Monday, February 16, 2009

Mocking Henrietta Hughes Proves The GOP Has No Heart

Henreitta Hughes is the woman who tearfully pleaded for help at the recent Obama town hall.

I have an urgent need -- unemployment and homelessness, a very small vehicle for my family and I to live in. We need urgent, and the housing authority have two years waiting on this, and we need something more than a vehicle and parks to go to. We need our own kitchen and our own bathroom. Please help.

It takes a big person to put aside their pride and admit that they need help.   This woman and her son had been living in a small vehicle.  Is it really any wonder this woman has been struggling in Fort Meyers when 12,000 jobs have been lost and the median home prices have dropped from $322,000 in December 2005 to less than $107,000 in December 2008.  This woman’s story should remind us that there is  a human face to all of the alarming statistics that we have been hearing to foreclosures and job losses.

It is no accident that Hughes a black woman has been particularly hard hit by the financial crises.  Black women represent the very term feminization of poverty and when responsible for raising a child, motherhood and race combine in many instances to create abject poverty.  Even when employed WOC already earn 60 cents to every dollar a white man makes.  Many are employed and still living below the poverty line in the land of milk and honey.

Given the alarming statistics one would assume that out of a shared sense of human decency at the very minimum a feeling of empathy would occur if not an outright effort to help alleviate the needless suffering of a fellow human being but apparently for Republican henchman Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin, recognizing a person in pain is simply impossible.

Michelle Malkin commented, “If she had more time, she probably would have remembered to ask Obama to fill up her gas tank, too. The soul-fixer dutifully asked her name, gave her a hug and ordered his staff to meet with her. Supporters cried, "Amen!"…Well, pardon my unbending belief in fairness and personal responsibility, but why should my tax dollars go to feed the housing entitlement beast?”

Your money should go to help the homeless because shelter should be a human right.  This over privileged ass only cares about herself. Women like Hughes are the foundation of the US and is it really to much for them to have a decent home to return to after spending the day being woefully underpaid and exploited? The problem is that people like Malkin have become so used to their privilege that they have normalized the discourse of meritocracy, as though it applies to all equally. From the moment Hughes left the womb her race and her gender marked her for a life of poverty.  Pointing to exceptional blacks like Obama and Oprah does not change the fact that they are not representative of the African American community as it relates to wealth.

Not to be outdone, Limbaugh of course had to pour his own special brand of vinegar on the situation.

LIMBAUGH: OK. So this crowd, all they want is a kitchen. You know, all they want is a car and he's talking about their medical records being computerized and hiring -- can you imagine most of the people in this crowd: "What's IT? What does he mean IT?" If you're just now leaving the town meeting night and you're listening, IT is information technology. He's going to go out and hire a bunch of keypunchers to enter the data into the national computerized health care database, your health records.

All right, here's the woman. It's really sad. I mean, as an American, this is embarrassing, and it's sad, but there's a reason why -- there's a reason why this woman takes her one chance to talk to the president of the United States and ask and beg for a car and a kitchen.

LIMBAUGH: Do you think that the people who chose these people to ask questions on the Obama staff might have jobs right now? Did they purposely select these people for these questions? Do you think so? If they didn't, then some heads are going to roll. If they did purposely scour that crowd for these kinds of questions -- and there was more than just this one, so you have to assume this is what they wanted -- they want people looking at Obama this way. "Well, OK, going to do everything we can to help you; a lot of people in your position; lot of people; well, we can help you; have you talk to staff after the town hall."

Do you hear the applause when the woman says she needed a car, a new vehicle, a new house? "Yeah." And when Obama, "A lot of people like you." "Yeah." So we can sit here all day long and we can wax eloquent about how this guy comes off and how he's just wandering aimlessly, incoherent, but these people watching him last night, listening today, they think he's going to get them a job.

Okay, clearly he doesn’t get it.  At the end of that show, Limbaugh got into his comfortable car and headed to his warm home with a fully stocked kitchen, popped a couple of Percocet and relaxed, however his life is not the life of the majority of Americans, much less those that look like Ms. Hughes.

He is so busy trying to attack Obama that he forgets a very simple fact, Americans are suffering.  There is a reason that spam is flying off the shelves at the same rate that it did during the great depression.  At a time when most are two paychecks away from serious financial issues can we really blame the poor when even the banks and major industries are crying for bailouts.  Henrietta did not create this situation she is a victim of it.  Poverty is not a sign of an individual failing, rather it is an indication of how warped our sense of worth and values have become.

Rush you lived through the 80’s just like I did, and trickle down economics does not work.  Regan, Bush Sr and Jr worked hard to dismantle the new deal and the end result is that there are no social safety nets in a time of need.  Why shouldn’t she ask Obama for help, he works for her and every other citizen of the United States?  It is time that you finally begin to realize that the wealth that you enjoy is predicated on the exploitation of the poor who make up the majority of the population.  The wealth of a nation is not in its commodities but in its people.

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