A couple of weeks ago, CBS’ 60 Minutes ran an incredibly touching segment on homeless families. Scott Pelley assembled a diverse group of homeless children and asked them a series of questions about their circumstances. They responded by talking about going to bed hungry, the effects of homelessness and hunger on their studies, the shame of feeling different than “normal” kids and their sense of guilt from feeling as though they are a hardship on their parents.
The impact of the segment was both heart-wrenching and utterly maddening. Despite our current economic problems, we are the richest nation on Earth. Yet we not only seem to accept the reality that a large segment of our population is struggling to get through each day without proper food, health care or a home. Some of our right-wing politicians and media pundits even seem determined to blame them for their problems.
They’ve blamed homebuyers for being tricked into unaffordable home loans. They’ve tried to block unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. They have called the unemployed lazy. And they’re trying to repeal (or at least de-fund) the health care bill that will make affordable health care accessible to all Americans.
If these politicians can watch a few of the 16 million impoverished children in America talk about their struggles and still continue to attack programs that could make the lives of these kids better, it’s time for these politicians to go.
Yesterday couldn’t be soon enough.