Social Justice Anyone?
By: Maria Broschi
Politicos are seemingly too busy bickering amongst themselves over party differences and continue to ignore the plight of the average American, let alone the poor and the marginalized in the good ole U.S. of A when it comes to addressing the issues of unemployment and the economy.
As it stands, the unemployment rate is still holding steady at approximately 9.1%, or 14 million unemployed Americans. What the economists fail to mention is how many Americans are underemployed, have depleted their unemployment benefits or aren’t eligible for benefits to begin with. Out of this number, there is a failure to mention how many of the unemployed happen to be women, which is important to note because women still tend to be disproportionately represented among poverty statistics. In addition, women remain the predominant caretakers of children; another under representation of the poor and unemployed.
Consider the following information from the U.S. Census bureau on Women in Poverty, Family Composition:
- 54% are single women with no dependent children
- 8% are women with no dependent children
- 12% are married women with dependent children
- 26% are single women with dependent children
As usual, our government and our society as a whole has swept under the proverbial carpet the real reason why women and other marginalized people aren’t even so much as given a mention over morning coffee; the issue of social justice.
Most people get nervous talking about social justice issues because, heaven forbid, What it would mean to actually tackle the problems surrounding it? My God–people might think one is a socialist or some kind of tree-hugging, dirt-worshiping, pinko-commie thug if one had the audacity to address the issue of social justice! We would actually have to deal with people on a more intimate level if we were to address social problems and help people. We might have to care about people! Oh the HUMANITY!
I know what some people must be thinking about now. One may ask what about those who abuse “the system”? There’s also another supposed “point” that Matthew Vadum makes (which is so vitriolic as to induce nauseous retching for those of us possessing a conscience. It goes something like: “Well, poor people shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they’re criminals and they would destroy the ‘republic’ (Right. I guess that Abraham Lincoln was a criminal then. After all, he was self-educated and grew up in a poor family). While there may be a few individuals who abuse the system, I’d say there were a greater number of people who find themselves in poverty for various reasons, some of which have no control over their circumstances. These circumstances can range from physical or mental illness, being born into poverty, not having an education and lack of job opportunities. It’s easy to judge another human, not so easy to walk in their shoes.
We’re kidding ourselves if we think American society can continue to carry on in the manner it has without repercussions. America will never fully recover economically unless it addresses the issue of social justice–period. Our nation will continue to become more of a plutocracy, less of a democracy (it’s already happening) and our citizens will not experience their full potential as human beings unless every man, woman, and child is allowed access to opportunities, goods and services; (note the word “opportunity” here). Women especially have been bearing the burden for too long.
I have never said that one should run roughshod over another’s individual right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, people simply cannot pursue happiness or realize their potential if their access to opportunities by way of higher education, livable wage jobs, and the basic necessities of life aren’t met (i.e., food, clothing, shelter, water, safety). If people can’t afford to live, then they can’t afford to invest in our society and the whole economy suffers. Humanity suffers.
Social justice and more opportunities for women should be at the forefront of politics and on everyone’s mind versus being placed on the back burner of any political ideology and the mindset of society as a whole. After all, it is how we treat one another, despite our differences, that define the very essence of what it means to be human. Our mothers taught us that.
Maria Broschi was born in Burlington, Vermont. She is a USAF veteran, having served in Operations Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and the Global War on Terrorism. In addition, she has served in Ethiopia as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2007-2009 and has lived and traveled to various places such as Vermont, Utah, Virginia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Crete, France, Germany, Austria, and Ethiopia. She is a published co-author of 3 publications related to Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF). She currently resides in the Capitol Hill section of Washington, DC. Follow Maria on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/MSBroschi
This entry was posted on Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 08:35 and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.