The untouchables at the top and the untouchables at the bottom

The untouchables at the top have forgotten how lucky they are. They live at the top of a house of cards that is held up by millions of the untouchables at the bottom.

The untouchables at the bottom include the disabled, disadvantaged and discarded.

The wealthy untouchables at the top are the beneficiaries of luck and the roll of a dice but they take credit for their success as their own deserving.

The untouchables at the top have money, and thus power. They become untouchable by using their power to pay for legislation that increases their altitude. They escape justice on the basis of their wealth and connections.

In the old caste society, the untouchables were a class of rejected people. They had no way to improve their situation.

In our new caste society, if you’re disabled or disadvantaged, you are accused of being lazy. With a single roll of a dice, you suddenly became someone who does not matter–you can’t hold up those at the top of the house anymore.

The disadvantaged work hard. They have dreams and ideas and hopes, but the cards are stacked against them. While they fell where they are by fickle fate, in the new caste society, genius and hard work won’t pick them back up.

The discarded are in worse shape. If you’re homeless or mentally ill, you embarrass the rich. They legislate you out of the field of vision. You break through their smug self-importance, so you shouldn’t be here. In some cities, being homeless or mentally ill is a capital offense executed by police who are sworn to protect them.

They moral bankruptcy of the wealthy keeps their bank accounts full, but they won’t share their bread and fishes with the men and women waiting for the waters of the pool to stir.

The millions locked away have no voice and no recourse. People who have been in prison have 2 1/2 strikes against them. They’ll be punished after their punishment. Don’t work here. Don’t live there. Stay away. If you’re young and not-white, you already have a half a strike for being born.

Being rich is not a matter of deserving. If you would analyze fairly, you would see that hundreds of others, just as deserving, are not standing next to you because of dumb luck.

Those who are disdainful of the current young are forgetting who will be caring for them in 25 years. The resentments are not getting any smaller and a house of cards falls very fast.

The Stone Corridors

I’d rather write about the war on women’s health going on in many parts of the country, but I want to focus on a slightly different theme.

It’s obvious that Texas’ legislators don’t care about getting proper care for the women of their state… STD & HIV testing, cancer screenings, pregnancy services, birth control support, and health problems that need a gynecologist are irrelevant to them, perhaps even a waste of money. They’re more interested in killing Planned Parenthood than they care about the needs of the young women in their state.

Indiana’s governor decided to support a Pennsylvania-based anti-abortion group Real Alternatives. He claims they’ve been successful in a pilot program because they’re anti-abortion and opposed to birth control.

There’s lots more to say than fits about the war on women, the war on the poor and the war on poor women–wars that many legislators are happy to pursue at all costs.

People like to talk about academic ivory towers where intellectuals pursue their own agendas and have lost touch with real issues.

A view down a long white corridorOur legislators have set up their own stone corridors instead. They have idealized views of how things should be. The issues that are important to them have let them lose track of what’s practical. What they think needs to be done has let them ignore what’s prudent.

In a stone corridor, the leaders can hear their own voices echoing and think they’re getting confirmation. The walls and floors are kept clean so that messy, real-world problems don’t interfere with their abstract principles. They make decisions without wisdom and compassion. They don’t care about the real world experiences of the people in their communities.

I had an experience a few months ago that shocked me about the place people have been shoved into.

I came to a gas station’s convenience store to get some snacks. While I was there, I met couple who’d had been cheated out of some gas they’d paid for. What struck me most was how desperate they were about $10 of gas. That such a small amount of money could be so important was really eye opening. After begging for some help from the gas station attendant, someone listening came and gave them the money they had lost.

I was totally shocked at the graphic example of how difficult life is for so many people. People in the stone corridors don’t go to a local factory to find out how the workers are coping. They’re more interested in bragging about how their policies are helping the business grow.

Now that both major parties’ candidates are funded by the wealthy and powerful, they don’t have any incentive to leave the stone corridors and walk through the neighborhoods. A bank executive has a lot more to say about what’s going to happen this year than the hundreds of people in my neighborhood that are suffering every day. The people who are desperately struggling with paying their bills, staying fed, keeping healthy, and not having their car break down don’t matter.

I abhore the abuse that women are suffering. Many can’t afford basic health care needs yet they are unimportant in the stone corridors. A couple with two children that doesn’t want more doesn’t need Pence’s “Real Alternatives” organization to say, no, you don’t need any birth control. All you need to do is be abstinent and it will all be good.

Follow your dreams (Cancelled)The stone corridors are not a good place to raise a family. Those who walk there don’t worry about how to pay their rent and the electric bill each month. They see the pure marble of the corridor walls and revel in the pure society that they think they’ll create. If the women and their partners would follow their demands, a perfect society is going to come all the sooner.

Original image: Corridor. By OiMax [Image license]
Original image: Banksy in Boston. By Chris Devers [Image license]