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News & Issues > Published Again -- Oh Boy
 

Published Again -- Oh Boy

The News-Press finally published my article -- they have had it a while so I started to wonder if they would use it. I copied this off their website.

They put it in their Sunday feature section with another awful photo of me -- with the hedder:

Don't let elitism keep you from getting help or helping others

Aug. 17, 2013 10:55 PM
|
my full name was here

Filed Under

Opinion

Elitism,even among those who have the capacity for empathy and who see themselves as not racist and not against the poor, still infects many of us. Here is how it looks, and what I think is the reasoning behind it.

Perhaps you are someone who has struggled to break free of a low-income childhood, you have studied hard, managed to get into a good school, earned a partial scholarship, qualified for a student loan. You break your back paying the rest of your expenses by waiting tables, doing odd
jobs, you finally graduate and get a mid-level job at a good company and maybe you continue to rise in income and position. You breathe a sigh of relief that you “made it.”

Then you read about programs to help the disadvantaged and know that your taxes are helping to pay for these programs. Hey, wait a minute, you think, “No one helped me, I did it on my own; why can’t these deadbeats do the same?

First of all, this is elitism at its worst because nobody who gets anywhere does it on his own — if you have made it, it is because someone in your past, even if it was only for five minutes, gave you the support, love, what have you, that guided you to successful behavior and you also had
the ability to go on from there.

Those born into poverty are born with varying degrees of coping. Some are fortunate indeed because they “get it” right away, and have the ingenuity and talent to rise. But many do not come into this world with the brain power, the talent, the capacity for learning, the insight to analyze what is happening to them that helps them create their own
self-sufficiency. They can’t beat the odds — they really do not know how. They were born unequal. “We are all created equal” refers to “equal under the law” not equal in biological gifts.

So when you think people who are poor can do it if they only tried hard enough, it’s like telling a double amputee he could win the race if only he wasn’t such a deadbeat and made the effort.

One might at least try to understand the reactions of those who can’t make it and whose every effort meets with failure: frustration, rage, acting out, desperate measures, depression, total dysfunction. Yet these people
could be productive if at that crisis point in their lives public programs helped them get a leg up.

So, be an elitist if you want to, but when you throw people away, you diminish all human kind. Abandoning the less fortunate ones because it is “costly” to help them, ignoring their very real, very valid concerns,does not help the rich and the well-to-do. And those of us blessed with
success do not diminish ourselves by reaching out to those less fortunate.

Incidentally,the late author Ayn Rand, who made a career out of hating social programs, was persuaded to apply for Social Security and Medicare when she got cancer in later life and could no longer provide for her own care.

It helped her when she needed it. Too bad we can’t ask her if she was grateful. That’s all any of us need: help when we are down.
***

xx, Teal

posted on Aug 20, 2013 6:23 AM ()

Comments:

well said--- had help when needed, and I owe a lot to a lawyer and a bank manager. not rich by any means but am comfortable
comment by kevinshere on Aug 21, 2013 12:50 AM ()
Very good, I am proud of you!
comment by elderjane on Aug 20, 2013 3:58 PM ()
Thank you Ms. Jeri.
reply by tealstar on Aug 20, 2013 4:07 PM ()
Somehow I picture Ayn Rand with festering cigarette in hand, complaining about socialism to her dying day. Look at all the Republicans who take advantage of government programs that help THEM, but disparage anything that helps someone else.
comment by troutbend on Aug 20, 2013 8:48 AM ()
Would love to do a piece that exposes Republican lies and misinformation but that takes research and I am lazy. But I am closing in on a way to write and that is a good thing.
reply by tealstar on Aug 20, 2013 4:11 PM ()
Simply excellent.
comment by drmaus on Aug 20, 2013 8:04 AM ()
comment by jondude on Aug 20, 2013 7:31 AM ()
Well said!
P.S. It is a kudo to be published on Sunday, the biggest edition with the highest circulation. Well done!
comment by marta on Aug 20, 2013 6:35 AM ()
Yes, after wondering what they were going to do with it, it came out on Sunday. I was more than pleased. Now that I have a contact at the paper, I can send her anything. Problem is I have to keep writing. T'were ever thus since I never know from where I will get the next "push".
reply by tealstar on Aug 20, 2013 4:06 PM ()

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