Tag Archives: America

The Changing Face of Homelessness in America: the Former White Middle Class Professionals and Veterans (Essays around the case of Daiva Sanda

http://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=699  (hear Daiva telling her story on “the Stark Truth” Radio broadcast from Santa Barbara, California).

Attractive, Businesslike, Classy, Driven, Educated, Fluent, Gallant…. Homeless

Destroyed by the System

Is hers the new Face of Homelessness in America?

Even my friends in and from Chicago—their first reaction to her  phone calls and requests for help was that this woman must be a scammer.  Nobody just calls and asks for help.  Has our culture closed its doors to individual charity and kindness?  Do we all prefer to let the men in white coats take Blanche Dubois away?  She has, has she not, proved her madness and social incompetence when she admits that she has “always relied upon the kindness of strangers?”  I had a rather intense argument last night with a dear and close friend about whether institutional charities have utterly swallowed up all capacity for human compassion in America, especially in the Northern States and California.  I perceive a greater tendency for individuals to take care of individuals in the South and the West, and a greater distrust of institutional and governmental solutions.  I’d be interested in more feedback: who, among the Americans, are most likely to take in a homeless woman merely for the purpose of keeping her off the streets, as a matter of sharing bread and board in the tradition that Christ taught us?  And has the relentless press for institutional contributions “tax deductibility” and so forth chilled our hearts beyond recognition?

Daiva Marija Sanda (aka Sandanaviciote) is an attractive lady (see above photo) in her late 30s, born in Lithuania, who immigrated to America.  She has two minor children aged in Chicago, Illinois, which throughout the 20th century was famous for its large Polish/Ukrainian/Lithuanian population (Very few Americans know or realize today that even as late as the 17th Century, the Kingdom of Poland, merged in a single immense “Commonwealth” together with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as a single vast nation, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, and including most of what is now Eastern Poland, Lithuania, White Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and parts of adjacent Russia, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Romania.  This combined Lithuanan-Polish nation was effectively the easternmost Nation in Europe (Russia not becoming part of “Europe” until the early 18th Century, under Peter the Great, from a cultural and Geopolitical Standpoint, or recognized by International Law as a civilized nation at all—Poland was truly the great frontier of Europe—and a vast nation, comparable in place and stature to that Russia later occupied).  

But getting back to Daiva, from her native land, she came to Chicago, which is basically the largest Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian City in the world, larger even than Warsaw (at least in the 1940s-60s) and much larger than Kaunas.

What Daiva has learned over the past several years is the following:

(1)     The United States does not value or care for white immigrants at all.

(2)     The American (Chicago Municipal and Illinois State) Police are corrupt and discriminate against white Christian people, being run largely by blacks and hispanics anxious to “get a piece” of white folks and put them down whenever possible, which is to say, whenever they seem poor or vulnerable. 

(3)     To be poor or down on your luck in the US is to be equated with being crazy.

(4)     The Courts, especially the Family Law Courts (Domestic Relations, child custody Courts) favor breaking up families and separating parents, even mothers, from their children, especially when there is no money.

(5)     The Courts exist largely to strip people of their money and leave them poor.  The Courts do not protect anyone’s rights except insofar as one person or another has money.

(6)     Above all, now that she has reached what she hopes is the Nadir of her journey, Daiva sees Americans as selfish and materialistic, unwilling and unable to help each other in times of distress.

(7)     Traditional Polish & Lithuanian culture (Eastern European Culture generally) has high standards of Social and Economic Altruism, and this is why (some modern sociologists have written) Communism first took root in Eastern Rather than Western Europe where Marx & Engels had envisioned it would blossom.

(8)    Altruism is all but unknown in the America that Daiva has seen.  Americans do not like to help those who are down on their luck—at least not in the North, Northeast and Midwest—Ironically, traditional Southerners and Westerners in are much better known for their hospitality, mutual support, and communitarian sense of responsibility.  

(9)    Private charity and even Public assistance are not available to adults without children or to non-Hispanic immigrants.

(10)   In a recent moment of crisis, when Daiva found herself on the verge of homelessness, she called more than a dozen crisis centers for Women and found that she did not fit any of the pre-set criteria for “charity” which were supposedly offered.  Ironically, given her bitter feelings about the legal profession, a female lawyer took her in off the streets and gave her shelter.

(11)   Daiva’s perspectives on America can be summarized in the single word “anomie” (“lawlessness”, with the special implication of lack of community norms—it is a Greek word [a-nomos] popularized by the 19th century Sociologist and Social Philosopher Emile Durkheim, who wrote about the rising rates of suicide and feelings of alienation in the France and Western Europe of his time…. and it is fair to say that things have only gotten worse.

Daiva has refused to give up hope, she has refused to surrender to the overwhelming message she is getting from our “post-Modern” America that she is worthless and of no importance, and that she just needs to get out of the way.

She may eventually give up on seeing her children again (she has not seen them in a year, despite the fact that no charges of mistreatment or abuse of any kind were ever made against her—the family courts simply favor destruction of the family.

She may eventually give up on recovering $300,000.00 in personal property which she lost when her apartment at 4922 North Kedzie was taken away from her despite the fact that she owed no rent, but merely because she moved out due to a lack of effective heat in the brutal Chicago winter—and she is now subject to prosecution for criminal trespass for trying to recover her property.  The Chicago Courts and Police just seem to want her to lose everything.

But she has not given up on anything yet.  She is considering leaving the United States.  She sees little or nothing worth waiting for here.  No good has come to her.  She is well-educated and speaks English fluently, albeit with a strongly pronounced accent.  At her “height” she was living in a Lake-View apartment at 1400 North Lake Shore Drive, one of Chicago’s premier addresses on the “Gold Coast” close to downtown Chicago—a neighborhood in Zip Code 60610 where the median individual income is $83,000 (compared to the national median of $28,000).  

Daiva’s portrayal of the selfishness and greed of Americans in Barack Obama’s home city of Chicago, of their unwillingness to help out the less fortunate, is dramatically at odds with Obama’s articulated care for the child immigrants at the Mexican border, for the rights of all who come to the United States to partake in the wealth and social services of this Country, and it seems it can only be a matter of Race—Daiva is a White Christian (Catholic) Mother, but she has been crushed in Obama’s own hometown of Chicago, been abused by the Police and Courts, insulted with racial epithets and degraded in every possible way.  In effect, Daiva’s story suggests that, in Obama’s America, Europeans are the unwelcome minority, and they are to be extinguished by legal abuse if it is at all possible….

I have been noticing every year since Barack Obama came to office that the face of homelessness in America becomes whiter and whiter every year, more and more veterans in particular, but also more victims of the family courts and the foreclosure crisis.  Daiva Sanda’s Former Home 6 April 20106 July 2011 Daiva Sandanaviciute’s Pro Se Petition for Custody of her Child

Reflections on Love and Pride in Lent

To all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, a Blessed and Deeply Reflective and Repentant Lent.Above all we should reflect on God’s love for us, and the nature and extent of all love here on earth among us mortals in the course of our Salvation.Without the three species of love, the world is a desolate place indeed. But Agape, Philios, and Eros are not and have never been equal or easy to understand and relate to one another.

During Lent we should all reflect deeply on the things inside us that destroy and build up love of all types, but especially Agape, the love and charity of God Himself towards us all.

Pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins, for example, but is loving Pride sinful or Godly? 

And how can parental pride in their children or a child’s or a group.of children’s pride in his or her parents be considered as anything other than an expression of love?

Pride is love, but it is obviously neither eros nor philios, although it is certainly in some contexts similar to and compatible with brotherly love, and the pride of a man in his beautiful wife or of a woman in her successful husband is equally compatible with eros, and seems virtuous in all ways rather than sinful.

I simply cannot accept that all pride is sinful.  In her song, the Magnigicat, the Blessed Virgin Mary articulates a series of emotions which can only be called pride, pride in the Glory of God, pride in God’s justice, pride in her own inheritance as a daughter of Abraham, and pride above all in her unique and special relationship with God and her unique and special role in His plans for the salvation of the world.  I think it is fair to say that Mary’s expresdions of pride are filled with Agape, the love and charity of God. 

Pride is an issue for many of us in America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa as we confront the demands of the Church of England and its Anglican Commmunion and Episcopal affiliates abroad that we apologize for our own Christian parents, grandparents, and ancestors for their sins, real and imaginary, such as Slavery, Segregation, or belief in the righteousness of White Supremacy.

I, for one, refuse to believe that family pride is sinful, or that the extended family pride we might call pride in our bilogical, constitutional, cultural, ethnic, legal, national, political, racial, or social heritage is sinful either.

I suggest that deeper study and understanding of history are critical to the analysis and comprehension of all the elements of our heritage.  Historical study and reflection seems like a good appropriately reflective and potentially penitential activity which might constitute a good sacrifice of time for Lent.

Bishop Morris K. Thompson in his Ash Wednesday homily yesterday (March 5, 2014) suggested that such a sacrifice of reflective time was a much more appropriate item to dedicate one’s demonstration of commitment to Lent than giving up chocolates or candy bonbons.  

I believe that there is room for both Godly love and Godly pride in Lent, and that we can and should love our families, both near and far. It was with great happiness and pride, for example, that I followed the example of Saint Paul in addressing this letter to my “Brothers and Sisters in Christ.”