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Anybody with half a brain — or rather half a heart — knows that the U.S. is not what it portends to be, not even close. But the hypocrisy kind of rolls along as the worst of this very inhumane system posing as the best that humanity has to offer is usually kept just out of sight.

Every once in a while you hear something or see something or something is revealed that exposes our society for what it really is. But what are we to expect? We have built a society on the very worst of human impulses: “Me first, get all you can, blame the victim, ignore the poor. Besides it’s their fault they are poor. Make as much money as you possibly can. Build things and make money, don’t worry about it if your product has negative side effects.”

No such thing as a free lunch. I guess not according to what has been revealed in Utah and Minnesota. What’s especially revelatory about Minnesota is that it’s supposed to be the best of the hypocritical posers. It’s the land of the liberals. Yet the Star Tribune sub headline read like some kind of bad dime store novel: “A majority of public school districts deny hot lunch — or any lunch at all in some cases — to children who can’t pay for them.” It was one of the meanest and cruelest sounding headlines I have ever read.

Really? So that’s what it has really come down to? No money, then you either can’t eat or you’re left with bread and cheese.

Thankfully the Minneapolis school district had no such policy. It feeds its children hot lunches. Imagine that the inner-city school district with the person of color at its head was found acting more humane. But there it was, big as day, one of the cruelest sounding headlines I have ever read.

But again I wasn’t surprised. And I wasn’t surprised by the cold heartedness of many of the folks who commented on the article. I think, because they have been indoctrinated so well, they really believe that human beings don’t count if they have no money, even children.

Some who commented thought it was just fine that kids shouldn’t eat at lunch time if they didn’t have any money. After all, why should schools be expected to feed kids, especially kids whose parents can’t afford to feed them?

I’m okay with them having that perspective as long as if or when they find themselves down on their luck they are okay with not receiving the help they need. I doubt if any of these humanoids would actually not want help if they needed it. I don’t think all of them really believe that children should go hungry. I think they are just parroting Big Brother.

And when I read that administrators actually took food from children, I couldn’t believe it. But then I realized that in the U.S. it could happen. In the U.S. it’s really easy not to see children as human beings in need of all the support and nurture and nutrition you can give them.

In the U.S. it’s much easier to see even children from the perspective of budgets and finances. But either way for all the administrators who are now trying to hide behind paper thin excuses, let me say, shame on you!

There are too many obvious reasons why not feeding children and even giving them cheese sandwiches is a bad idea. Children have fragile psyches and they are developing. Giving one kid something and denying it to other kids — especially where merit is not warranted — sends a message to that child that he or she may be inferior.

Snatching away a child’s lunch is embarrassing and embarrassed children suffer from low self- esteem and deep seated insecurity as a result. And the children didn’t choose their parents. If indeed the parent is being irresponsible, it still cannot be taken out on the child on any level. And everybody knows it’s just wrong to punish children for their parent’s misdeeds.

The first order of any community is to see to the welfare of its citizens but especially its children. Hubert H. Humphrey said it best, “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children, those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly, and those who are in the shadows of life — the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

 

Mel Reeves welcomes reader response to [email protected].

 

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