given this opportunity or that one. Never once do they mention the people of the Appalachians. Other than this infomercial, and a rare occasional news report, these folks are basically forgotten. How fair is it when a program like Affirmative action gives and advantage to one group of people that are so disadvantage and for the most part blocks any chance for another.
Think on this for a second. Let us say that we have two young men. One from a financially secure black family, whose dad is, say, oh, a doctor. The other one from a poor white family, whose dad is a coal miner, but sacrificed all he could to try to get him a decent education. How fair is it that the former family who could most probably afford to send their son to a good college would get preference over the later, because one is black and one is white? This is the type of question without an answer that I never hear from the left. What I do hear quite often that because the latter is white, that he has more opportunity to succeed. Hogwash. I have often challenged that notion that success comes only from the color of ones skin.
Secondly, why is it that I never hear from folks like Jesse Jackson that claim to represent the down trodden of this country, speaking about these forgotten poor? Look I understand that we all try to do the best for our own kind. This to me is a just fact of life. It always has been this way, and until such time as we can get past this, it will always be this way. But still I wonder where are these people that want to help all this nations unfortunate. Mr. Jackson, how about using your operation push to help this people as well?
Finally Jenny and I were reflecting on the fact that if we had the wealth and resources of say a Bill Gates that we would be down in that area in a heartbeat, trying to improve the lives of these folks. I knew that such a thing will never happen, so I have to content content myself, with the fact of having my measly paycheck deducted from every two weeks to the tune of about 20 dollars each time, so that maybe some really poor kid, could at least have a new pair of shoes to wear, or a meal in their stomach. Maybe, just maybe, that lousy twenty bucks will make the difference in someones life. I urge my fellow Americans to look into this problem and into their hearts and see if this is not something worth doing. We as a nation do so much for the worlds poor. How about doing something for those of us in our own backyard, the truly needy amongst us in this nation.