It is informative and heartrending but will anything change?
Red Jenny had an interesting post yesterday about empathy. Which included this statement
…possessing power itself serves as an impediment to understanding the perspectives of others. Through several studies, the researchers assessed the effect of power on perspective taking, adjusting to another’s perspective, and interpreting the emotions of others.
If the average citizen sees poverty as not their problem as the failings of the people in poverty, how much less likely is it that wealthy politicians will be able to or that they care.
The poor of course have been shown to be less likely to vote. Perhaps that is why we continually have parties in power who find it so easy to ignore the plight of poverty and to sweep away the few remaining crumbs that have been left for them.
There is in fact movement towards making it even less likely that the poor will be able to vote as there is suddenly felt to be a need for everyone to have papers. No longer will your name and voter card be enough, in order to combat fraud (supposedly) you will have to show ID as well. Not just any ID will be acceptable.
ID is one of the things people in poverty are less likely to have. First the cost of getting or replacing documents is out of reach and second they are unlikely to have a car and therefore a drivers license which has become the go to piece of ID.
John Clarke, an organizer with the Ontario poverty coalition ever since OCAP was founded in 1990, believes, like many anti-poverty activists, that only a widespread sense of outrage will rid us of this social evil.
“When OCAP was launched, I couldn’t imagine that over its history the conditions of drab misery for poor citizens would actually worsen rather than improve,” says Clarke. “I believe Canadians are concerned about homelessness, for instance. But passive indignation is not enough.
“You have to challenge these injustices endured by our fellow citizens. Because only when politicians see that the public is acting on its discontent with the status quo will we see a difference.”
passive indignation is not enough.
Take a minute to let your indignation inspire you. Write to your various levels of government asking what they intend to do ensure all Canadians are able to be paid a decent wage for their labour, what they intend to do to make welfare livable and how many more years it will be that Canadian children are allowed to live in poverty.
Take to the streets, organize, support those that are already doing the work and remember these words