Left behind: The state of the union that will be silent tonight

In America tonight there will be many who will not be given much voice in the State of the Union discussion. They are the hungry and the homeless, the pained and the suffering, the victims of a society that can truly be called our two Americas. They will not be given much voice in the president's speech, the Republican response or the Tea Party address by the gentlelady from Minnesota.

Today many Americans have been jobless for more than 99 weeks and it will be a moral test for the president whether he champions them tonight or not. Right now we operate under a bipartisan agreement regarding the 99ers: Both parties have told them to drop dead.

Today the jobless rate among African-Americans is at levels worthy of a developing nation, creating a lost generation of those left behind. Will the president champion their cause? Will Democrats and Republicans who sit together in the spirit of unity join together to help the jobless blacks and the jobless 99ers, or continue the malignant neglect that leaves them behind?

Today homelessness is spreading in the land. Homeless families, homeless mothers, homeless fathers, and worst of all homeless children and homeless veterans. I don't think you'll hear much about them tonight, except some lip service as the president pays homage to business, Republicans pay homage to their far right wing, both pay homage to their campaign donors and everyone holds hands for one night of public relations.

Today foreclosures continue at record levels, and I doubt the president will claim credit for this failure. I doubt the Republicans will offer solutions in their answering address. I won't sit by the phone for the gentlelady from Minnesota to stand up for homeless vets, jobless 99ers or foreclosed-on homeowners in her self-indulgent tirade with the Tea Party answer to the president tonight.

Today the suicide rate among Native Americans is climbing to levels that are unacceptable in our country, but you won't hear much about this from anyone tonight, because virtually nobody in this town cares.

So let’s all applaud that so many do well in this blessed land we love. As for me, I come today on behalf of those who are hurting, because the state of their union will suffer in silence tonight.