Letter: Conservatives attack poor on dental care

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was disappointed to see conservatives online attacking the young woman who recently wrote about improving dental care in our community [“Push for More Equitable Dental Care,” Aug. 23, Xpress].

Conservatives, as usual, played “blame the victim” with our poorer neighbors who need dental care. Conservative posters blamed our area’s poor record of oral health on poor diets and lack of dental visits. Instead of giving any thought as to why our poorer neighbors don’t see a dentist or eat healthier, they attacked a high school student over “social justice.”

Thanks to corporate greed and this state’s failure to expand Medicaid, many families can’t afford dental care. Even if these folks have insurance, who knows if they have time to see a dentist? Too many of our neighbors are working multiple jobs, often times with erratic schedules that are constantly changing.

What about our neighbors’ dietary habits? While it’s true that diets high in sugar negatively impact oral health, did the conservatives consider why poor folks eat diets high in sugar? Sugar is found in the cheapest foods and some “healthy” food staples, such as bread (as high fructose corn syrup).

Some of our poorest neighbors live in “food deserts,” areas that lack nearby grocery stores or healthy food options. And let’s not forget the role the food industry plays, where marketing campaigns are designed to sell us unhealthy foods and “flavor chemists” engineer tastes to drive repeat purchases.

Conservatives’ deflection to “personal responsibility” is a cop-out that hides their lack of solutions to this issue. Calling poor people “irresponsible” is a lazy alternative to offering any realistic fixes for the systemic issues surrounding poverty and its consequences, including poor oral health. Perhaps these people should spend less time reciting talking points and more time thinking about people other than themselves.

— Mike Huttman


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

16 thoughts on “Letter: Conservatives attack poor on dental care

  1. Jason

    Conservatives attack the poor on everything; citing “i’ve worked hard for everything I have. I’m not giving anything to these lazy bums”…. but they’re at church every Wednesday, Saturday, AND Sunday (practicing their blind obedience!)

    • Grant Millin

      Liberals practice various faiths too. It’s not what Christ said or did that gives us these challenges.

      • Jason

        “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians; they are so unlike your Christ.”


    • The Real World

      This letter writer is referring to my previous comments online related to the Aug 23 letter about dental issues.
      #1 – how bizarre, and such convenient confirmation bias for him, to infer politics into a discussion about teeth and dentistry.

      #2 – clearly his myopic politics prevented him from grasping the basic reality of the commentary. Zoom…..it flew right over.

      #3 – this country will leap forward in degrees barely quantifiable when a significant portion of the population stops treating fellow citizens like blithering doofuses……who need some self-appointed white knight to save them from themselves. That population demeans others with their insultingly low expectations. Helping people be their best is the greatest gift.

  2. Jason

    No; not necessarily, but if Christians truely practiced their faith, opposed to picking and choosing what they want to believe and practice…. ALL WOULD BE altruistic and wouldnt vote against this specific interest; as most do…. ignorantly thinking that if Jesus was alive he be a Republican

    • bsummers

      What you’re not getting, is that to many conservative Christians, Jesus is irrelevant – it’s Christ that matters.

      “The person that they truly care about is ‘Christ’, a totally mystical, supernatural figure that- through his death and resurrection- provided salvation and triumph for those who believe. ‘Jesus’ was a means to an end; there needed to be a human Jesus to die and then rise triumphantly. Once salvation is assured, ‘Jesus’ disappears from the narrative.(emphasis mine)

      See, they’re all about the triumph. Sure, it was nice that Jesus cared for the sick and the poor and the what-not. But hey, when Clark Kent goes away and Superman puts on the tights, he doesn’t have to keep typing for the Daily Planet, am I right? The poor are on their own!

      • Jason

        Lol!!! Awesome INSITE!

        I always knew they were hypocrites just not that hypocritical…. they certainly seem to have that down to a science….. which is ironic considering they don’t believe in science

        • Lulz

          LOL, you know it’s like calling Trump a predator upon women and yet in complete and total denial of the accusations of rape against Bill Clinton. And we all know about the blue dress and cigar.

          Clean up your own hypocrisy first before judging others. But you can’t.

  3. Lulz

    LOL, so wrong. Conservatives aren’t attacking the poor. Rather they’re attacking the corrupt machine that is continuing the poverty. When the county constructs a 50 million dollar social services building to staff it with 6 figure employees who cannot be fired, receive better benefits and are accountable to no one, then why should people pay more taxes or fund more services? And instead of attacking Christians, who you all ignorantly assume don’t give, question an entity that will never offer viable solutions to anything but demand more money while they themselves live better lives than the people that are subjugated and forced to work and pay for it. Wanda Greene is a clear example of cronyism, corruption, and nepotism. A 300K plus salaried government bureaucrat that only refused her last pay increase of 35K because of vocal opposition. All the things that are making the current system a joke. And the people within it an opponent of progress. All the above care about is power. They aren’t seeking true solutions because that would mean losing it. So let’s divide and blame others for NOT PAYING ENOUGH. Yet NEVER hold those who CONTROL the money to any standards.

    • Deplorable Infidel

      Lulz…most people don’t understand what you mean by a corrupt machine feeding the poverty… government screwls don’t talk about that you see…they only teach DEPENDENCE and leftwing ideologies which is why government screwls are a total failure.

      • Lulz

        Of course they are. Anything government touches is meant to not only continue but grow. We’re approaching 20 trillion spent on the war on poverty and yet there has been no real improvements. In fact it’s going backwards. It’s like the Vietnam War in a way. Toss resource after resource at it while media hacks and decadent fools claim it’s not enough. And yet those in theater experiencing the complete opposite and knowing no matter how much is given to ensure victory, the same strategy simply isn’t working. At some point things will change and those on handouts will have to take responsibility for their lives.

      • bsummers

        Fisher Caudle…most people don’t understand what you mean by government ‘screwls’ being a total failure because they teach leftwing ideologies…they only APPEAR ‘leftwing’ to people who are so far to the right on the political spectrum that they can’t even SEE the middle of the road because of the weeds and the billboards.

        Do you need a TOW?

        • Deplorable Infidel

          are you an ‘educator’ , BS ? my words seem to bother you …

          • bsummers

            Some people call me one. But then some people call me Maurice, so who’s to say?

            Your words don’t bother me, Fred Caudle.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.