To the Editors:
We who live rich lives in one of the richest towns in the richest state in the richest country on the planet need to feel ashamed for allowing millions of our sisters and brothers and their children — our children — to suffer the agonies of self-perpetuating poverty of spirit, mind and body from generation to generation, knowing all across the decades that our wealth could bring every one of them home if we chose to break the cycle. To real homes, where love can build and heal and plan and grow.
The core of our failure is buried so deeply inside each one of us that calling it out threatens our sanity. Each of us is an active slave mistress and slave master. We can’t crack the bullwhip from our saddles in the fields, or buy and sell their children any more, but we always keep them in their places, benefit from their cheap labors, sideline their schools while multiplying their prisons, and maintain their ignorance to support our control. We are slavers as surely as the roomful of white men who cobbled our sanctified Constitution. We’re the heirs and heiresses of a 400-year tradition on this continent, and only God knows how many other slave systems of antiquity.
Can we try to claim world leadership of a Golden Age by caring so deeply and acting so wisely that poverty no longer infects us? This season of hope as we reach like daffodils for sunshine may spring unusually strongly, for fresh voices of women’s leadership sweep across the land. Let’s look for one to free us all from slavery. Enough with the white men running everything. Follow the money. The military-industrial complex is not the best ocean for rivers of our cash.
Maybe the presidential candidate (Kamala Harris) mumbling about universal pre-K, head starts for all children — building a smarter electorate — is worth support, but she earns push-back when she wanders off toward jailing irresponsible mothers. Maybe Stacey Abrams, who has survived Georgia, or the combative Elizabeth Warren, can outfight Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Weapons, Big Corporate Greed. We know how to sue for damages. How about reparations?
Let’s start some conversations about picking our next president with a goal worthy of the greatest nation, one resolved at last to end poverty and the slave system that has always fed it. The poorest of our slaves can be elevated into good jobs in health care, infrastructure, environmental care, education and other essential fields. We can build their elevators if we choose to.
Gordon W. Nugent
Wilton, March 25