Unless you’ve lived in poverty, you really have no idea what it’s like. As someone who was raised in absolute poverty, I’ve never been able to truly convey what it’s like to be poor. To live a life where you’re literally one bad thing happening (job loss, car breakdown, illness) away from potentially being homeless is a terrifying way in which to live. The way I’ve always described it is sort of like walking on a tightrope, where even the slightest misstep could lead to peril.
Just imagine a situation where you have $200 to your name while you owe $150 to the electric company, $50 to the water company and you still haven’t bought any food for your children to eat Oh, by the way, both the water and electricity are about to be shutoff. So you frantically beg at least one company to give you another week so that you can actually buy food. Then imagine living a life where that seems to be an everyday occurrence. The toll the anxiety and stress has on a person is palpable.
So, when jackasses like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly have the gall to go on some unhinged rant against the poor, actually calling child hunger a myth, I take exception to that level of stupidity and ignorance.
“If you look at the studies of poverty, most poor people in this country have computers, have big screen TVs, have cars, have air conditioning,” O’Reilly said. “This myth that there are kids who don’t have anything to eat is a total lie.”
“There are kids in New York City who go all weekend without anything to eat except when they eat in the schools,” Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers countered. “That is absolutely a fact.”
This is the typical b.s. that’s often pushed by Fox News. If a poor family might dare have a computer or a television, this somehow means that they’re not actually poor. In today’s world, a person with children almost has to have a computer if for nothing more than school work. But even without children a computer and Internet access are becoming vital parts of our everyday life.
Oh, and heaven forbid poor people have air conditioning. I guess that means they’re living the highlife.
But for O’Reilly to say it’s a myth that child hunger is an issue in this country is flat-out nauseating.
Let’s look at a few stats that debunk O’Reilly’s nonsense:
- Around 1.6 million children every year experience homelessness.
- 22% of all children in the U.S. live in families that fall below the federal poverty line.
- The average SNAP (food stamps) comes out to about $1.46 per person – per meal.
I guess to O’Reilly, a human being can eat a damn fine meal for under $1.50. I’d like to see him try it.
He also went on to suggest that any child who might not have enough to eat is being abused by their parents. Because, according to O’Reilly, there are more than enough programs for those who feel “entitled to get free stuff from the government” where no child should ever go without food. In other words, he basically said any parent who can’t provide food for their child is committing child abuse.
Powers tried to battle O’Reilly on his ignorance, citing her dealings with soup kitchens and churches who tell her about the families who come in because they can’t feed their children, only to have the Fox News host continue to insist that child hunger is a myth. Eventually Powers just gave up, telling O’Reilly that they will just have to agree to disagree. That’s when he challenged her to bring a family on his show who can’t feed their family, a challenge she seemed more than willing to accept.
Something tells me we’ll never see that happen. Bill O’Reilly would never allow himself to be embarrassed on his own show – at least not willingly.
O’Reilly’s comments displayed his absolute and total ignorance about poverty in the United States. Clearly he has no idea what it’s like to be poor and has an obvious disdain for those who are poor.
This is another prime example of the total and complete disdain Fox News has for Americans living in poverty.