Dear conservative CEOs, business owners, managers, and those who support them and vote with them*,
Let me ask you a question.
A person comes to interview at your place of business.
He is not dressed in proper business attire, because he doesn't know what that is. No one ever taught him.
He is learning disabled but never received any help overcoming it. He has vision problems but could never afford glasses. As a result, he is barely literate.
He had to drop out of school in 8th grade to help care for his single mother when she became ill and they had no insurance to cover her medical costs. They went bankrupt paying her medical bills. The bank foreclosed on their house.
So he has no permanent address right now. He hasn't showered in a few days.
Would you hire him?
If you had to fill a position and it was between him and a well-educated, well-spoken, well-dressed, well-prepared candidate, would you hire him?
Then let me ask you another question.
When you see this man on the street, asking for money, why do you tell him, "Get a job"?
When you see him protesting the broken systems of this country, why do you tell him, "Get a job"?
If you won't hire him, why should someone else?
Let's try something else.
Let's go back 15 years and give a little bit of the money going toward educating wealthier children to his school instead.
Let's give his school the means to hire more teachers so he's in a smaller class, where someone notices that he's struggling. His learning disability and vision problems are diagnosed.
Let's put some government money toward getting him a free pair of glasses.
Let's help his family get health insurance so when his mother gets ill, he's able to stay in school. He goes on to the high school, where he's encouraged to go to a free program that will help him learn how to apply for jobs, how to dress for interviews, how to act in the workplace.
Let's prevent the bank from foreclosing on the house while his mother is unable to work. When she gets well again, she goes back to work and finishes paying the mortgage.
But, you say, that's socialism! That's handouts! How will he ever learn the meaning of hard work if you're giving him everything! The people in those wealthy areas pay high taxes to have their children go to good schools -- how could you take any of that money away for this other school? And telling the banks how to do their jobs? Get big government out of business!
Fine. Let's do nothing.
Except now we're back to that interview. And this time, you're choosing between two candidates, and they're both uneducated, they both have health problems, they're both homeless, and neither one was taught how to hold a job.
Do you want to bank on there always being great employees out there for you to hire?
Or would you rather help make this a nation where we create as many great employees as we possibly can?
It's your choice.
"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me....Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" (Matthew 25:34-36,40)
America is broken right now. We need to stop fearing the Other. To stop making short-sighted decisions out of a desire to cover our own butts. To stop clinging to the status quo and hoping everything will wash out in the end.
Because in the end, it's only us and God. And we don't want to suddenly find ourselves the Other, the unwanted, in God's sight, because we failed to care about those who weren't as privileged as ourselves.
*Obviously not everyone in this category fits this description. But to the many it does, and those not named, this needs to be said. And I realize most of readers of this blog already understand much of this, but I invite you to share it if you agree.