I admit I am poor because it is the truth. I admit I am poor because it places me in the group that shares the most to gain from the current reversal in political power. Watch this 10 minute video and try to understand the concepts presented in it.
The only thing that keeps me from being the preferred victim in this system is the color of my skin. This is why Black Lives Matter.
I don’t make racial arguments on this blog very often. I don’t make racial arguments largely because of the points made by the host of the video. I was virtually homeless for years. I have been poor all my life. The only things I’ve ever had going for me was the color of my skin, and my ability to think clearly and deeply. Only one of those is something I can do anything about.
Poverty is what we all share in common. Nearly half of the US is poor. Everyone around you is probably poor, unless you are one of the lucky few still in the middle class, and even then your neighbors are probably poor. The 1% would like nothing more than for us to forget just how good they’ve got it right now.
I don’t make racial arguments because they are divisive, and I am not proud of the history of race as my white skin would have that history be told. I support Black Lives Matter every time I hear the group derided, even when black people aren’t around to hear it. See it. I do this because I know we are fellow travelers. We share a common human bond.
The real separation, the real dispute, is between the haves and the have-nots. Just as it has always been down through history. Make no mistake, there is a war on poverty in the US. It just isn’t the war you think it is.
Before the war on drugs became our national fixation, there was a short-lived, halfheartedly implemented war on poverty. Would that the same amount of resources and political will been expended here. But hyper-individualism, rampant capitalism, and a political discourse that persistently racializes poverty and stigmatizes governmental assistance continue to stand in the way.
We are left instead with the war on the poor.
The gaps between rich and poor grow, while Congress slashes $ 1 billion from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), refuses to extend meager unemployment insurance (UI) to millions out of work, and an increase in the minimum wage (which would still fall far short of living wage) remains contentious.truthout.org