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'America and Its Poor'

August 11, 1985

May I applaud you on your five-part series (July 28-Aug. 1), "America and Its Poor." The articles emphasized for me two basic facts about America and her people.

1--We neither care about nor care to understand about those different from us.

2--Americans, like the President they overwhelmingly elected and reelected, are cognizantly eager to wipe the poor and their problems off the American consciousness.

If we pretend the poor aren't that numerous and those who are poor, are so by choice, we can feel snug and smug in our belief that they deserve their fate, and can therefore be forgotten.

We Americans condemn with righteous and moral indignation other nations and their leaders for failure to offer compassion and assistance to their elderly, their handicapped, their poor. Yet we congratulate ourselves for our American ethics of love for all peoples, our love for freedom, our pride in strong independence. We cannot be moral and turn our personal or legislative backs on our poor. We cannot be righteous and assume that "those people" belong where they are because they lack good ol' capitalistic initiative. Americans must open their hearts and pockets and realize that but for the grace of God, go you and I.

ROBBI JENKINS

Culver City

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