“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” – Abraham Lincoln
I am going to give Senator Davis the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he suffers from a poor memory rather than a duplicitous character. He apparently does not remember a long and protracted discussion that took place at the Macon County public library on June 23, 2011. The objective of that well-attended meeting was to discuss the severe budget cuts to public education inflicted on North Carolina residents by the current Republican-led State General Assembly.
As 40 percent of the school-age children in North Carolina are now living in poverty, and numerous studies have indicated a correlation between academic performance and socioeconomic status, the issue of poverty was acutely germane to the conversation. Like several other people who attended that meeting, I am blessed with an adequate memory; however, memories can be unreliable, so I also took copious notes, in which I recorded verbatim some of Senator Davis’ more startling statements.
Consequently, I read with disbelief Senator Davis’ response to a letter to the Editor of the Smoky Mountain News by Dr. Ed Morris dated May 2, wherein Senator Davis accused Dr. Morris of “false claims.” Morris paraphrased Senator Davis as saying, “Poor women have no business having children.” In his letter, Morris in no way implies that he is directly quoting Davis. What Senator Davis actually said was, “People in poverty shouldn’t have children.” Dr. Morris’ statements do not conflict at all with this sentiment and are therefore not “false.”
Furthermore, Senator Davis’ statement was not a stand-alone comment that could be easily misconstrued. He elaborated at length. Citing a statistic that 75% of the babies born at Angel Hospital are under Medicaid, he further stated that “We are rewarding people to be parents who shouldn’t be parents.” I would argue to Senator Davis that every child deserves to be born with adequate medical treatment, whether the parents should be “rewarded” or not. Regardless of the wording of Senator Davis’ statements, however, he left nobody in that room to doubt his disdain for people less fortunate than himself.
Now Davis says his comments were taken out of context and what he really meant was “… people should not procreate unless they are prepared to support and nurture their offspring.” This cloaked statement merely clarifies the unreality with which Senator Davis and his Republican colleagues view the world. Unlike privileged Romney and Davis, most Americans cannot “loan” their children several hundred thousand dollars for college or even afford the approximately $20,000 it costs to deliver a baby in a hospital in the United States. This does not make them bad parents. It makes them average Americans – average Americans who are tired of Republican policies that enrich the privileged class that Romney and Davis are members of, while simultaneously undermining the infrastructure of the middle class.
Kathleen McNary Wood — Franklin, N.C.