Saturday, September 1, 2012

Going on the offense about poverty

I want to join the chorus of people in twitterland and the blogoshpere who are standing up to affirm what Melissa Harris Perry said this morning on her show. And yes, I am continuing to deepen my serious girl-crush on this woman!!

In case you haven't seen it yet, here's a video of the segment.

A little after the 8 minute mark, Melissa says this in response to Monica Mehta talking about access to health care and education being enabled by rich people taking risks:
What is riskier than living poor in America? Seriously! What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No. There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. Being poor is what is risky. We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness.
If you haven't watched the video yet, you really should. It is Melissa's passion for the poor as much as her words that were so inspiring.

I think Melissa is pissed off about what many of the rest of us are. Because Republicans are lying and race-baiting when it comes to poverty, we find ourselves on the defense about the issue. What Melissa did today was go on offense and say that this shit has got to stop!

As I wrote about the other day, its not enough to defend a Democratic record on welfare reform. It is true that reform worked for some people. But it was a disaster for those who live in deep poverty. And because of that, we are sacrificing the lives of children all over this country every day. The fact that Republicans want to dismiss all that because the faces of those children happen to be of a different hue than theirs is - as Melissa said - "pervasive ugliness." And its time for us to say so!


  1. Smartypants, I watched that this morning and her final monologue at the end of her show and I was crying. She said it so well. My heart was just breaking for her.TOD posted this clip also. Have a good evening Smartypants.

  2. I read somewhere in my past...."nobody that has ever been on welfare WANTS to be on welfare"