Stand Together

I said I wouldn’t criticize Mayor Marty Walsh and the City of Boston about the Point-in-Time Count (homeless census). I lied. I mean I really wasn’t going to say much of anything more than  what I said in my last column, then I read that the mayor was looking to get a raise; not only him, but he was looking to get a raise for members of the Boston City Council, as well.

If his recommendations get approved his honor’s salary will go from a paltry $199,000 to $207,000 and council members from $99,500 to $103,500. Wow, the lobsters on those waterfront cruises must be getting expensive huh? Cheap shot? Absolutely! But when I think of the estimated 6,327 homeless people in Boston, the lack of low income housing, not enough addiction services, well let’s just say it’s hardly time for a raise. But take heed Mr. Mayor, you’re not the only politician in my line of sight today.

I’m looking at you Ben Carson. HUD’s main man, our gentle Uncle Ben, has suggested that, instead of poor folks paying reasonable rent  to maintain their homes, he wants to triple their rent and call it rent reform of all things; and in the meantime cut valued resources and programs like transitional housing claiming that this will help people rise out of poverty and homelessness. Here’s a fun fact Ben- building real affordable housing and providing jobs with livable wages helps get people out of poverty, not raising their rent. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure this stuff out. Meanwhile Ben’s boss and the rest of his cronies are taking children from poor brown people who are trying to get into this country, and they are using the words of the bible to justify it.

If you remember nothing else from this column boys and girls remember these two words, “WEALTH GENOCIDE.” Not my words mind you, but words from a very smart recent high school grad who was having a simple conversation with her mom (and my friend) about the happenings in today’s world. And it makes perfect sense. Wealth genocide is the continuation of the corrupt rich power structure keeping its boot on the neck of the poor, grinding us all into the ground. It’s about race, it’s about privilege, and it’s about class. And here’s another fun fact folks, it’s not going to stop. So what do we need to do? We need to stand together and actually do something.

You’ve heard me say time and time again that we need to put away our differences aside for a moment and save ourselves. Put down the anger, the divisions, the pointing fingers, all of that. We can come back to it, it’s not going anywhere, but we’ve got to see the real enemy. What can you do? Vote, and get your neighbors and your community to vote. Sit down and talk about the things that are affecting us and stop crying the blues on social media and contribute something. Demand change and nothing less. Join the Poor People’s Campaign  in Washington this weekend. My health will prevent me from going, but you should go. Be about it. Lives, including yours, depends on it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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