Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting for Change

I have been reading a book, written by Dr. Christina McCale, called Waiting for Change, Impacts on Life, Family, Work, and the 99% Reality. The author, herself, sent me a copy of the book, as she quoted part of a recent interview I gave, to Dick Gordon, on" The Story", on NPR radio.

The title alone made me cringe, as I feel like that is precisely what my own family, along with millions of Americans are doing. Waiting for change. Waiting for things to get back to "what they used to be". Waiting for more opportunity, and better pay. Waiting for a way out of the mess, so many of us find ourselves in. Kind of like how I am still waitng for things to go back to how they were before kids. (Ha!)

 Did you know that according to the U.S. Census 2011, "One in three Americans, roughly 100 million Americans or 1 in 3 people, are living in or near poverty, and are whiter and more suburban than previous stereotypes have implied. The "near poor" category has grown nearly 76% based on a new measure for poverty, which now accurately accounts for disposable income."

That is the reality folks. It is no joke. Those figures are chilling. Robert Moffitt of Johns Hopkins University is quoted in the book saying this..."There is now really no unaffected group, except maybe the very top earners. Recessions are supposed to be temporary and when it's over, everything returns to where it was before. But, the worry now is the downturn-which will end eventually-will have long-lasting effects on families who lose jobs, become worse off, and can't recover."

When I read those words, my arms and neck became flush with goose bumps. "Can't recover". Those words haunt me, daily. Even today, feeding my girls breakfast, and sending them off to school. Making sure they have their homework, and listening to them question what will be for dinner when they get home, and how excited they are that I finally relented, and decided to let them get their ears pierced, after years of having them wait until they were 10. Safe, little everyday, goings on, that happen, everywhere, in millions of homes.

Yet, my home is in foreclosure. And if and when we must leave this place, our future is uncertain. The downward spiral of my own family has, most days, made me feel that we won't recover from this. And all of this, all of this day in, day out living, this safe feeling my girls have come to know,  are coming to an end, and the other shoe is about to drop. Some days, I think that all will be OK, and we will prevail. But some days...not so much.

I read this on a friends Facebook wall a few weeks ago..."Some day I hope to be able to afford a new the girl in front of me with the food stamps". It wreaked of stereotype. There are always going to be the bad apples...people taking advantage of any situation. Look at the banks! Look at politicians. But this time in our country is like no other time, at least  in my lifetime. And I really believe that the wrong group is being focused in on. The wrong segment, which happens to be the majority, is being made to look like a bunch of lazy, entitled, parasites. From the figures of the Census, this simply isn't true anymore.

I read these words, and I really believe this is the way that the conversation should go..."If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." -Malcolm X

100 MILLION Americans folks. We can't all be bad apples.  


  1. I shared this. It moved me to tears!

  2. Hi Tangela - This is Christina McCale.... Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. It always moves me to hear from "real" people that the book moved them, shaped an idea, changed their perspective, etc. I am grateful to hear from people like you and Erin! Thanks - keep sharing your insights!