Friday, February 5, 2010

There Really is a Difference Between Poor Children & Animals!

"Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals.""
"Bauer, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, made his remarks during a town hall meeting in Fountain Inn that included state lawmakers and about 115 residents."

""My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said."

I'm trying to understand (admittedly not very hard), why people feel so comfortable being insensitive. I'm not talking about unguarded, off handed comments that may, or may not, be reflective of deep seated attitudes. I'm talking about people who feel comfortable saying mean and injurious things about others, without thinking about the power of the position for which they make their statements and the impact on the people who will ultimately hear (or read) their statements.

For instance: what if you're on food stamps, or any kind of public assistance - because you lost your job because of the recession? How would it feel if the Lt. Governor of your state compared your children to 'animals'? Maybe you live in public housing because of the death of a spouse, the loss of that income and the inability (or unwillingness) of family to help out. You read (or hear) your second top state elected official that government housing is exacerbating the problem for the society at large. Or more specifically related to the article, your children are on free and reduced lunch. In many cases the only place a child gets breakfast or lunch...because their parents are poor.
These children are like animals, who if fed will reproduce and give birth to other children who will be a drain on society. Because, by taking a free lunch to help the learn in school, they don't know any better. Wow!

I don't know how prevalent this attitude is. I'm trying to accept that people who say mean, racist and hateful things, behind the curtain of anonymity provided by the Internet are basically cowards who would never say those things the same way in person.

But elected, or appointed officials, who feel free to say things about the people the represent and serve, but who say these things because they must prove themselves ideologically pure, or to pander to a particular demographic in their constituency are disturbing.

But what is amazing to me is that these people feel free to say this out loud. In front of witnesses. And they actually think there's nothing wrong with it.


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