More social justice, less charity



Editor, Index-Tribune:

We live in a wonderful and caring community, but I hope that some day soon we will have more social justice and less charity, for two reasons.

The first is an appreciation for folks who support the agencies that serve the most vulnerable among us. Well-intentioned, community-based organizations are working to support those in need by providing services. However, for our families to be vibrant and self-sufficient in our community, an approach that includes self-advocacy and education is what will provide people with the skills needed to advance.

A community that is dependent on charity will not advance and grow into an independent and self-sufficient society.

The second is a reflection about our collective values. I find it interesting that we rarely equate the need for charity with social injustice. I would think that, if we lived in a more just and equitable society, there would be less need for charity in our community.

For many years, I have seen how a significant amount of funding is provided to organizations to help the needy.

It often ends up going to programs that are merely reactive and not proactive. We need programs that offer opportunities for people to be self sufficient instead of being dependent on charity.

We need less charity. We need more social justice. This would require income equality, true civil rights, a sustainable living wage, affordable housing, affordable medical care, racial and gender equality and educational opportunities, to name a few.

We need a more inclusive approach in the community where we live.

Mario Castillo

El Verano


  • Robert Piazza

    Social justice equals the first step towards socialism and eventually communism! No Thanks, we know that doesn’t encourage initiative and individualism! It’s just government sponsored charity.
    Why can’t you support people working smartly to get ahead financially rather than demanding they be given financial equality without any skin in the game?

    • Tom Sokolowski

      Social justice the first step toward socialism and eventually communism? I don’t think you
      really understand what it means. Here’s a quote from a greater man than both of us to help you: “In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…, the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

      Hope that helps. By the way, if you hate socialism so much, can I have your social security checks when you’re ready to retire? Hate to see you become a socialist. :)

      • Robert Piazza

        Typical socialist Tom!
        I pay into SSI, by mandate, all my working life and when its time for me to get MY money back you want to take it!
        Please take note that it’s SOCIAL SECURITY INSURANCE not SOCIAL JUSTICE!

  • Phineas Worthington

    It seems that for social justice to prevail, injustice toward individuals and their inalienable individual rights must first occur.

  • Fred Allebach

    Right on Mario; you hit the nail on the head; the local charity scene is well intentioned but it treats symptoms, not the cause, which is basically increasing structural inequality. Better to give people their fair share up front with a living wage than to trickle it back later as charity. Keep plugging away, you’ve got a good and relevant message.

    • Phineas Worthington

      Try focusing on improving the standard of living of the poor rather than this vast array of legal wealth transfers and subsidies that do nothing to solve the problem of poverty long term.

      • Fred Allebach


  • Mario Castillo

    Robert, I dont’t maind been called socialist. I find that it is better to be conceder socialist than to live in a plutocracy world… Thanks for taking the time to read my letter!

    • Robert Piazza

      Mario, I didn’t label you a socialist, I identified “social justice” as the first step toward “socialism”. Please be considerate enough to “read” what I wrote rather than “read into” what I wrote!

      • Mario Castillo


    • Phineas Worthington

      I prefer to live in a Constitutional republic with law subordinated to the principles of individual rights. That is what our D of I says. And we just celebrated that, or at least some of us did.

      • Tom Sokolowski

        Sorry Phineas but we’re not really a Constitutional republic, rather we’re a democratic republic, or a constitutionally limited democratic republic. Our form of government and the Constitution limits the power of government. We elect representatives so we are a republic, but we elect them by majority rule so we’re a democracy. We’re a fusion of the two.
        Don’t mean to be picky, but as our Republican party head Rush Limbaugh is always saying, words have meaning.

        • Phineas Worthington

          I agree basically. Though I would put emphasis on limited democracy, democracy needs checks too. That is why the original Senate is so important. It was intended as a check on the spending and law making power of Congress. That check has been removed.

          Madison stated quite clearly in the Federalist Papers that this feature of our federalist structure was so important that were the Senate to ever be popularly elected, there would no longer be a Constitution.

          In Madison’s words then, we ceased to be a Constitutional republic after passage of the 17th amendment in 1913 over 100 years ago. We became a more sincere form of popular democracy with all its pitfalls and problems that we now suffer.

          CA in turn with its proposition system and single party rule is about as close to direct democracy as any other state. All of the prescient warnings about the pitfalls of too much democracy are on display here in CA today.