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Lawton’s poor deserve empathy and compassion

Dear Editor:

Some weeks back, there was a Letter to the Editor of The Lawton Constitution titled “A tale of 3 Lawtons.”

The opinion piece began with a description of how awful it is to live in certain areas in Chicago and how a “majority” of Chicagoans do not live in the areas most vulnerable to criminal activity. The writer muses that “The middle, upper middle and rich elites live and function elsewhere.” “The “money” lives outside of the diseased areas. It simply is not their problem, because it does not affect their daily lives. I really do not blame them for ignoring the issue. In truth, it happens everywhere, including Lawton.”

It seems the writer sees himself somewhat removed from the trials and tribulations of the “common man.” In his conclusion, he reinforces my opinion. “So, crime will continue to take place as long as there are criminals, and the majority of the crimes in every community will always be centered where the poor folk live. Simple as that.”

You have your middle, your upper middle and your rich. You have that bunch of elite well-to-do folk, and then you have everyone else, an argument for social castes being normalized.

Maybe it’s my general disagreement with anyone that supports Trump, but it seems to me the better tact would be to be involved in the community - all of the community — in ways that work to blur the lines of wealth and affluence rather than draw them so starkly. I suspect the writer would say he’s just stating fact and sharing an observation based on those facts.

Being content to ignore those so-called poor folk does absolutely nothing constructive, it does provide something of a false sense of security. Bad stuff doesn’t happen in the nice part of town, until it does.

Rather than create a narrative based on the disparity in per capita wealth, or lack of it, how about a concerted, community-wide, effort to move toward more equanimity and opportunity?

Being comfortable in affluence doesn’t mean insulating oneself from empathy or compassion.

Don Nelson

The Lawton Constitution

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