Have You Ever Been Excluded?
The cost of exclusion and what to do to benefit yourself when you are excluded
I just read a powerful editorial published yesterday in the New York Times written by Matthew Desmond, who is a professor at Princeton and director of the university’s Eviction Lab.
Desmond documented how the U.S. has made only negative progress in the War on Poverty declared by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. I was a small child at that time.
So my life has been conducted during a time when all of the ideals I was taught growing up as a 60s and 70s kid have been busted down, one after the other.
I have lived this life of exclusion.
Because I am a woman, I was suited for jobs “helping” the poor. I am the former Executive Director (10 years) of Family Service Assn. in my hometown of Redlands, California, a small, conservative, and tight-knit Southern California community. A “famous” book author affiliated with the community is James Fallows, who also probably still writes for The Atlantic. I no longer believe my hometown is all that special. I’ve seen what many current residents say when the community attempts any type of inclusion. There could be few more exclusionary communities than the place I mostly grew up.
I also grew up partly in Hollywood, where my mother and father bought a home in the Hollywood Hills in the early 1950s when she worked as an animation art director for UPA, Playhouse Pictures, and at the end of her life, for Charles Schulz, working on the first Peanuts animated special.
I no longer feel exclusion as keenly as I did as a young teen. Most of my stories are about outsiders, misfits, and those seeking to find their own families. As an orphan raised by my grandparents, I became completely adrift after my grandfather died when I was 13 years old.
Writing Your Own Life
Back in the early 2000s, I wrote about a woman undergoing the type of extreme cosmetic surgery to “fit in” that is common today. I wrote about a boy who was abandoned by his family because of his “different” looks as a result of Human Mutational Virus. I wrote about a found family with Joshie the Clown, Gyla the Wolf Girl, and Little Bear, the…