Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Choosing Humanity

A Facebook meme got me thinking about how compassion is such a precious thing.

The liberal side of me said... eh???? Gag. Something was not right here! I thought this would be something to blog about, so I did some research into the reality of this meme. An article on the Salon website indicating that the referenced existing drug testing programs are not successful, and currently cost more than is saved.

So what to talk about? There seems to be an issue of compassion here. Assume that any large percentage of the people failed. This is not the case, but let's assume it for now. What would these people do? People do what they have to do to survive. They would turn to something to survive. That "something" would probably not be beneficial to society. That was my first thought. The Salon article triggered another thought. From the article:

It’s true, people on welfare use drugs. But so do people from every socioeconomic level. People on welfare also receive taxpayer money. But so do people from every socioeconomic level. If the goal is to stop people from potentially using taxpayer money to purchase illegal substances then we should apply these programs to every person receiving government funds. That means testing students who receive government scholarships, laboratories receiving government research grants, and farmers receiving farm subsidies. It means testing veterans, police officers and firefighters. It means testing the employees of the companies that administer the tests. And it most certainly means testing politicians, from the governor all the way down to city council members.
But you won’t see any governors calling for extensive testing. This is because none of these other groups have the stigma of poverty attached to them — a stigma that leads many to turn a blind eye to harmful policies that affect only the poor, but would never be tolerated if done to other groups.

True, true and true. The people who push for these targeted programs choose to do so because they are capable of having little to no compassion for people impacted. The talk is cheap when it can only apply to those people separated from themselves. To use an extreme word, the talk is cheap because they see the welfare recipients as inhuman. The Salon article rightly points out that there are many avenues for drug testing, but I don't see the meme speaking of those. Well, in fairness, the meme is a just a single minded jab, but it makes sound simple a situation that is far from simple.

The ability to marginalize and dehumanize groups of our society is a symptom I see in many of the "initiatives" of some right leaning political groups, and it scares the heck out of me.

To end my ranting... I dislike initiatives like this because embracing humanity is a must, lest others use this lack of humanity as an excuse to treat us inhumanely.
Tags: choice, compassion, politics

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