I, Too, Am America: Bernie Sanders and Many More Ask Why We Have Hungry Children In America

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Photo by Casara Martin, Burger King: "Three Generations, One Room."

Photo on front by Lindsey Zimmerman, Subway: “Empty. No money, no food.”

Bernie Sanders, kicking off his presidential campaign Tuesday with a home-spun rally in Burlington, is making headlines in the mainstream press for daring to question whether an economy wherein the top one-tenth of 1% owns as much as the bottom 90% and kids go hungry is a "moral" economy, rather than an "obscene" one. Well, duh. Ever sensibly to many of us, Sanders has long taken on our country's grotesque wealth inequality; he seems to scandalize his most recent interviewer but blithely suggesting a 90% tax on the rich sounds just fine to him. "We got people working one job, two jobs, three jobs, people scared to death about what happens tomorrow," he notes. Those dismayed or surprised by his dose of truth-telling should check out the current "I, Too, Am America" photo exhibit by Kansas City low-wage workers struggling to get by. Opened on May Day, the exhibit is a project of the Langston Hughes Club, an arts committee of fast food workers and other Stand Up KC members of Fight for $15 seeking to document their lives and hardships - from the Popeyes sign at work, “You are not dressed if you don’t have your smile on” to, at home, the empty fridges, crowded cribs and hardscrabble budget calculations - for those who don't yet get it. “I don't understand how I can work at two jobs and not have enough money to put food in the house,” says one worker/artist. “We need to be able to live.” From the Langston Hughes poem, "Tomorrow/I'll be at the table."

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Photo by Casey Dampier, McDonald's

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