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Letter to the Editor: Stop blaming hardships on people at bottom of society

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

History has taught us that in every socio-economic system in crisis, there are the apologists and there are the rebels. The apologists hold on to old ideas. They rationalize and justify the prevailing system to the point of absurdity. And if the truth is different and unpalatable, they invent lies, half-truths and mystifications.

So it comes as no surprise to me to see the newspapers flooded with all kinds of reactionary opinions. Take for example, the recent statement by one such writer that “natural gas is a renewable energy source provided by God.” First natural gas is NOT a renewable energy source – not unless you want to wait another million years. Wind and solar energies are renewable sources. Those are just the facts – and no amount of obfuscation can change that. So, the question comes down to whether these other renewable energy sources are currently available, “provided by God” or not. Why reject the safe, clean renewable energy sources at hand: solar and wind power?

Most astounding to me is the 3-25-2017 letter to the editor by Mr. Buck Young. Here is a male pontificating to all of us females about our right to control our bodies. What about the man’s responsibility for birth control if he is so against abortions? Men can undergo vasectomies quite safely. It is an outpatient procedure: in – snip, snip – out and home.

We have all seen recently the millions of women taking to the streets world-wide and here in NC, with abortion rights being one of their many demands. It is a very encouraging sight to see many enlightened men marching with their children by the side of their spouses, mothers, sisters, and daughters.

Mr. Young also blames the welfare system’s support for single parents as the cause for “sexual immorality.” His belief that women give birth to many children just to get on welfare indicates to me his total disrespect for womankind. If he thinks it is so easy to get on welfare, just talk to any social worker. And try living on a welfare budget for a month!

Women go on welfare to survive and to feed their children. They are humiliated, have to fill in reams of forms and jump though all kinds of hoops just to get barely survivable sums for food. And then to have this gentleman disrespect them! This truly is the attitude of a woman-hater – a misogynist! Fathers can also beg for welfare for their children, and yet they don’t. Why does the responsibility fall on women all the time? Does it not take a sperm and an egg to form a baby?

The same superior patriarchal attitude permeates another statement in the same letter blaming poor school performance, drug and alcohol addiction, suicides and “generational poverty” on the absence of a husband in the home. It’s like dumping all the ills of the world on single parent households headed by women! The truth? Actual causes include poverty, lack of decent-paying jobs, and politically imposed racial divisions especially in the criminal justice system. even though the majority of welfare recipients are white. . According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, 40.2 percent of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps) recipients are white, 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American. At their root is the system’s drive for more, more, more, regardless of the human cost.

We live in a decaying social structure where one class of the super-rich, the 1 percent, exploits the vast majority of us, the 99 percent, both here and globally. This is not a sustainable system. The world’s resources are finite, and oppressed people will not remain oppressed forever, as history will prove to us once again.

Given the difficult times so many of us are facing, we need to show more empathy and kindness to each other. At the same time we have to reject attempts to place the blame for our hardships – systemically caused hardships – back onto the people at the bottom of society. The chances of our children or grandchildren doing better than us are now very slim, unless you are a member of the 1 percent.

We can learn more about each other and the problems we face. Then on this basis of deeper understanding, we can unite broadly – demonstrating our solidarity across all our many diversities.

Dr. Kim E. Koo

Rocky Mount

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