Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At the grocery store recently, Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King witnessed an elderly woman nearly overwhelmed by the prospect of purchasing food. Unlike people in line behind her, she couldn't afford everything in her sparsely loaded cart, but thanks to a kind stranger, she was able to buy several cans of soup. King argues that this senior's situation isn't uncommon; it is a reality for many Americans, and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his Republican base will never understand the experience of people like that woman in the supermarket line.

Her groceries, totaling less than $20, were bagged. She slowly walked out of the supermarket. I can't put her out of my mind.

There are people in our community, in our midst, who live like that. Choosing between a can of soup and a package of rice because they can't afford both.

Stand with me at the bus stop in the early morning hours. Look at the passengers traveling to their low-wage jobs beyond the city limits. Their faces are mostly brown and black. They used to all be black. My mother and the grandmother of my wife, Gwen, were once among them, both domestic workers.

Tired when they board the bus, these riders will be worn out by the time they return home many hours later.


Read Colbert I. King's entire piece at the Washington Post.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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