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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lynchburg Virginia and Poverty


Wiki reports these Lynchburg figures:

"The median income for a household in the city is $32,234, and the median income for a family is $40,844. Males have a median income of $31,390 versus $22,431 for females. The per capita for the city is $18,263. 15.9% of the population and 12.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.4% of those under the age of 18 and 10.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line."

This broken down in plain English, means that over 1 in 10 seniors are below the poverty line, over 2 in 10 of our Lynchburg youth barely reach the level of subsistance living, and on the whole, over 2 out of every 10 people you see on the street are just getting by.

Sometimes I wish, that our city was more responsive to poverty. We need a stronger job market, we need new approaches against drugs which are playing havoc in our area, and we need to excel in education and teach people how to make good decisions.

Poverty is relative, our conception of poverty differs sometimes greatly by what is happening in the rest of the world. The picture you see is a 1993 pultizer prize winning photograph, taken in Sudan. Kevin Carter took this photo, he had to chase away the vultures that had flocked by this child. One remained. He then watched the child crawl a kilometer to an aid station. There was no word to what happened to the child. The question was asked, how could he have left this child crawl?

Kevin was haunted by the images he took. They were burned into his mind, which eventually ended in his suicide. A note explained his anguish. The Sudan hasn't changed. It is a country without laws and the government rules from Kenya, if you call that ruling. The Sudan is a hotbed for terrorist, twelve year old children carry guns, and act as toll keepers on the roads. If you fail to pay the toll keepers you die.

Yes, when you look at Lynchburg things could be worse. We have alot to be thankful for. Yet we need to do better. We have the capacity for change, and change is needed. And someone is asking the question, are we going to let our fellow residents crawl from here?

To read more on Kevin Carter go to these sites:
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KEVIN CARTER
Broken Messenger: See the August 19th post

I am unaware of any copywrights for the picture and the picture has been used often on the web.

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