Maybe time to support programs at home more
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 10:54 am

To the Editor:

I, like most of America, was appalled at the news of the unfortunate death of the two small children in South Carolina. I had to take a moment, pause and ask myself how this continues to happen in our country, and when and where did the moral compass of this great country get so far off track that a woman felt she had no choice other than committing filicide.

I have to say that I am the exact opposite of this mother, I am male, white, educated, from a strong family with strong community ties and I do not have children. However, though I do not condone the actions of this mother, I can possibly understand why she would perform such a heinous act. Each day in our country the situation for the impoverished continues to decline, opportunities that once existed (such as job readiness training, funds for education, parenting classes, etc.) have essentially been eradicated. Social support programs have not seen any substantial increases in many years and it is more difficult than ever to qualify for even the most basic entitlement such as Food Stamps and Medicaid. This mother, like so many other Americans, must have felt completely helpless, hopeless and at her wits’ end. Though killing her children was not the answer, maybe it is the only answer she saw in an extreme moment of hopelessness and helplessness.

If we want these events to be prevented in the future, we need to speak out, we need to ask our local, state and federal representatives to restore or expand funding to basic entitlement programs, maybe it is time we focus on our own instead of helping people in countries thousands of miles away. If we had spent on domestic programs that truly aid the impoverished in our country the same amount that we had for the very unnecessary wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe this mother would have received an education, maybe would have not been living with her mother and may have received training and held a job. It’s time we refocus our efforts to home and hearth not abroad.

Matt Thompson, Potsdam