The economic downturn has made the middle class less generous toward the poor and the people of color who make up the majority of poor people in America, according to an article in today’s Seattle Times (reprinted from the Philadephia Inquirer).
The story quotes South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer as saying that when the government helps the poor, it’s like people feeding stray animals that continually “breed.”
And it recounts Colorado state legislator Spencer Swalm saying that poor people in single-family homes are “dysfunctional.”
People are insecure about the future and therefore they hang on to external differences to justify decisions that are not conducive to ending poverty in America. It’s not surprising then, we find ourselves asking the question: “Am I being treated fairly by my neighbor next door?” Discrimination is on the rise in America and we ought to be aware of this trend and make others aware of it so we can understand why it’s happening. This is nothing more than a survival mechanism present in our society for decades, and it’s not going to go away without all of us getting involved.
As a society we have a social responsibility to the poor, not only because they have limiting factors that are beyond their control, but also because the alternative would result in more crime and misery for families around the country. (more…)