WHY I STRUGGLE WITH THE POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN
The Civil Writer Magazine
In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America. They sought to build a broad, fusion movement that could unite poor and impacted communities across the country. Their name was a direct cry from the underside of history, "The Poor People’s Campaign". A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this unfinished work.
I spent days trying to understand why I am morally struggling with the "Poor Peoples Campaign" when it is a means to positively impact the poor people of our communities. Afterall in the 1950s when I was a baby my mother was considered one of those living on the streets of LA, in churches, garages and filthy motels when my father was released from prison. I had the Marks of fleas and bedbugs bites on my body to show for it. And from there we moved to the rough Avlon Gardens housing project of LA.
The reason I struggle with the campaign is because I have seen poor in the world from my travels. Brazil, South Africa, the Philippines, etc., places I consider poor beyond the poverty in the US. Our poor is degraded to poverty stricken because the US is the riches country in the world but our poor are living a middle class life in the world for the exception of those living on the streets of Skidrow in different cities. Poor to me are cardboard, tin, tents and plywood homes. No Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). No Medicaid or Medicare. No food stamps. No homeless shelters. And no government provided housing. So give me time to absorb our state of poor. I know it is a painful part of our society. I understand the 19th and 20th centuries poor when not having Civil rights and equal rights therefore their absence were contributing factors to people being poor. The 21st century poor is hard for me to wrap my arms around if it is not from bad health, or a breadwinner's death but family tradition is inexcusable.