Interesting comment from http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/04/18/6489195-whats-at-stake-in-benton-harbor?&threadId=1168621&commentId=20694762#c20694762
"Louann", So the poor did it to themselves, isn't that always the case...according to people like you who more than likely have lived a privileged existence, this is the usual argument from those who have had it good. A very narrow minded view of humanity especially the underprivileged. How dare they need more than scraps. The very idea.
"Concerned Benton Harbor Citizen", thank you for setting the stage for a compassionate perspective. I mean really, the residents are human beings in need, but like the story all across this country people of color, make less have less, are worth less, and simply have so little compared to many in this country. But they do have more in that there are more of them incarcerated, get harassed and stopped more often, never given the benefit of the doubt, and generally are more inclined to be left out due to lack of opportunity. If someone does not believe me, look up the statistics, it is all there. In spite of a self described African American as the most powerful man in the world as president, there seems to be an undercurrent of disrespect for people of color. I am reminded of the interview between President Obama and Bill O'Reilly who interrupted the president 46 times and did not allow him a complete thought to be expressed; and Brett Baier who also did an interview with the President on FOX noise, he also interrupted so many times that the main thing the president said was that I'll tell you if you'll stop interrupting me.
I'm not sure why people of color are in the situation they are in, but I suppose if you have been considered to be just someone's property historically then those attitudes filter down. The older population that has the most racist views are dying out and that may be why the Tea Party came into existence, in spite of what they themselves claim.
There may be hope after all.
The Republican party seems to be ruled by the sentiments of Ayn Rand, who thinks altruism is a bad thing, and that being completely only selfish is a great philosphy. Which is different from self interest. Chimps have been observed to comfort fellow chimps who lost a fight with a stronger opponent. Competiton is not the way, cooperation is. Republicans love neoliberalism and they want all of America to be a series of everyone competing with everyone else to their own advantage. Democracy is a hindrance to neoliberalism due to its equalizing philosophy.