ethel’s words

Click your browser’s “Back” button to return to SmashingIkons

HOMELESSNESS--NOTHING NEW

In The Thirties--the Great Depression Thirties--I watched the homeless people, men, women, children--walking north on what is now called three hundred West, after clambering down from boxcars. One to four, each day, would walk up to our door and ask my mother for food. They didn’t get anything fancy, but they got wholesome food, most often a sandwich, with a scrubbed raw carrot or white radish on the side.

No doubt many of them knew what “government” was doing: burning wheat, dumping pigs into the ocean, turning fruit into stinking garbage. Yes, I’ve been told there were protests and marches; there were activists who walked door to door with petitions. There was the Townsend Plan.

There was no dearth of ideas and understanding. But the big question: How do you start? How do you begin? While the questions were being asked, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president. Revolution ideas changed to evolution reality.

That is what happened. I think revolution--a total change of the way people and resources are related--would have been better. Just one example of my discontent: All over the world, humans--hurt or ill--are cared for without regard to whether they can pay. In Yankee America millions go without health and dental care they cannot afford.

Human talent is wasted; human lives are wasted; food is wasted; but there is a steady stream of resources and luxury flowing to the top.

Somewhere brain power is being wasted.

Ethel C. Hale