My Name Is Not “Those People”

by Julia Dinsmore

My name is not "Those People".
I am a loving woman, a mother in pain,
Giving birth to the future, where my babies
Have the same chance to thrive as anyone.

My name is not "Inadequate".
I did not make my husband leave us -
He chose to, and chooses not to pay child support.
Truth is though; there isn’t a job base
For all fathers to support their families.
While society turns its head, my children pay the price.

My name is not "Problem and Case to Be Managed".
I am a capable human being and citizen, not just a client.
The social service system can never replace
       the compassion and concern of loving grandparents, aunts,
       uncles, fathers, cousins, community -
       all the bonded people who need to be
But are not present to bring children forward to their potential.

My name is not "Lazy, Dependent Welfare Mother".
If the unwaged work of parenting,
         homemaking and community building was factored
         into the gross domestic product,
My work would have untold value. And why is it that mothers whose
Husbands support them to stay home and raise children
Are glorified? And why they don’t get called lazy or dependent?

My name is not "Ignorant, Dumb or Uneducated".
I got my PhD from the university of life, school of hard everything,
I live with an income of $621 with $169 in food stamps for three kids.
Rent is $585...That leaves $36 a month to live on.
        I am such a genius at surviving,
        I could balance the state budget in an hour.
Never mind that there's a lack of living-wage jobs.
Never mind that it's impossible to be the sole emotional, social,
       Spiritual, and economic support to a family.
Never mind that parents are losing their children
       to gangs, drugs, stealing, prostitution, the poverty industry,
       social workers, kidnapping, the streets, the predator.
Forget about putting money into schools...
       just build more prisons!

My name is not "Lay Down and Die Quietly".
My love is powerful, and the urge to keep my children alive will never stop.
All children need homes and people who love them.
All children need safety
And the chance to be the people they were born to be.
The wind will stop before I allow my sons to become a statistic.
Before you give in to the urge to blame me,
        the blames that lets us go blind and unknowing
        into the isolation that disconnects
        your humanity from mine,
Take another look. Don't go away.
For I am not the problem, but the solution. name is not "Those People".

I first stumbled across Julia via Twitter a few months ago and was instantly impressed by her ability to publicly speak out in support of the people who are oppressed by hunger and poverty.

On further investigation, it became apparent that her book My Name is Child of God… Not “Those People” was regularly being picked up in America as a required reading text for Sociology classes. Once I had read the independent book reviews, I felt compelled to order a copy.

Julia describes herself as a freelance writer, storyteller, and singer/songwriter. The back of her book states that:

“As a child she lived in poverty and as an adult she has found herself living below the poverty line. Her riveting stories, songs and poems reveal what it is like to be poor in America. Articulate, with a clear-vision, and endowed with a marvelous sense of justice and humour…”

Whilst I have only just started reading Julia’s book, I am already moved by the passion she displays and by her unending commitment to change society’s misconceptions and assumptions about those who find themselves entrenched in the realms of low economic status – often through no fault of their own…

Watch the video presentation here of Danny Glover reciting My Name Is Not “Those People”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Name Is Not “Those People”

  1. Pingback: Leaders on a Hill: Battling the Opportunity Gap from Above | growingupinamerica

  2. AJ says:

    Very inspiring and ole so true. This system is filled with so much injustice. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The political/politicians are all bald faced liars, with empty promise. I admire your spirit and your message. GOD BLESS YOU!!!

  3. Pingback: painting to a poem… | art in the image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s