Leave it to conservatives to actually conduct the War on Christmas (Got Scrooge?). I give you National Review editor Kate O’Beirne on the problem of hunger (italics mine):
O’BEIRNE: And then the title of our gathering is so crucial; “Less of Washington and More of Ourselves”. The federal school lunch program and now breakfast program and I guess in Washington DC, dinner program are pretty close to being sacred cows… broad bipartisan support. And if we’re going to ask more of ourselves, my question is what poor excuse for a parent can’t rustle up a bowl of cereal and a banana? I just don’t get why millions of school children qualify for school breakfasts unless we have a major wide spread problem with child neglect.
You know, I mean if that’s how many parents are incapable of pulling together a bowl of cereal and a banana, then we have problems that are way bigger than… that problem can’t be solved with a school breakfast, because we have parents who are just criminally… ah… criminally negligent with respect to raising children.
And yet, that’s the kind of program that has huge bipartisan support with very little thought about why we’re now feeding children. Talk about a fundamental parental responsibility. In what sense can we begin asking the “more of ourselves” piece to go with this less government?
This is a vile self-rationalization for letting people suffer (one of the hallmarks of being a Very Serious Person is the intellectual gymnastics to justify the suffering or killing of other people–nice use of a college education, that). As I’ve discussed before, this happens because parents can’t afford to buy food, O Klueless Kate:
Sherita Parks went shopping in a corner store in Frankford the other day with her too-thin daughter, Joe-anna, 2….
“I only wanted to spend a dollar today, so this is a lot,” Parks said. “But she’ll eat a slice of cheese for a meal.”
On the walk home, Joe-anna, who weighs 20 pounds but should be 26 or more, dawdled on the dirty sidewalks of Torresdale Avenue until Parks pulled her into the tidy, small house owned by Joe-anna’s father, Parks’ boyfriend.
Parks regarded her daughter with anxiety. “She doesn’t have enough food, and it affects her brain. She can only say ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy.’ She can’t even tell me when she’s hungry,” said Parks, an unemployed nurse’s aide and former part-time model who devours Patricia Cornwell mysteries.
“There’s just not enough food in the house, and now she has developmental delay….
Joe-anna has failure to thrive, meaning she has low weight for her age, caused in part by not getting enough food. Drexel University’s Grow Clinic tries to treat the condition, which is underdiagnosed and still being studied by doctors. The clinic, at St. Christopher’s, was founded by Chilton.
“Failure to thrive has impacted Joe-anna’s language development,” said Hans Kersten, the quiet, lanky pediatrician who heads the clinic. “And food insecurity is an important factor in her failure to thrive. We feel she’s not getting enough calories.”
There are no jobs, and those that are available don’t pay enough. That’s why we need food stamps. Something is very broken inside Mrs. O’Beirne.
Friends don’t let friends act like O’Beirne: if you live in Boston, help these people help the hungry. If you live elsewhere, here’s a list of organizations that can help.
Not only is it the right thing to do, but it would probably upset O’Beirne.