With the city’s unemployment rate at twice the national average, many are in search of work, like Roland Simms, the impoverished 59-year-old Vietnam veteran in the video above. Like many across America, Simms is not looking for a handout but an opportunity to get back to work and be able to take care of himself on his own.
In his interview with Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher, he says:
All I want to do is to be able to help myself. To be self sufficient. It’s not happening
With an unemployment rate of 25% and a foreclosure rate among the highest in America, local charities focused on feeding the homeless in the Tampa Bay area are busy. The struggle has intensified, a sober reminder of the real effects of a poor economy.
Yolanda Giovannetii, the director of the Beacon House free clinic in St. Petersburg said that the people coming into the shelter want security.
They want people to treat them equally because we are all equally within three paychecks away from being homeless as well, you don’t know, you could lose your job the next day.
While the American mainstream media monitors every word spoken by the politicians at the RNC, focusing on every aspect of the convention as the real “news story” the people of Tampa who are living in poverty just down the street are being overlooked and forgotten.
It’s no surprise that in order to find out about the harsh reality of what life is like just beyond the steps of the convention, Americans have to go to foreign media outlets like Al Jazeera and the BBC to see what is really happening in their own nation.
While the mainstream media pivots its priorities on the Republican and Democratic multi-million dollar conventions where the echoes of broken campaign promises will resound off the walls in Tampa and Charlotte, the real news, is once again being missed.