Thursday, August 27, 2015
Ten Years On
When you're living in another country and something like this (Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath) occurs back home, well, it makes you feel a bit embarrassed. I remember walking with Kade down a hallway into a supermarket at Central Chitlom in Bangkok, glancing over at a magazine stand and seeing this cover.
Here's an email I sent my brother around that time (Sept 2005). He had sent me this insightful article about the hidden poor in America.
Excellent points especially about the "hidden poor" in the US. And it's not just blacks. Lots of whites too - people living in trailer parks, the Appalachian mountains, rural sticks and housing projects. I think sometimes we say things like "Well, they're poor by American standards" or "If you're gonna be poor, better to be poor in the US." Those statements may not only be untrue, but more than likely are justifications for not figuring how to help bring the poor up a notch. In my mind, if you're poor, you're poor. And I have met a lot of people outside the USA who are in better shape than America's poor. To be poor means you have a lower quality of life, a shorter life expectancy, live paycheck to paycheck, have kids who go to sub-par schools, are afraid to go to the doctor because of the expense, don't eat well, etc.. And, just touching on the Bible and religion, even believing the words of the Bible where God or one of the prophets says "there will always be poor" can give believers a reason not to truly care. Then toss in racism and stereotypical views of blacks being lazy, violent, sex-crazed and having smaller brains, and some people probably think this poor state (and even the hurricane aftermath) is what they deserve.