Living poor and white in the USA

By Story of America Team

On the day before Thanksgiving in 1996 while walking home from school, my then 7-year-old daughter was stopped by a 31-year-old man. He opened the car door and forcibly pulled the child inside. He kidnapped her. This was near three in the afternoon. As he sped off, my oldest daughter ran home and called 911 giving a description of the vehicle to the dispatcher. The description was broadcast county-wide.

Kenny Reynolds

The kidnapper took my baby girl to an abandoned car wash, raped her, and urinated on her. He then made her dress, threatened to kill her if she spoke of the incident.

About this time I arrived home from work to find the chief of police on my front porch. He proceeded to tell me what had happened. Being a very emotionally controlled person, I calmly thought things over and deciding there was nothing we could do. I said, “Well, she is in God’s hands.” At the same time as I said that (we compared stories later), a police officer on his way home from court got off on the wrong exit. He told me it was as if someone else was driving the car.

My prayer was answered. It was a miracle. He spotted the car with my daughter inside and stopped it. He saved my girl. Her mom and the police went and got her. I had to stay home under guard. That’s the good part.

Afterwards, I was billed by EMS, the emergency room, the doctor that administered the rape kit and the hospital. Having nowhere to turn to for help, the medical bills and cost of her therapy bankrupted me. The financial hardship hit my daughter hardest. Such is our cold-blooded society.

In September 2008, around the time the stock market crashed, a drunk driver ran a stop sign at 70 miles an hour and t-boned the side of my oldest daughter’s car. She was on her way home from her baby shower. She was 8½ months pregnant . The collision crushed Angie’s pelvis and caused the baby to perish. He weighed 5 pounds. I held his broken little body in my arms the next morning. I cried for I could see the stress of it was killing my daughter.

Shortly thereafter she flat-lined and we headed for the operating theater so that they could put the life support chip her head. Just before they took her in, I hollered at Angie to wake up for GOD SAKE. And, she did. Another miracle. She wasn’t supposed to live.

Fortunately, the insurance covered the medical bills, but the emotional pain and the time it took to care for Angie and my granddaughter kept me from making enough money to live on. I am once again bankrupt. Such is life for a poor white person. Once he is financially down, there is no way back up.