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Douglas MacKinnon Columns

We don’t have to look to the border to find poor children

By
Published:   |   Updated: July 20, 2014 at 07:00 AM

Liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently wrote a column titled, “Tears for the Border Children,” which advocated for those innocent and frightened children while using their plight as an opportunity to beat up Republicans.

That is his right, but even though he is an unashamedly strong supporter of President Obama, he may want to ask himself two questions: Did the president enable or exacerbate the crisis on our border with Mexico? And, what should we do about the desperately poor children of our nation?

In many ways, the children from Central America and Mexico now illegally crossing our border are simply being used as disposable pawns in a twisted game of chess. Shame on all for doing so.

But while that reality plays out, shouldn’t more politicians, academics and the media turn their attention to an even greater crisis? That crisis is the growing number of children in our nation barely existing in poverty. How many tears do we shed for them? Based on the “border crisis” model, what is the quota they deserve?

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As mentioned before in this space, I grew up in poverty and was often homeless. I have advocated for children and adults living below the poverty line for years, but many times, unless you are liberal or an out-of-touch academic preaching from a tenured ivory tower, your voice is often not just ignored but unwelcome.

Although this type of ignorant thinking — which also takes place in colleges and universities, in entertainment and in most of the media — may give some on the left a sense of power or purpose, it has an adverse effect on the poor of America. It’s a demographic — despite all evidence to the contrary — the left insists it cares most about.

With regard to the crisis on the border he most certainly encouraged, Obama decided one of the easy solutions was to throw $4 billion in taxpayers’ money at it.

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It’s amazing that our politicians consistently and often uselessly throw around billions of dollars as if they were dimes.

As the multimillionaire president is clearly in the mood to donate $4 billion to “help” the children of illegal immigrants, then why not donate some to the legal and disadvantaged children of Tampa? Just because their assistance might not create the same propaganda advantage, they are no less deserving or innocent.

Although $4 billion may be chump change to the White House, it’s all the money in the world to the majority of the world’s population.

With that sum, the president could write a $1 million check to 4,000 American cities and towns or a $10 million check to 400 cities or towns. Imagine the difference it would make — if not misappropriated by the local politicians — to the poor children in those areas.

What about the president’s hometown of Chicago? What about the children there? The poor in Chicago will tell you they have a much longer and more critical crisis taking place than what is taking place on the border. During the recent July Fourth holiday, 82 people were shot over an 84-hour period with 16 of them losing their lives. In the past few years, more than 1,000 children have been shot in Chicago.

Would Charles Blow or others who protect and praise Obama shed tears for those children? Would President Obama, who publicly hugged the parents of the soldier he traded for five Taliban commanders, go to his own hometown to hug the parents of these children shot and murdered?

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Should we shed tears for the children coming across our southern border? Absolutely. Should we shed even more tears for the poor children of Tampa and the rest of our country? We had better.

More than that, we should shove partisan politics aside and truly talk about the causes and effects of this poverty and how to honestly address it.

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