Picture this… You’re a diplomat stationed in Bombay, India, late 1960’s. You live in the diplomatic compound, a high-walled community that virtually shuts out the outside world. Within the compound live diplomats and their families from all over the world. The grounds are beautiful. Lush vegetation and colonial-style buildings. Servants attend to their every need. They have all of the amenities and social interaction of any close community. A club with pool and tennis and restaurant and bar and snooker… you get the picture.
By day the diplomats go to their various embassies or consulates and represent their respective country’s interests, which often gets pretty heated. But by night they lounge and enjoy cocktails together at each other’s homes or at the Club.
No one leaves the compound on foot or unattended. If you do stubbornly decide to go for a walk outside of the compound, a couple of Gurkas go with you. Although this is highly unlikely because there is every reason not to walk outside. For outside the walls of the diplomatic compound lie the streets of Bombay, a teeming mass of humanity living on the verge of extinction.
This scenario is true, related to me by my uncle who was a diplomat working for the U.S. Information Service at the time. Propaganda was his game and he was good at it because he liked and embraced the different cultures in which he was stationed. People naturally gravitated to this tall, handsome American with gentlemanly manners.
Uncle Milo told me he once insisted on taking a walk outside but it took some time for the two Gurkas to open the man gate. Something was blocking it. It turned out to be a dead body on the sidewalk outside. He told me that the thing that got to him most on the streets outside of the compound was the stench. Even more than the permeating filth and poverty and death. He said that the contrast between the haves and have nots in India was so stark as to be shocking.
It wasn’t at all unusual to see great antique Rolls Royce’s, Bentleys, Auburns or Dusenbergs on the street in perfect operating condition because the wealthy owners simply had new parts milled every time anything broke. He said the cars were often better than new. Uncle had the best of everything while there, tailored clothes, the finest medical care, household servants… because he could afford the best of everything. A bureaucrat’s salary made you a well-to-do man there, in that place and time.
Here’s the take-away. Do gated communities adjacent to public housing ghettos sound familiar? Do run-down county medical clinics crowded with the unwashed, or simply unlucky, sound familiar? Do people who are simply cast aside and living on the street because of accident of birth or situation sound familiar?
No child in this country should go hungry, but they do. No one who is disabled and unable to take care of themselves should have to fend for themselves on the street, but they do. No one should be left destitute in old age because they’ve been stripped of everything they have by the medical industrial complex, but they are.
The scene depicting India above is happening to some degree or another right here, right now, in the good ole U S of A every day. If you believe that good medical care, a good education, a meal and a roof over your head is the least we can do for each other, it’s time to speak up. If you voted for and really want Change, you had better start raising hell about it! The money grubbers are pulling out every trick in the book to kill it... and you.