La Pobreza

You don’t work hard enough.

You don’t have enough education.

You can’t manage your money.

You made poor choices.

You don’t have the right skills.

You’d rather buy a cell phone than a bag of rice or beans.

You had too many kids.

You’d rather get a government handout than work for your money.

 

The language may change but the message remains the same:

The individual is always easiest to blame.

 

Are you a criminal?

Do you take good care of your children?

Have you tried to get a better job?

Are you an illegal immigrant?

Do you spend your money on drugs or alcohol?

Have you tried cutting back your spending?

 

The language may change but the message remains the same:

The individual is always easiest to blame.

 

Across mountains,

Across valleys,

Across deserts, and plains.

Across oceans,

Across rivers,

Across channels, and seas.

Across borders,

Across fences,

Across walls and chains.

 

The language may change but the message remains the same:

The individual is always easiest to blame.

 

There is no mention of systematic violence,

Oppression, marginalization, or racism.

There is no mention of privilege,

Colonization, domination, or cultural imperialism.

Who is talking about the intersections of poverty,

race, and class?

 

The language may change but the message remains the same:

The individual is always easiest to blame.

I

don’t know how we change it, I don’t know how we begin.

Conversations and dialogue?

Perhaps empathy and anecdotes?

Does it call for research and facts?

Our human connection and shared experiences don’t seem to be enough.

 

The cure I may not know, but of this I am sure.

The language may change but the message remains the same:

The individual is always easiest to blame.

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