It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this item coming across my Facebook page made me think about the single story of the US and the single story of the “Global South.” My perception is that Americans don’t really believe people are hungry in the US – at least not anyone who isn’t a beggar. After all, if you are hungry, just get food stamps or go to the soup kitchen, right?
This story brought it home.
American – and puritan – values tell us that hungry people have dug their own grave. Recently, I read a piece by Aihwa Ong about how other religious cultures also contribute to this ethic. I hope this story lends some evidence to the notion that these values are missing the complexities of poverty and selling poor people short – short on effort, short on ambition, short on achievement, short on personal worth.
I’ve been thinking about collaborating with a writer friend of mine on a project to collect stories from people who are down and out as a way to humanize poverty (instead of making war with poor people). Clearly, someone has beat us to the punch.