A Poor Editorial on Poverty
The man running to replace Barack Obama as America’s president in November 2012 is a very rich man. He looks, talks, acts, feels and even does rich things like hold bank accounts in Switzerland. Save for this last facet, Obama himself has all trappings of the rich, degrees of depth notwithstanding.
However, what differentiates these two men is their proxy to the common man who actually makes the bulk of America’s voting population. Additionally, though, Obama bears another distinct mark of direct correlation to the common: He has a bit of black carousing his veins and skin color.
This is his lifetime membership to a class of people who have, in North America, been associated with being the downtrodden, the underserved, the uncivilized – the poor. In political terms, Obama’s blackness is associated with what Reagan referred to as ‘Welfare Queens’ and what Bill Clinton ‘reformed’ in the 1990′s. For Obama, poverty is tied around his neck through vituperative terms like ‘food stamp president’ and ‘class warfare.’
Unfair or otherwise, these expressions hurled at the first African American leader of the free world have a way of making sense and thus sticking as appropriate labels as simply as guilt by association works.
Obama is black and so he must have something in him that predisposes him to poverty just like the poor in Africa, Europe and even the Caribbean. To those who frame Obama in these terms, poverty is one continuous black slate! Conversely, it could be said that there is a world of difference between being poor in America, for instance, and being impoverished in the Third World; in Africa or in the Caribbean. Some opine that the poverty in Africa goes straight to the born while the impoverished in the West are much better off.
But this is a specious argument to make; and this paper believes that poverty amongst the blacks in North America is exactly the same as in the Caribbean and in Africa, albeit the geographical differences. Of course, there are many poor white people in America, many living in conditions more deplorable than those the blacks are mired in.
To illustrate, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the poor of the South were, literally and figuratively, washed out of their crevices for all the world to see. There were dead people floating in those waters and the live ones were stuck in such deplorable circumstances that it looked like a third world country had gone and invaded the U.S.