A woman about 28yo in front of the supermarket, soliciting donations for something.
"Would you like to support women and children?"
I notice on the signage something about 12 steps. I know that Recovery Groups are pitched at poor people with alcohol or drug addictions. So I enquire and I learn that it is a shelter program. But I ask what the 12 steps is about, and yes indeed it is about drugs and alcohol and its a 180 day long intensive indoctrination.
I explain, "I'm opposed to the 12 step programs. People who drink and use drugs do it for a reason. Religion and the 12 step groups won't deal with this. They operate on denial and by blaming the victim." "We have 12 step groups, we have Religion, and we have Psycho Therapy. But we don't have universal health care access, we don't have much of a social safety net, and we have very little in terms of redress and compensation for the victims of child abuse."
She replied, "Well, if people can just blame someone else then they are never going to care about themselves and they won't stop drinking and using."
"Sure, drinking and using make it worse. But until there is some redress, some vindication, then people are just being further violated. Its like subjecting a rape victim to another rape."
Her tone changed, "Yes, I know that people drink and use just because they can't face it anymore."
"I think its just the culmination of years and years of humiliation." "People can use a child anyway they want to and then they are exonerated." "The victims are denied the chance of even having a story."
She said, "Well, my family, they stabbed me in the back. They're all rich. They stabbed me in the back so they could get what they want."
She said, "I can't really have much of a job because I've got a felony conviction."
( Most felonies are just having too much drugs around when the cops showed up, and then not being able to afford a lawyer. In many areas they had to expand the women's sections of jails, because of tougher drug law enforcement. Very rarely do middle class users get a felony conviction. )
"I just do this because this is the only income I've got. I'm living on the street myself."
I know there are people reading this who live in Europe. I don't think they have any idea what the United States is like. The unemployment rate is quite high, and that's just the official rate. Most of the people who really live on the margins are not even counted. But then if you expand it to include all those earning less than a full time living wage, then probably its more like 40%. If you add in all those less than two paychecks away from defaulting on rent or mortgage payments, then maybe its more like 80%. Everything which is targeted to the poor is saturated with the Born Again Movement and the idea that they are the cause of all of their own problems.
Those who are the worst off, and who usually are the victims of some sort of abuse, are the ones you would think would be most vocal in protesting and calling for reforms. But instead they are told that their problems are their own fault, for not having turned their lives over to the will of God. Religion, Recovery, and Psycho Therapy all prey on victims and deny them the chance to seek redress.
U2 ft B. B. King
Redress for Wrongs, not Recovery and Religion; Tangible Results, not Therapeutic Release; there is no such thing as Healing without first restoring Honor; wars are won through Strategic Engagements, not by Seeking Enlightenment; Victory not Victimhood