When you hear politicians talk about deficits, it’s all about finances. But culturally we seem to be in an deficit of empathy as well. We have equated the American Dream with being rich, and now that resources are scarce, the rhetoric has a “kill or be killed” tone to it.
When I was growing up in Detroit, it never occurred to me to equate a person’s net worth with his or her worth as a person, or look at it as a snapshot of a value system. No one around me did. That’s because we saw so many people working hard for a better life. With that as your backdrop, it is hard to see poor as a four-letter word.
– LZ Granderson, in a CNN Opinion article responding to Newt Gingrich’s criticisms of poor American’s work ethic
Granderson is one of my favorite opinion columnists at CNN, and his work is really worth checking out. Read some notes from his bio blurb:
LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @locs_n_laughs.