By Chuck Woodbury
This picture originally ran in The Denver Post. It’s a homeless camp right across a park from the Colorado state capitol. The story was about how the residents were being evicted in part because of a rat infestation caused by human, animal and food waste.
Can you look at the photo and not be angry that this is America? I have personally seen similar scenes many times. Driving from central Oregon to central California a few weeks ago, I repeatedly saw homeless camps along the road — and not just “tent” camps. I have seen just as many RV camps, where those with a tiny bit of money can somehow acquire an RV, most often old, beat up and filthy.
I know the comments to this essay will range from sympathy for these people to outright anger. If you comment, please be civil. To me, whether your politics lean left or right, this should not be acceptable.
THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA where I grew up. Heaven knows, there has been poverty for decades. I remember driving through the Deep South fresh out of college and noticing mansions next door to tar paper shacks, most of them occupied by poor black families. I’ve seen ghettos in big cities.
But I grew up in suburban Los Angeles, where everything was new and there was no evidence of poverty anywhere near me. It was Mayberry.
Maybe what has changed now is that evidence of extreme poverty is right square in my middle-class face. It’s everywhere. Perhaps I am noticing it now because it’s impossible to ignore.
I can’t even begin to know what needs to be done, but I believe something is horribly wrong.
At this very moment, I am just venting based on my disgust at seeing the photo from Colorado. I know this is not about RVing, but sometimes I just need to climb on my soapbox and scream!