Linda Tirado explained poverty in a way that you can feel it
I’ve seen poverty up close. I have friends that are desperately poor. I’ve tried to write about this and tell their story because it makes me hopping mad that the politicians don’t seem to understand the first thing about it and play political football with the dignity and self esteem of the poor. I’m middle class, and though we do have lots of money problems all the time, it’s not the same as the problems my friends who are poor have. Theirs is of a different order of magnitude. I worry about them all the time and it even makes it hard to be friends, ’cause I can’s stand the pain. Their lives are a never ending daily crisis of want. Their kids go without basic things. In this materialistically oriented society, they live in a fog of depression.
So I was moved by the eloquence of Linda Tirado (here ) in explaining what it feels like to be poor and to make decisions as a poor person. And yeah, we can use those words (poor, poverty) without feeling shame, or like we’re using a dirty word. The world is filled with poor people. They are the biggest share of the 99%. Their issues are the ones that matter. To the extent that we know of, understand, discuss, empower and find solutions for those problems, the world will start to change for the better.
I want to pay tribute to Linda Tirado’s article by re-posting her article here. I hope you find it as wonderful as I did. Her article went viral, there has been a lot of positive and negative reaction. You can also view a live interview of her here.
Incidentally (or not so coincidentally) my new novel, INTERMARRY (find it here) is a “what if story” about an average white guy who decides to do something about the economic disparity in a Chicago neighborhood with his own hands, ingenuity, and sweat. It takes a dig at our so-called “welfare reform,” which pushes people off of welfare when they are too poor to receive it. The novel also frames the racial issues that keep people apart, and explores the long road America has to travel to get to oneness.
My newest novel, GOD CREATED WOMEN (find it here), takes a look at the feminization of poverty and the connection between domestic violence and poverty. The physical and psychological forms of abuse are closely tied to economic control and neglect. When a child goes without, it’s mother suffers deep, psychic, real pain, especially if she feels it’s being denied sustenance by a neglectful, manipulative father. So many women and children are poor because in order to escape abuse they leave behind or don’t fight for resources that are rightfully theirs.