I’ve heard it said that the best social service program is a job. A living wage job. A job that gives people the means to provide for themselves and their loved ones. A job that adds meaning. In the absence of this, many people are left struggling, chasing an elusive dream that they just can’t seem to grasp. Not because we are less qualified and not because we are not educated. We keep chasing, keep striving not because we don’t deserve it or because we haven’t tried enough. We keep striving mostly because of injustice. Because there are powerful forces that keep erecting barriers, keeping many people out of the game, and those people are mostly people of color.
The thing is that the game isn’t fair, and the rules of the game are ridiculous. Get an education. Done. Get training. Done. Network. Done. Get experience. Done. I don’t know what else needs to be done. Be at the right place at the right time with the right people in the right way. That’s much more elusive but okay we will try. But when we show up? “I’m sorry, there is not much else you could’ve done. We’ve chosen someone else.”
We. Are. Tired of these games, of these rules, of this charade. Don’t give us charity. “In the meantime,” you say. Well, that’s fine. But in the meantime, while we wait on you to get it together and treat us like the humans we are, we continue to try to climb an invisible ladder with hands tied behind our back blindfolded. What we need, and here is how you can help, is an opportunity to shine. To thrive. To use the gifts endowed by our Creator. Or does that idea threaten you?
“In God’s own timing,” you say. Nope, don’t put that injustice on Him. Your inability to be just and tendency to be greedy and hog it all has nothing to do with Him. “Don’t give up,” you say. What makes you think we would? We don’t want to be another statistic. We don’t want your program, your handouts, or your crumbs.
We don’t need money, we don’t need pity, and we don’t need sympathy. What we need is a job.