The spiraling economy has been a hot topic for several years. We all know that we are in the worst economic crisis since the “not-so” Great Depression. As politicians continue to bicker back and forth, families are sliding down a slippery cliff struggling to hold onto whatever they can. How did the American Dream instead become a desperate dream for survival?
Only a few minutes into Our America with Lisa Ling, I sent out a silent prayer hoping that politicians would flip the dial and stumble upon this true economic reality show as it played out on OWN. Throughout the night Lisa Ling introduced us to different individuals who are hanging onto their own economic cliff. She began with 56 year-old Bob who had recently lost his job. Following a promotion, his company paid for his family to relocate to a wealthy suburb neighborhood where many of the 1% lived. Making a comfortable 6-figure income, Bob thought life was on an upturn. unfortunately, the layoffs came and Bob’s position was eliminated. Four years later he is still looking for full-time work. Taking what he can and working as a custodian for a church, he and his family are falling apart. With up to 400 applications for some jobs, Bob realized how difficult it would be to find any job…but he was trying despite the odds. To make it worse, his wife has battled breast cancer for 5 years. All of the stress is overwhelming and his in-laws (who are helping to support them) are upset. After unemployment benefits ran out, the only other help they received was through food stamps. “Like Bob, one-in-six people in America don’t always know where their next meal is coming from,” Lisa shared. It can be hard to get one’s own pride. No one wants to rely on the kindness of others. So much has changed in only a few short years. Listening to his children speak, you can tell how hard this has been on them. As Bob’s 12-year-old son softly cried over being evicted from their home as movers threw their belongings onto the front lawn. Talking about the stress of seeing a bill that was due, it was hard to fight back tears for his lost childhood.
The cameras then introduced Teresa, a 47-year-old woman who was let go after a paper factory closed in her town. Like many of us, she didn’t have a huge savings and instead took the vacations and bought the cars. After watching what little she did have disappear, she wished she would have been smarter with her money. However, that wasn’t her reality. Now living in the basement of a home and sharing a room with her son who is a senior in highschool, everything was different. Although she was getting a little help from unemployment, just as Bob had, it only lasts so long and then nothing the check stops coming. Sadly her story was not unique. Companies have been closing their factories and sending our money to other countries who barely pay their employees. It makes sense for them. They make a lot more money. But at what cost? Even America’s Olympic uniforms were created in a communist country. Some people seemed outraged, but shouldn’t we be outraged every day? Instead of American companies helping to put food on the tables of their neighbors, they are choosing to strengthen the most powerful places that threaten our own democracy. In fact, this would be a great topic for Our America. [read more…]
In this week’s episode of Our America with Lisa Ling, viewers embark on a journey to better understand the circumstances that led many young girls to become teen moms. Fast tracking to adulthood, each mom’s story has a common thread. The reality was bigger than they could have imagined.
With nearly one in three young girls getting pregnant in their teens, it is clear that teen pregnancy is an issue. One that we need to be talking about. It is easy to see how a young girl could be enchanted by the idea of having a child who will love them, especially at a time when so many teens feel alienated from their parents. We understand how love, infatuation and insecurities can lead you to make choices that you are not ready to make. Not only the messages they receive from their peers, but the messages from the media make a huge impact. We live in a society that seduces and pressures young teens from a very early age. We can’t force them to be responsible, but we can educate our kids. It is vital that we have these conversations with young men and women now.
Lisa Ling spoke to several teen moms, including a pair of sisters…one of which who got pregnant at the age of 14. Their mother, who was a teen mom herself, was unable to take care of all of them. The new moms were forced to grow up fast and find a way to make it in the world. As the oldest girls boyfriend struggled to work and make enough money to support them all, it was obvious the reality had set in. As Lisa listened to their story, we heard the reasoning that landed them in their situation. Thier concerns of not taking birth control because they were told it would make them fat. Didn’t they realize that pregnancy makes them fatter? Watching all along as the youngest sister, Jasmine, carries her backpack, diaper bag and child in her car seat into school after hours looking for help to finish high school.
We were then introduced to Sophie, a 16-year-old mom, who had all the support she could ask for. However she made the difficult and selfless choice to enter into an open adoption with her son. “You know it was one slip up and that was it. You never think that is going to happen to you. You under-estimate the possibility of getting pregnant” But all it takes is one hormonal moment to change your life forever. Still part of her son’s life, it was unclear how these new uncharted boundaries would hold up. But she has a tremendous amount of support. [read more…]
As some of you have already discovered, we are on our own Friday & Saturday night! With no new episodes of Lives on Fire or Million Dollar Neighborhood, we thought we would at least give you a few deleted scenes to hold you over. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Enjoy the clips courtesy of OWN!
With the change in the time slot from Sunday to Tuesday, it is possible that you missed last night’s episode of Our America with Lisa Ling. It was (as usual) another fantastic episode. I’ll tell you more about it later, but until then here are a couple of the deleted scenes courtesy of OWN. Enjoy!
With the season finale just around the corner, here are a few deleted scenes from the last episodes of Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s. It is always great to see a little extra Sweetie Pie’s. Best parts…Andre sporting a Justin Bieber wig and Ike trying to prove he is younger than he is! Enjoy the clips [...]
This weekend viewers were treated to a double-shot of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.” However not all of the great moments make the cut. Here are a few moments that ended up on the editing floor, but are just oo good to pass up. Enjoy! Charles finds out his aunt Robbie is looking to date and he’s [...]