Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker.” — Proverbs 14:31
It’s not my habit to start a column with a quotation from the Bible, but this one’s loaded with self-professed Christians, so why not?
In the mid-1990s, during my time as a metro reporter and feature writer for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, I started writing stories about people who lived in poverty.
I learned early to avoid certain words and descriptions that ignited the ire of certain readers who would rather shame fellow Americans for their dire circumstances than consider why so many of them live in poverty. And often just blocks away from our front doors.
As a columnist, I still sometimes fall back on those rules:
Unless crucial to the story, don’t refer to the flat-screen television in the living room or the car in the driveway, no matter how many miles are on it. A…
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