Those Poor Poor People

The poor never get a break…

They are the unsung heroes of our society, the cultural warriors always on the front lines taking the societal shrapnel for the rest of us. The poor in America serve as society’s trash can. They provide a convenient place for us to throw all of our undesirable feelings and labels. They are a cultural pressure valve, when things get too hot we turn to them as an outlet to relieve the overwhelming forces. They are our standard bearers, the light houses marking the edge of the sea of norms: venture too close and you risk running your ship aground on the shores of indecency, deviance and undeservingness.

The poor are inked with the tattoos of stigmas long gone as well as those yet to come. They are marked to guide the good and deserving members of society along the “proper path.” Their fates have been decided by the producers of culture and the sultans of society. So long have they been subdued by the mainstream dominance that their very evolution now carries their stigmas from generation to generation.

The sad realization is that we cannot “fix” the poor, we cannot end poverty; for if we did how would we know “right” from “wrong?” How could we tell “success” from “failure?” The very nature of our existence is predicated on how we perceive ourselves in relation to each other – and unfortunately the poor make the rest of us look good.