Let's discuss people in poverty, not attack

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Scott Angus
Sunday, August 24, 2008

I took down the comments on our main story in the poverty series Sunday because too many people seemed intent on tearing down the woman whom we profiled. The same thing will probably happen Monday and Tuesday.

That’s too bad. A discussion on the causes and effects of poverty could be an important element of this series.

But many people seem intent on attacking rather than discussing. And they miss the point of our profile of Kathy Patrick and her family.

Of course we knew of Kathy’s past problems and transgressions. Many of them are included in the story. Some are not.

We aren’t holding her up as someone to feel sorry for or admire or for people to model their lives after. She represents many of the people in Janesville in poverty. She’s not everywoman, but she is a single mother with children struggling to make ends meet and find her way out of poverty.

She’s made some bad choices, and she acknowledges that. But her situation is what it is, and now she and the community have a stake in her, her family and others like her finding better lives.

She was gracious enough and brave enough to open her life to us and to our readers. Take her story for what it is worth, in conjunction with the many other stories on the causes, effects and solutions to poverty in this series.

Personal attacks are out of line. The do not advance the discussion, and they will not be tolerated.

Last updated: 10:07 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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