The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 28, 2013

A constituent letter to the representatives

NORMAN — Who voted this summer to eliminate food stamps (aka SNAP)?

Editor, The Transcript:

In the homeless shelter where I worked

I asked Kareem, age 6, “Have you had your supper yet?”

It was nine at night. He was my regular guide, taking me to families I had to see.

“No,“ he said.

I could ignore his answer, as you did.

Or I could take him to the room of a friend in the shelter whose skillet usually had some tasty leftovers;

Or I could take him to the bodega — as I did —-

And buy him his favorite meal: orange juice and canned spaghetti.

In 30 Bronx years, in various places, I saw many

Whose meals were too haphazard, or tiny, or absent.

(By the way, our Y Camp on Saturdays

Served home-cooked lunches

To kids and parents.)

I see the House of Representatives is now Casual Headquarters:

“What difference does this vote make anyway?” they might have said.

You can see that choosing no food at all

won’t feed the Kareems of our country.

Means the ones who hold the budget (that’s you) dodge responsibility,

Leaving neglect and hunger trailing in your wake.

Means the ones who care (family and community) will find little budget for food,

While they walk a path to limited life, to slow genocide.

Reps, safety nets need weaving, repairing.

Isn’t that a part of your job that can’t be delegated? Help each other to do it.

Set up the looms now!

It’s not as if your own wherewithal has flown.

I’m still paying taxes for your salary, office, staff, travel, pension, health insurance.

Time to earn your money — show you care.

Can’t you see that even with food stamps in play, food banks and pantries

can’t keep up with the overflow need? Visit one and see for yourself.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014