[Hpn] Copy of Letter To New York Times, study shows only 1 in 10 people care about poverty

Jan Lightfoot janshouse@yahoo.com
Thu, 22 Nov 2001 05:26:14 -0800 (PST)

Dear Editor:

  When the reality of the oppressed is not presented
to the public, they buy into the spirit slaying claims
of discrimination.  The media enjoys freedom of the
press to set thing right.  Nationally there is a
movement to keep the controversy alive.   This sells
more newspaper.   But so far NO Media source has yet
to utilize the power, and influence of the fourth
estate to expose the real causes of poverty.  In my
stubborn and first hand  opinion, the causes are
 1) human greed, 2) ignorance of the fact it would
cost less to cure poverty than to blame the victim. 3
societies and individuals insecurity.  

   The media will do the occasional human-interest
story, around thanksgiving and Christmas time, to
present the illusion it cares and to keep the poverty
debate.  But it dare not expose the truth of the
broken system.  What good is it to say “One fell
through the social safety.”  When thousands are
deliberately PUSHED through the delusion of a caring
    With one stoke of the pen, newspapers could expose
the rotten foundation of poverty.     Media enjoys
first amendment protections, they can divulge
injustices.    By simply doing a good job  broadcast
journalism could change public attitude.  They could
reveal the basic flaws in America systems, and place a
real face on poverty.
 A new study on poverty supports what a group called
Hospitality House Inc., has been claiming for decades.
 This study was commissioned by the National Public
Radio, The Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard
University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government,
found that most Americans “don’t know what are the
faces of the poor.”  And to quote the Catholic News,
“and too many don’t care.”

A thanksgiving eve television show, “The West Wing”
amply demonstrated  the findings of the
NPR_Kaiser-Harvard study, that people do not want to
know about poverty unless presented in a glowing
light.  One segment of the show  dealt with the exact
same issue which Hospitality House Inc. currently has
a on line petition to achieve. Changing the formula of
the threshold of poverty.

For the real petition signed by 82 folks, check out

 In the episode the top Washington aides were afraid
if the existence of even 4 million more people who
suffering poverty were disclosed, Americans would not
re-elect the fictional president.

  Yet another top aide said no problem, just say
‘nobody fix it yet?’ It will be fixed on my watch was
the message.   Imagine  in real life a news source, or
two saying; “Poverty will be fixed on my watch.”   

  All which is required is to expose the flaws in the
American System.  As People, are not lazy, they just
are not paid a livable wage.  A dollar above minimum
wage does not pay the rent, food, electric, and
medical.   Let our imagination run wild- its possible
for everyone to have enough to pay the basics of life,
if we aim in that fashion. 

  When media does an in-depth story on the pitfalls of
programs intended to help the poor, they will be
bringing us NEWS. This News can have more impact on
our daily lives, then the family bickering over a
taxes of a house.  It can unveil that the local
government failed in its job to inform of tax relief. 

  An in-depth article can reveal the imperfections in
our social services.  The public will then clamor to
set right what went wrong. 
A news which communicates  the crux of circumstance is
no longer gossip.  It informs.  This accurate
information insures the public can choose to learn the
face of poverty.    
Jan Lightfoot-Lane
PO Box 62 Hinckley ME. 04944

Dear editor: This has already gone to advocates
through out the US and Great Britain.  I can re-work
this, if required. Please print. 

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