America’s Hungry Children

From a letter to Joe Bageant:

Joe,

Reading the letter What will America look like in two years evoked a memory of what America looked like to me two years ago.

At the checkout of grocery store in the US, I came across a food bin by the door, collecting food for children. For children! My being appalled bemused my American born and reared cousin. As I explained to my cousin, in my sheltered life, living on the two relatively wealthy continents of Europe and Australia, I had only ever seen something like that once before. The bin I had formerly encountered collected food … for dogs.

When I relayed this to my cousin, she pointed out that Americans expect parents to look after their children. I got cranky at this point and snapped, “So you let starve children to teach them to have better parents?” Normally with any contentious issue she would argue the toss or concede the point, but this time she didn’t do either. She said nothing. Her eyes glazed over.

Is that survival in a totalist state?

We anglosphere outsiders tend to shrug off this sort of thing with a sardonic, ‘Only in America.’ A few of us fear we are not that far behind our American cousins.

When people ask me what I thought of America, the phrase ‘bloody awful’ is never far from my lips. I am not anti-American but the image of a place that begrudges feeding it’s children’s saddens me immensely.

Aine
Australia

See Joe’s answer here

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