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i listened yesterday as a oklahoman oil worker railed about the poor and indigent who he thought did not work as hard as he did; who took welfare when they should have "pulled themselves up by the bootstraps"; and who were generally lazy and without moral code or work ethic. it was a rant i could hear daily at many gatherings around the town where i live, and a rant that i would like to respond to with such a good argument that even the thickest among the ranters would take notice and possible learn. faulkner wrote a wonderful short story, "the barn burner", that exposes the hate that the aristocracy/oligarchy encourage among the poor and undereducated: the poor white man hated and denigrated the poor black man because the poor white was encouraged to feel a step up the ladder, a better class than the poor black. on another level, the poor white felt great anger toward the aristocratic white man because that was the class he felt he belonged to and it angered him that he was not accepted as this rich man's equal. this oklahoma gentleman, like so many in my small community, feels much closer to the rich, to the elite; at least they aspire to be accepted as such, and they have little compassion for the poor of their own community. though the rich often flagrantly break rules, display terrible morality and commit many wrongs against humanity, it is the poor who are indicted by these narrow-minded bigots who "think" they have more in common with the wealthy. these simple lessons of humanity should have been taught throughout elementary and secondary education, but rarely are. every year, 75% of each graduating high school class exits with much this same viewpoint; it is the end of their formal education, and they grow increasingly more hostile toward the poor. why can't we find a way to correct/influence these self-righteous morons; unfortunately, our many fundamentalist churches are only adding to the problem, using them to politicize their intolerance.

Comments

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 6 years 3 weeks ago
#1

Thank you, thank you, thank you dorothea277. I wanted to get across much the same idea in my recent blog Dumb Ass "Americans" but you've done it far better, more to the point. The middle class has been all but destroyed by the rich while that same middle class has been trained to disparage and to condemn the poor. Stupid, dumb - divide and conquer. What the remaining middle class seems unable to realize is that the rich would like to destroy it, to make everyone poor, dumb and subservient. This oil worker is already dumb and subservient, soon to be poor if the rich have their way. Keep posting.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 6 years 3 weeks ago
#2

There are many uneducated people who nevertheless have jobs and money. Sometimes, this lack of education has as its primary result a low hourly wage or annual salary. In other cases, people have enough pratical skills to be lower middle class in terms of their income, but they sometimes express hatred toward others on the pathetic basis of how much money someone has. That is the problem: too many people think that the only value of human life can only be measured in monetary terms. If someone is some rich person who doesn't have to work for a living, and does not have a job, that person would be praised as being self-sufficient because they can "pay their own way." People in America often have no insight into different circumstances, child abuse (some of the conservatives probably were abused themselves and have hardened atitudes as a result), mental illness, outsourcing of jobs, being replaced by a computer. People in this country are ignorant of sociological factors and of the negative side of corporations and capitalism. There are probably more people who think in the way that was described above who are high school graduates only and not college-educated than there are who are more professional white-collar and graduated from college. There are some working people who happen to be in a relatively high-paying occupation who are just plain greedy. Often, so-called progressives assume that only rich people are greedy and only the wealthy are Republicans. Nixon had the silent majority and Reagan the "moral" majority. Sometimes, when someone goes to work right after high school, they don't learn much about the world, other than how to do their job and pay bills. I have a lack of respect for our educational system for not teaching different socioeconomic facts and conditions concerning both America and other places in the world. That goes along with a lack of civics education, something that retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has commented on and has worked on through an Internet project/site. Churches often seem to not only muddle but get wrong the most basic message of Christianity of helping the poor.

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