If you are a student of history, as is The Pink Flamingo, then you are familiar with the pendulum swings of history, sociology, and political economics. The reason unions in this country were born was because of the excesses of the Robber Barons and unbridled capitalism of the Gilded Age. The reason massive fortunes were taxed so high and corporations busted was because of their extreme excesses during that same time – by a Republican – Teddy Roosevelt.
Today, we are dealing with a new form of socialism, a very one sided socialism where everything is for the growing plutocracy and oligarchy of the ultra wealthy in this nation. They are the men (almost all men) who are admired, quoted, worshiped, and emulated. With very few exceptions, they have achieved their vast fortunes through less than honorable and ethical ways. Increasingly, they are purchasing the GOP. Through ALEC, they own EVERY Republican controlled state legislature in the country. They are behind the NRA. They are behind the John Birch Society. They are now controlling entire economic departments in universities, spreading the gospel of Ayn Rand. Terrified of the unwashed masses, they now are in the process of creating their own little castles in their vast blooming what will shortly become feudal empires.
One of the great Rush Limbaugh lies is that conservatives are more generous than liberals. In a way, that is true, the far right billionaires give tremendous amounts to institutional charities, hospitals and the arts. They DO NOT give to charities that directly help those in need. They have lost all compassion for those in need. They have become so far removed from the little people that they no longer think of them as real people. Like Ayn Rand, they look at the great unwashed masses as roaches to be crushed under foot.
The Pink Flamingo was heading in that direction when the bottom dropped out of my life. It has been terribly difficult. BUT – it is the best thing that ever happened to me. The compassion that was being drained from my life, by listening to Rush, Sean, Medved, FOX Tabloid News, and reading the conservative punditry has been returned! Thank heavens!
It has enabled me to see the death of compassion on the right.
Case in point.
The other day, there were about 25 elementary school students who had parents who forgot to ‘charge’ their meal tickets at school. We’re not talking about needy students, just kids with parents who had other things on their minds. These fifth and sixth graders, upon checking out, had their lunch trays taken away from them. The food was dumped in the garbage, in front of them, while they were humiliated in public.
Like inmates in one of Sheriff Joe’s concentration camps, they were given a cheese sandwich and milk so they would not go hungry.
The kids were humiliated – in public.
Many were left in tears.
“...Outraged parents said some students at Coelho Middle School in Attleboro cried when they were told by a worker for the district’s food service provider they could not eat on Tuesday because they couldn’t pay or their pre-paid accounts were short on funds.
The on-site director for the company, Whitsons Culinary Group of Islandia, N.Y., was placed on administrative leave by Superintendent Pia Durkin, who has also scheduled a meeting with company officials and ordered cafeteria workers not to deny any child food.
“There is no way any child in my school district will ever go hungry,” Durkin told The Sun Chronicle (http://bit.ly/10yXr6y ) on Wednesday. “Children need to eat.”
Students who cannot pay or whose accounts are empty are supposed to be given a cheese sandwich and milk, but that procedure was not followed at Coelho, Durkin said.
“We agree that this situation was not handled correctly,” Whitsons spokeswoman Holly Von Seggern said. “We really want to apologize to the parents of the children who were affected.”
Fifth-grader Victoria Greaves, 11, said she and other students who had already been served their lunch were told to throw it in the trash when they reached the checkout. The school has students in fifth through eighth grades.
Her father, John, said he was incensed that while “there are people in prison who are getting meals, my daughter, an honor student, is going hungry.”
Jen Ingemi, parent of a fifth-grader, said the girl behind her son in line began crying when she was told to throw out her lunch. He said her son offered to share his….”
Do you know what happens when you are publicly traumatized this way in school, at that age? You never get over it. Trust me. I was in the 6th grade, and whipped, in class, having to bend over, while the teacher hit me three times, in front of the class, with a inch thick paddle with holes in it. I had misspelled 3 words on a math test. It also may have been the fact that my mother had told her to stop harassing me because I was the only Presbyterian in the class, and to stop harassing the only Catholic in the class. The teacher and everyone else were Southern Baptist. Edwin, the only Catholic in the class was also whipped. (Which is why I think all vestiges of religion should be removed from public schools). I was persecuted by a Southern Baptist teacher for being Presbyterian.
I have no respect for the “christian” right. Before I moved to New Mexico, I was asked not to return to the Presbyterian church which had become a bastion of the Christian Coalition. I wasn’t good enough for them.
This is where compassion in this nation is going. When even the right, the home of so-called ‘christian’ good will and faith toward humanity, responds like this – well….we’re in very deep trouble.
It gets better – the parents of the kids who were humiliated in public were NEVER told their lunch accounts needed to be ‘charged’.
Now – check the comments on Lucianne:
And – now you know why The Pink Flamingo has come to detest the Far Right.
Now – the liberal response:
I suggest you read the comments on Addicting Info. The right, the GOP is so far gone, they have lost all sense of kindness, decency, and compassion. Twenty-five little children were humiliated, in public. It wasn’t as if they were getting financial support for their meals. Their parents were NEVER taking government subsidies.
We’re now living in a world where the Randian right doesn’t have a problem letting a little kid go hungry. I suspect if I hear one of these individuals complain about a war on Christians, I might suggest they are the enemy.