It was with enthusiasm that I began reading the front page article in today’s Globe titled ‘Between the haves ,have nots, an ever greater gulf”. After all, this subject gets talked about a lot in my world between work and school. It’s common knowledge that this recession has hit the poorest of our citizens in a much more significant way than the nation’s wealthiest. The “rich” have come through this recession “richer” and the poor and working class continue to struggle.
I even learned something reading this article this morning. I am one who has always assumed that those who lived out in the western part of the state lived a somewhat idyllic life and to learn that the poverty in that neck of the woods is even greater than that in many of the eastern, inner cities, was eye opening.
In the article, they highlight Mindy Shoestock..a twenty something single mother of two..who lost her $12 an hour job and is now working for $9 an hour at the local McDonalds. Shoestock is ..for sure ..a sympathetic figure. Her story is heartbreaking and all too familiar to those of us who work with this population in the cities. That is, until the end of the article. You see, the article ends by telling the reader that Mindy is now pregnant with her third child..a pregnancy she planned since she thought it would be harder to have kids after she was 30.
Suddenly, a whole host of other questions comes to mind. Such as..where are the fathers of these children? Is he ( or they) providing any financial support? Why on earth would someone who admits that she cannot feed her two children elect to have a third? Most importantly, does the Globe not see that by using her as an example, it feeds into the right wing ideology that vilifies ALL single mothers of children? After all, I have much more sympathy for single mothers living in poverty than the average person..and even my sympathy for Ms. Shoestock was dampened considerably by the news at the end of the article. She..and society..are condemning her children to a lifetime of poverty.
If the Globe’s intent was to divert attention away from the main topic of the article, which was that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer..then they succeeded. The injustice I felt at the beginning of the article turned into a different kind of injustice at the end.