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Second-class citizens the underdogs in society

Women at empowerment session on December 27 last year.

Women at empowerment session on December 27 last year.

By Sandra Phillip Hodge, Contributor

They are generally from an immigrant background, uneducated, under-developed, have been victimized from birth, and are unable to defend themselves.

You see them as you drive by in your motor car. They’re walking on the side of the potholes in the road after a hard rain. You’re too into yourself to slow down so you splash water on them – not intentionally, but mindlessly. Without due care.

You hear about them. One was found dead by the seaside not so long ago. Another one got out of line with a tourist. Here comes yet another, begging, and disturbing the peace. Then there’s the poor mother, being saddled with the weight of unplanned pregnancies; duped and dumped over and over by men who pretend to care.

You see them in the witness stand in court, pleading guilty of circumstances beyond their control, having being coerced into confession without the aid of legal advice.  Lacking the communication skills to articulate for themselves, words are placed in their mouths, and transcribed to paper to which they are instructed to place their X.

Their cases are at the bottom of the pile, tried in a tired atmosphere of disgust, and they’re to consider themselves lucky if they barely get the dregs of judicial mercy.

Yet, they’re in the land of plenty!

Surely they are in the land of plenty.

The venerable Dr Martin Luther King Jr during his illustrious career as a champion for justice once said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others”?

There’re countless others out there who need a ‘hand up’, not just a ‘hand-out’. Hand-outs tend to have short-lived effect, as they’re only temporary, like a band-aid. A ‘hand-up’ is a lasting investment. As one tries to assist others to find their own potential, their own voices, their own purpose in life for which God has created them.

But we can only do this without discrimination and disdain for humanity. To quote Dr King again, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable; every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals”.

We don’t have to have civil war, nor wait for natural or man-made disasters to show that we care about others in our midst.

Sometimes the only sacrifice that is required is to be a little less selfish. The only suffering may be to wear a less expensive suit. And certainly, the struggle is with our own consciences.

To wrap up with another of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s observations: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”.

Jesus acknowledged the poor in society and rightly noted that they will always be with us. Not everyone is on a mission for material prosperity by any means necessary. But everyone is entitled to respect and not treated as a ‘second-class’ citizen.

Women: mothers and others can and must work together for a better society for all.


Note: Sandra Phillip Hodge (r), is the Founder of Related by Humanity and a founding member of Victorious Moms Outreach Mentorship, a ministry for women, by women committed to spreading the values of Godly parenting, and caring for others in society. Persons interested in knowing more about the mission of this group or would like to join can contact them via email: .

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