Americans Help Man Get Car, Are Still Generally Selfish And Myopic

The GoFundMe campaign to get hardworking, hard-walkin’ Detroit resident James Robertson a car has hit $277,000 and continues to climb.

Here’s some background from the GoFundMe page (which was started by a volunteer, btw, not Robertson himself):

Pudgy of form, shod in heavy work boots, Robertson trudges almost haltingly as he starts another workday.
But as he steps out into the cold, Robertson, 56, is steeled for an Olympic-sized commute. Getting to and from his factory job 23 miles away in Rochester Hills, he’ll take a bus partway there and partway home. And he’ll also walk an astounding 21 miles.
Five days a week. Monday through Friday.
It’s the life Robertson has led for the last decade, ever since his 1988 Honda Accord quit on him.
Every trip is an ordeal of mental and physical toughness for this soft-spoken man with a perfect attendance record at work. And every day is a tribute to how much he cares about his job, his boss and his coworkers. Robertson’s daunting walks and bus rides, in all kinds of weather, also reflect the challenges some metro Detroiters face in getting to work in a region of limited bus service, and where car ownership is priced beyond the reach of many.
But you won’t hear Robertson complain — nor his boss.

We love this guy. We love him to the tune of $277,000+, apparently, because he is an old school, uphill-both-ways, Greatest Generation, pulling-himself-up-by-his-bootstraps, strong silent type of man. Can you imagine some spoiled, sissy-pants Millennial doing this hike everyday, twice a day? No way. Millennials are too busy brewing craft beer and naming their kids Clover.

The larger issue here is that he is one guy, one exceptional guy. Helping him is great, and makes us feel great, but it does nothing about the bigger picture: he has a full-time job, making above minimum wage, and he can’t even afford to get to work every day in a reasonable fashion without charity. THE WHOLE TRIAL IS OUT OF ORDER.

We are a society that beams generosity on certain outstanding individuals while ignoring the plight of the multitudes that haven’t had the good fortune to be on TV yet. We Can Do Better.

Thanks to BF pal Elise Nussbaum for the tip, and thanks to all the anti-vaxxers out there (doctors included!) for my grumpy frame of mind.

Photo via GoFundMe

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