Twisted stories: On making poor people the threat

From 2015

Hopeworks Community

Life is much about trying to figure out how it makes sense- trying to find a story that tells us what’s going on and why. Politics is a competition of stories. Advocacy is the fight to give one story primacy over another.

In the last months I have become as emotionally invested in the battle to expand healthcare in Tennessee as I have anything in a long time. The personal stake has been great but in larger context it has been a battle of stories.

There is a frame of reference, a story, that says that being poor is a willful condition of a large group of people who are lazy and gleefully dependent upon whatever they can get from the government. Their appetites, the story goes are insatiable. They chronically cheat and without management will literally steal us all blind. Some states are now at the point where they…

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