Friday, March 27, 2009

Welcome to the New Hoovervilles, the Blowback Consequences from the Economic Crisis

It's a long slippery slope downwards from Leavittown...

To Hooverville...

From one little box made of ticky-tacky to another, they all seem to look the same.

Homelessness. It can happen to anyone. It does not take much to tip people into this abyss. Lose your job, get screwed on your mortgage, get sick, or be branded a felon or a stalker for life by our legal and penal systems, and guess what? Shit happens. Why do you think wealthy CEOs are now being reduced to taking on minimum-wage jobs like delivering pizzas? If you think downward mobility could happen to them -- or anyone else, then why do you think people wind up jeopardizing their health and well-being living in such squalor?

You think homeless people want to live that way? Try spending some time on the streets. Try to string together a cornucopia of services from these faith-based agencies just so you could survive.

This is an uncomfortable, inconvenient truth: We will continue to have homelessness as long as pontificating gasbags and others continue to demonize the homeless and think of them as the "other" whose needs are unimportant. Social Darwinism is an ugly, ugly thing, and has been a major problem in this country for far too long.

If we as a society are judged by how we treat our less fortunate, consider this: We "support our troops," but once they're discharged from the armed forces, those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are out there, living on the streets, struggling with demons they could not live with. This is just one of the many blowback consequences stemming from a war which neocon politicians, in the midst of their magical thinking, sought to force changes on a country that probably would never come, in spite of their efforts.

We are seeing families whose lives are disrupted, forced to stay in overcrowded hotel rooms, or worse, in tent encampments, trying to maintain some semblance of normalacy in the midst of this crisis.

Also, consider this: almost four in ten homeless children are gay or lesbian.

They're routinely thrown out of their homes by homophobic parents, thrown out like trash. Is child protective services doing anything? Hell, no! Are law enforcement agencies doing anything? Hell, no! Is society as a whole doing anything? Hell, no!

Let's face the cold, heart truth: karma has come back to us in a big way. How we respond to this is certainly open to question.

In the meantime, there for the grace of God go you, me and the rest of us...

No comments: