When I wrote in yesterday’s entry that It’s Barefoot Season at the Dispatch,that wasn’t all of it. The Dispatch also had a full story that was barefoot-related.
However, that story had a lot of familiar elements, and those were nothing we are particularly fond of.
The story was ‘No shoes’ event to promote charity.
I can just hear you scroaning now. [Scroan: a cross between a “scream” and a “groan”.] Yes, you have guessed right.
The event was “Barefoot4Them”, described in the article as “a nationwide event held by the Tennessee charity Soles4Souls.”
Student Epiphany Jamison, 23, walks barefoot to class at Columbus State Community College. She was participating yesterday in Barefoot4Them, a nationwide charitable event to collect new shoes for needy people around the world.
[Caption from the story. Photo Credit: Eric Albrecht of the Dispatch.]
And I guess the cooler temperatures were too much for her.
Yes, Jamison was barefoot, and her feet felt like two ice cubes in the 32-degree air.
* * *
“I thought it was such a cool idea, although I knew it would suck if it were cold,” she said. “I thought it would be a way to start a conversation because, even in Columbus, there are so many people who don’t have stuff.”
Unfortunately, the cooler temperatures make it seem like a real sacrifice,
but we all know that’s just from a lack of conditioning.
We’ve detailed here before that shoes are the least of the worries of the needy in other countries. As I wrote in Shoe-weak Charity, sanitation problems should be solved with . . . better sanitation. Spend the money there, for pete’s sake. And donating shoes just ruins the local businesses, as I wrote about in A Day Without Dignity.
But of course the story tries the old tug at the heart strings while ignoring what would really help:
She carried a card from Soles4Souls with a photo of a 14-year-old Haitian boy who is too poor to afford shoes. Each participant received a similar card.
To finish things off, she was part of an incident that is all-too familiar to us barefooters.
A trip to the cafeteria for coffee brought a rebuke from the cashier.
“Ma’am, you can’t come in here without shoes on,” Kay-C Clopton, 26, told Jamison. Jamison explained why her feet were bare; Clopton said she could pay for her coffee but couldn’t stay.
“I wouldn’t have cared if I saw her somewhere else,” Clopton said.
Uh, hello? Why couldn’t she come in without shoes on. And why did Clopton care that she was barefoot there? The story doesn’t say, but we all know that Clopton just furthered the ignorance oozing from this story: we know that Clopton was busy buying into the Health Code myth.
It is just so frustrating to see these sorts of stories, and to also realize that so many people read it and nod in agreement and don’t even think twice about the idea that it is just leading them astray.