I am a classic American. My parents earn middle-class wages. I live in a small southern town that is proudly part of the infamous "Bible Belt." But strange as it may seem, I do not see American the Beautiful as I drive to school each morning. I see dilapidated houses sitting in gigantic mud puddles and cars that barely function. And what do I see when I arrive at school? Greasy, grungy, hazy-eyed teenagers that have nothing and never expect to. What about on the drive home in the afternoons? I see grimy-faced children peeking out of the stained shutters of their little houses in the old abandoned mill village. Sometimes I swerve to avoid the mangy dogs on the side of the road who obviously haven't seen a vet in years, if ever. And when I get home, I see stories on the news about small children being tossed in ditches by their junkie parents or the dealers they can't pay. Now, welfare cheating is an ugly business. Earthquakes and starving African babies bring tears to my eyes. But why, someone please tell me why, do we never slow down and look back towards home as we swoop in to save all the world's less fortunates?
Land of the Free?
March 27, 2010