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LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed at 7:40 am under by dcobranchi

Life in Fayette-nam:

Be careful, thoughtful when donating money

Like many Americans, my family generously gave to the Red Cross after witnessing the wrath of Katrina. For a number of reasons, many of the same Americans wanted to recind their donations. My reason, I read my money may be going to help the poor.

I do not want one cent of my money going to help the “poor.”

This is America. Poor people live in the dirt, where nothing grows, where disease is rampant, where there is no free education or education period. They are not obese and they don’t have cell phones and wear gold.

There are no “have and have nots” in America, rather “do and do nots.”

In addition, no one seems to know where to direct this money. Heaps of supplies are sitting in an evacuated New Orleans. The $2,000 debit cards are reportedly being used at places like Victoria’s Secret and Circuit City.

I’ve learned my lesson. I will be careful and encourage all others to put thought into their generosity rather than follow their hearts.

Patrick McNamara, Spring Lake

I have no idea why the local paper prints letters such as this. Is it because they have so few that they have to print every one to fill the space? Or maybe they’re holding this up as a negative example. I hope it’s not because they believe that this kind of attitude is proper or common. God, I hope it’s not common.

9 Responses to “LETTER OF THE DAY”


Comment by
Ron
September 25th, 2005
at 11:47 am

Until the last 2 paragraphs, I thought it was being sarcastic.


Comment by
Andrea R. in Missouri
September 25th, 2005
at 2:15 pm

Sadly this attitude seems to be much more common than I’d have ever imagined in my worst nightmares.


Comment by
Rikki
September 25th, 2005
at 6:25 pm

I’d say the attitude was common. I’ve ran into too many debates that basically take the point of view that being poor or low income is a choice. All you have to do, apparently, is get an education and help yourself out of any situation.


Comment by
Andrea R
September 26th, 2005
at 10:51 am

Becasue smart, hardworking people are never poor. I don’t know whether to laugh hysterically and manically or sob.


Comment by
SheilaZ
September 26th, 2005
at 11:52 am

Getting an education and working hard worked for me. So did marrying up.
I was dirt poor as a child and my parents never accepted any government aid except the free education given by the state. (And if I did “C” or worse, my parents were quick to inform me that I was not to waste this opportunity.)

I’m sorry, but I do see a lot of the poverty around me (in GA) and the poverty I saw while teachig in Fayetteville as a choice. When my dad chose to drink instead of work…it was his fault the power was turned off.


Comment by
COD
September 26th, 2005
at 12:09 pm

In the US, most of the chronically poor can trace their problems to a lack of education, teenage pregnancy, drugs, or failure to keep a job. Graduate from HS, don’t get pregnant in your teens, don’t get addicted, and go to work every day somewhere, and it is highly unlikely that you will end up in public housing for most of your life.

All 4 of those things are choices. You choose to drop out of school, you choose to have sex at age 15, you choose to drink or smoke something, you choose to not get out of bed and go to work in the morning.

In the absence of mental or physical illness, poverty is usually the predictable result of poor choices made earlier in life.


Comment by
Tim Haas
September 26th, 2005
at 9:09 pm

There’s lack of money, and there’s poverty. There’s a cultural element to poverty that we can’t just brush away by saying “Make the right choices and you won’t end up in public housing” — many people simply have no concept that there are choices. Now, I happen to think government, both inadvertently and overtly, perpetuates that culture, but, regardless, the problem isn’t so simple. I recommend Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s “Random Family” for a big wallop of insight into poverty and its cultural bedrock, present orientation.


Comment by
Rikki
September 27th, 2005
at 2:33 pm

Thanks Tim, I was starting to feel a bit like one of the last few dodo birds in a den of lions. 😉

To bring the point home, I’m 34. I didn’t realize how many options I had simply not seen until I was around 30. Multi-generational low income families have this odd sort of learning curve. Granted, there are a few brilliant exceptions that make good in spite of their upbringing. Personally, I was extremely proud that I’d broken a cycle of violence, neglect, and welfare abuse. Financial success to me only meant that I never, ever, had to be on welfare, even if I qualified for it. I took one manual labor job after another, until I ended up getting a spinal fusion at 28, and now am in need of another.

Do I think that society owes me anything for the sins of my father or the lack of ingenuity on my part? No. But I do think that there is no place for simplification regarding social issues. It’s all 100 shades of gray.


Comment by
Ron
September 27th, 2005
at 8:01 pm

I think that the minute planning done for kids in PS is quite responsible for them being unaware of choices. Or, if aware of them, having no experience with which to make good ones.