Friday, December 02, 2016

"Blessed are the me..."

As I drove to get my car serviced last week I noticed something that had not been present the last time I drove that route.  The underpass of the 405 and Roscoe Blvd. is packed with a massive homeless encampment.  Shopping carts with blankets and tarps spread between serve as the residence of so many people I couldn't count them all.  There is no more sidewalk under the concrete bridge, just a sub development of the forgotten. They were male, female, white, black, Latino, Asian and some too dirty to profile.

I have become accustomed to the homeless encampment among the trees on Burbank between Hayvenhurst /Balboa and Woodley. It seems to be a more organized tent city.  If this was not Southern California I would mistake it for a refugee camp. The more fortunate of the marginalized live in ancient motor homes parked on the cross street of the Sepulveda flood plain.  Although most people just drive through the area  perhaps stopping at the golf course located across the street, it is not more than a 15 minute walk from my front door.  Like it or not these people are basically my neighbors.

Since you need an address of some kind for voter registration and a way to get to the polls much less some way to find out where the proper polling places are located, I doubt that any of them voted.  They may not even know there was an election nor who won. Their struggle is far more serious than to be concerned about which billionaire was appointed Treasury Secretary.  The trickle down from the "job creators" stopped long before they could feel any effect.  They are not gaming the system, nor in on some food stamp fraud nor are they raising their fists saying "Hail" at a fancy dinner in an expensive hotel.   They are just Americans struggling to find a meal and a place to sleep before they search for another.  If the signs they hold asking for money are any indication some are veterans.  Sandi and I have taken to keeping loose change and dollar bills in the console of the car to give to some we see regularly at a stop light.

The latest demographic to these homeless cities are people in their late 50's.  For some reason they have lost their job and are trying to hang on until they are old enough to get social security. They are too old begin again in the job market.  See it's not government money they want, they want the money they paid (willingly) into a system that would hold it for them until they needed it.  It's their money, earned through their jobs when they had one. They are unaware that their money is now being held in political escrow as a governmental poker chip in a high stakes game of partisanship.

Before anyone says "Thanks Obama" and starts into a rant about who's watch this happened on let me cut to the chase: They don't give a shit. They can't contribute to campaigns or attend a rally or do anything that might get a government representative to pay attention.  The only reason they would burn a flag is for the heat, and they are probably too weak from hunger to stand during a national anthem.  Building a wall on the border won't give them a place to live and deporting a bunch of immigrants won't restore their jobs. If the new administration throws Hillary in jail, she will have better accommodations  than they do now.

How do you explain to the man gathering soda cans to pay for a meal that the country he lives in, paid taxes to and in some cases enlisted to help protect, is spending a million and a half dollars A DAY to protect a building in New York City so a spoiled, rich, entitled white man can safely take a dump in a bathroom of gold fixtures?  Does that flag wave for him too? From his point of view that flag is just a potential wall for his shopping cart tent.

I haven't watched the "news" in a week.  I don't know what the Executive Branch is doing to  "Make America Great Again."  I don't care about this cluster fuck of trust funder cabinet members nor what they are proposing. We can spout all the Patriotic jingoism popular at the time, we can argue if these are the people to get it done. But, America will never be GREAT (ever) until I can walk the sidewalk to the over pass of Roscoe Blvd again and not see forgotten Americans living in shopping carts.

As you were,

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...