This recently aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes; I had a hard time getting through it. There are 16 million children living below the poverty line – in many cases they are homeless – in the United States, and this particular 60 Minutes special focuses on the homeless children who live around Disney World – the Happiest Place on Earth. These kids go to bed hungry, their families have been threatened with being split up by shelters, and many have been abused by local police tasked with evicting families from their homes.
The rich of the Americas would have you believe these children are merely the products of failures, and they are failing as they should, being rubbed out by ‘natural selection’. It is at the very heart of modern Neo-Conservative philosophy, that there are the haves and have-nothings, and that somehow the rich shouldn’t be burdened with higher taxes to protect these people from destruction. The level of stress placed on these families is well beyond the stress levels one would expect to find amongst the middle classes of the the West, and yet these children bear witness to it in their creased, tear-streaked faces – this is the world they have been introduced to, and hopefully they have yet to realize just how ugly, brutish and short their lives may be.
I couldn’t watch it without crying. I wonder what it will take to awake the people of this diseased continent. I can easily imagine the faces of so many elites sneering in derision at the face of such helpless innocence, self-assured in their ways via their misjudged association of their temporal wealth with divine providence.
What’s shocking about this CBS report is that it will only move a very small number of people to act, and their impact may be small and proportional to their means. It won’t move the masses to act and solve and problem with an easy solution, and this makes me wonder whether just how unaware the masses truly are to their own bondage? What would it require to develop rage from so much stagnant lethargy?