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Look, I live in Detroit, and let's not even start with this nonsense about what happened the other day at the forum where people were supposed to find out about potential government help with utility bills, etc. Sure, it's easy to mock people because so many people showed up and because the stress of waiting in line for hours cause some to lose their temper and unruly behavior to break out. It's even easier to mock people like the woman who was interviewed and said she was there to get her "Obama money." Is that statement ridiculous? Of course it is. Does it change the fact that the unemployment rate here in Detroit is nearly 30 percent--read that number again, folks--and that people are so desperate for ANY kind of help keeping their homes and feeding their children that they would stand in line with 20,000 other people for an entire day just for a chance at one of 3,400 vouchers that would provide a small amount of relief?
It's so easy to laugh at those people, to mock them, to think that they are just out to live off the government dole and are ready to get into fistfights to get their free handouts. And yet the vast majority of Americans are, what, two or three missed paychecks away from being desperate themselves? Why are so many so quick to judge those that were in that crowd in Detroit without knowing a single thing about them? Everyone sees the news stories, many of which were slanted to make the people there look as bad as possible because, hey, that's good television, and instantly think they know exactly what's going on, that those lazy bums and freeloaders saw another way to live large off the government, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. Go ahead, laugh at those people if it makes you feel better. But before you do, think about just how close you or other family members might be to standing in that exact same line with 20,000 of your neighbors, your dignity in shreds, all so you can hopefully get some kind, any kind, of relief for your family.
If you'd like to read an excellent story about what happened in Detroit that day, a story that explains what I just touched on in a far more eloquent way, please read this article from Laura Berman from last Sunday's Detroit News. Maybe then people here won't be quite so quick to mock people for being desperate and angry.