Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fan mail and hate mail about my last column

I apparently hit a nerve with my May 29th column. Just a few hours apart, I got some fan mail and some hate mail. Here are both. The fan mail is shorter, so I lead with it.

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 15:49:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Janie"
To: troy@troylaplante.com
Subject: tired of paying-----
Glad someone is speaking up about these kinds of things. The gov. certainly is not listening tho. I wish they could get hold of some of this wrong doing. I had a hard time getting to whePre I am but I worked hard and did it. So can others. Thanks for speaking out. Janie Corbett Wilsons Mills

And now the hate mail, to which I wrote a LONG response and offered to print her letter as a rebuttal column one week.
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 19:58:53 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
From: "jennifer"
To: troy@troylaplante.com
Subject: tired of paying for others

Mr. Laplante, I would like to start off by saying that I too love in Public Housing so may not reach the criteria necessary for you to even read this e-mail. I will however write and send it to you for my own benefit. I moved into housing as a single mother of three children recently divorced with only a high school education. During my stay in public housing I have obtained an associate degree and a bachelor degree with the help of Financial Aid, Loans, Scolarships and work study programs. I have not once been without a job since I was fifteen and worked throughout my college career. That having been said I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work this past May and have gained employment in a field relative to my degree but due to the lack of experience on my part still strive for better paying employment. I cannot afford to move out of public housing even on my income which is higher than most of my fellow project buddies. I personally know the family whose home was broken into. The family has a set of twins both suffering from cerebral palsy. Can you imagine? My sister lives next door in the same set of projects as me and she also has a daughter with cerebral palsy. I personally have no children who suffer from any disease, but I can tell you that my sister pays the full amount of rent which runs about the rate of a house in our neighborhood. The only benfit is the utilitiy costs are substantially lower. Both my sister and I strive to move out of public housing where our homes are entered weekly, our children are not allowed any outside toys, no pools, no tramploines, no sport equipment, we cannot put up border, plant flowers, get satellite without permission, and have any personal privacy. I have no central air, no dryer hook up, and my clothes line is under some trees in a neighbor's yard where birds do there buisness on my clothes daily. My son has been stung by a bee that hid
in his underwear of the line. He has also been biten by a spider that caused him to have his leg sliced open to drain the poison. None of this compares to living in fear that someone that is in our same project will break into our home while we are gone to steal the few possessions we do have not to mention the fear of a home invasion from these same thieves risking the lives of our childre or ourselves. I have so much anger and rage toward your comments about us having to shop in thrift sotres because we cannot afford to have nicer things. Who would choose poverty of prosperity. So many of these families have obstacles you cannot even imagine. Regardless of your claims of poverty, I cannot believe you have endured the lengths of which so many of us in these neighborhoods have. I feel that you have been spoiled by life and are in a position to judge freely because you pay taxes. Had you lived in the years of the depression and seen the government create these programs that helped so many American's to survive. To benefit from these programs should not mean that the person should live the most impoverished life available. You should be ashamed of yourself and your printing of such comments in my opinnion. Who am I though, just an educated poor person striving to gain the luxury you have. I still have so much I would love to say, but I truly believe my experience and beliefs will be waisted upon your ears and eyes. I am just greatful that there are people out there that are not so spoiled by there lives to see that everyone deserves to have a little luxury in there lives that last so short and that there children should not have to be clothed by the local thrift store just because they recieve a little help in this harsh world where they were blessed with two severly sick children who will not recover and will continue to be sick. Diapers for life, specializes equipment, nurses, docters visits, drool that dosen't stop, the lack of speech, feeding tubes, a trach in the throat, and so much more than you can imagine and your worrid about tax money. Money can't buy you or those three babies health or happiness. You disgust me with your thinking. Write a letter to George W. Bush and complain to him about feeding and fighting for the Iraqi people and the war. There are levelsor castes in every society. The rich, the middle class and the poor.It has to be that way according to some philosphers. You should be glad you don't have to work the fields for the fruits and vegetables you eat or for the cotten that your clothes are made of. Be happy you don't have to flip the burger that your family eats on a trip out. Be happy you don't have to wash the nice vehicles of those who come to the car wash. Be happy you have what you have and leave those of us just struggling to have a little of what life has to offer alone. I hope that you are not angered by my opinnions and I hope I sounded a little knowledgable on the subject. I hope these things for myself though not for you. You already have to much luxury in life.

Jennifer Williams

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