Beggars on the streets of Philadelphia

When I was a small child I saw grown men begging on the streets of Columbus, OH, during the Depression. It was a sad sight, even to a little girl like me. I felt sorry for them and sorry that our country had let them down. No-one should have to beg to stay alive. Not here. Not in this country.

Today, as I exited the Ben Franklin Parkway, there were little boys approaching cars stopped at a traffic light with blue buckets in their hands. They were begging from the motorists. I have seen children begging on the streets of Dublin, but never thought I would see such a thing here.

Where were all the social workers, the interfering busybodies who punish parents who allow their children to walk alone to a public park? None were in attendance. I guess the lives of little black children don’t matter quite as much. It’s okay to let them run around on busy streets, dodging cars and putting themselves in danger. Their lives don’t matter until the Rev Al Sharpton shows up with his followers and makes an issue of it. I guess the Rev has weighed his options and decided there was no profit for him in exploiting these kids.

I certainly don’t dismiss the possibility that these kids are little hustlers, like the squegee men who used to infest New York City. But they are kids. They shouldn’t have the freedom to put themselves in dangerous situations. Grown-ups should be in charge of kids. Grown-ups such as parents, teachers, cops.

But there seems to be a serious shortage of grown-ups in Obama’s America.