I remember that when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to celebrate Christmas. I remember that my favorite part of Christmas was opening the presents that “Santa Clause” left the night before in my house. I also remember my mom’s smile looking at me while I was opening all the gifts. In a couple of months Christmas will come again, and for many kids in America the only gift that they are going to get is a big, bitter winter, far away from a home, and the smiles of their mothers will be erased by the cruel reality of being poor. In America the number of poor single mothers is growing and with them many kids have been added to this growing under-class group.
The media has created the myth that the reasons for this growth are that these mothers have been irresponsible, lazy, and promiscuous. The media has ignored many other reasons that have caused their misfortune like having low wage jobs, the death of their partner, domestic violence and the difficult economic situation that the country is experiencing. The media and politicians as agents of socialization have sold the concept that anybody in America can achieve the American dream, and if a person doesn’t reach the American dream it is because she or he hasn’t worked hard enough. Some people in the media have said that single mothers and the elderly don’t want to work hard because they want to live at the expense of the government.
The truth is that poor kids and single mothers have fewer opportunities than upper class American families. Poor families are less likely to move up the social hierarchy because they lack opportunities, education and support from the government and society. It is easy to punish the poor for being poor, instead of trying to make programs that could help single mothers to get better jobs with better wages, and programs that bring education and support to the children.