Nobody wants a handout. Nobody.

By leslieboyd

We’re supposed to be helping the poor, not punishing them or blaming them.

I have no tolerance for mean-spiritedness.

That’s why I don’t read the comments on social-justice articles, especially when I’ve written them. I can’t bear the victim-blaming we do in this country.

When I tell my son’s story — that he died from lack of access to health care — people ask whether he was working. Of course he was working. What if he wasn’t? You really think he deserved to die if he wasn’t?

I wrote a story for a local paper about how poor people get trapped in the justice system because they don’t have the money to get out. As I said, I’m not checking the comments online. But someone sent me a personal e-mail to tell me this: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” I wanted to ask what the hell was wrong with her, but instead I asked whether falling asleep on a park bench warranted jail time in her book. She had signed her e-mail “respectively,” and I told her the correct word is “respectfully,” which should be reserved for times when she was actually being respectful.

Who the hell have we become …read more

Source:: Letters From The Left

Leslie Boyd

About Leslie Boyd

Leslie spent more than 25 years as a reporter for daily newspapers in New York, New Jersey and finally in Asheville, NC, covering social justice issues, religion and nonprofits for most of that time. After the death of her younger son, Mike Danforth, on April 1, 2008, from not having access to health care, she founded Life o’ Mike to pursue the cause of getting affordable access to quality health care for all Americans. Life o’ Mike became WNC Health Partners in October, 2012, to reflect what we do.

In August 2009, Leslie left her career as a journalist to advocate full-time and to develop services that will help people who have serious illnesses or disabilities and their families. Leslie is married and has one surviving son, four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

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