A Poor Man’s Discourse book foreword

Here is the foreword from the book A Poor Man’s Discourse: The Life Sentences of Rev. Bruce Wright. Go ahead! Dip your toe in!

A Poor Man’s Foreword
How does one begin to speak about and discuss the need for justice for the
poor and the homeless? How does one begin to look at how our humanness or
humanity can enhance or get in the way of this goal? Too often we attempt to
discuss the human side of justice without recognizing the frailty of life, the frailty of
those affected by injustice from the perspective of the oppressed. And too often we
fail to recognize our own frailty and inadequacy in trying work alongside those who
are oppressed in their struggle.
This book is a fictionalized attempt to chronicle all that. It is highly exaggerated
in its story, but it is loosely based on my experiences in working with the Refuge and
with those marginalized by society. Each page may be just a paragraph long, but the
intent is to explore the wide range of emotions that I and those around me feel in the
environment of the streets.
Many may ask “Why write this story?”, “Why should we consider the plight of the
poor and disenfranchised?”, “Why should we care?”, “Why should we hear the perspective
of someone who has emerged themselves in work with the poor and oppressed?
I believe that we ignore the disenfranchised and poor at our own peril. We
risk losing our very soul and humanity. We fail to recognize the reality of our current
economic situation and the risk we all face. Most North Americans,
especially in the United States, are one or two paychecks away from being homeless.
The U.S., with the most powerful economy and the most wealth, ranks last in
Western Industrialized Countries’ treatment of the poor. We have more people in
our Criminal Industrial Prison Complex than any other nation on the planet. We
have the highest infant mortality rate of any Western Industrialized nation. We have
more people without healthcare and more children in poverty than any other
Industrial power. We have the highest gap between the rich and poor of any Western
Industrialized country. What I am saying is the issue of poverty and disenfranchised
peoples cannot be ignored because it affects us all.
So, we wrote this story. And, though this is fictionalized, much of the
content of this book has very important truisms. It is our hope that it will not only
entertain, but that it will cause some deep thought and pondering. We hope that you
will connect to and engage this book. That it will disturb you and provoke you to
thought and action. We hope that as you see ideas and characters unfold, you feel
and connect to where those in this book are coming from, including where I am
coming from. We also hope that you appreciate the creative way this book was
Too often the status quo is not challenged. Whether that is the creative status
quo or status quo of Capitalism and how the poor are treated. We, as followers of
Jesus Christ, must challenge the powers that be. We must not support the Imperial
powers and the tendencies of the U.S. to exploit and hurt those without power,
including those inside our country and those in the world at large. We must be a
prophetic voice, in the tradition of Jesus, the prophets, Martin Luther King,
Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Gandhi. We must be our
part of this Imperialist power called the U.S. We must speak out against this.
Enjoy this book. May it challenge you and provoke you. This is, we hope, the
beginning of a series of books like this. Thank you.
Rev. Dr. Bruce Wright MA, Dmin., CPAC, MAC