The nature of our growth today is markedly different than in the decades after World War II. There we had shared prosperity. More recently, what we’ve had is exactly the opposite. … Right now, most Americans are worse off than they were 15 years ago. There has not been shared prosperity.
One long-term study by the Department of Education found that students with high test scores but low-income parents were less likely to complete college than students with low scores but affluent parents — loosely speaking, that smart poor kids are less likely than dumb rich kids to get a degree.
[I]n moments of desperation, a lie can seem like the only option. Anita McLemore, a Mississippi mother of two, faced one of those unfortunate moments when filling out her application for food stamps — and now she’ll pay the price, by spending three years of her life behind bars in federal prison. Thanks to a federal ban on food stamps for people with felony drug convictions, people like McLemore are out of luck when it comes to getting assistance with putting food on their tables. Though states can opt out of the ban, those that don’t (like Mississippi) deny food stamps even to individuals who have already served their sentences or overcome previous addictions. It’s true that McLemore’s past isn’t perfect — she has four felony drug convictions and one misdemeanor, which place her firmly in the category of people the federal government has declared unfit to receive public benefits. Hence, faced with the prospect of being unable to feed her family, McLemore lied on her application.
this woman has been in prison four times because she was sick with addiction. and now will be in prison again for trying to feed her family. this is what it means to be a mami in the US.
I still don’t understand why drug convictions bar you from receiving federal aid. No other crime does that including murder. If we want to rehabilitate people & reintegrate them into society wouldn’t it make more sense to make it easy for them to get back on their feet? Oh wait, I started thinking of prisoners as people. I already know that’s not part of the plan.
They discovered, in their study, that people who visit the food banks develop their own system - where they trade necessities and foods so everyone better gets what their family needs.
From what i’ve been told (cause this happened before i got here) after the study was published, there was so much red tape and new regulations placed on the food bank system - it got so much more difficult to provide food to those in need (on the banks side) and get food for your family.
My part of Oakland is full of poor people. There’s at least one murder a week. Old creeps pimp out teenaged girls in broad daylight. You can buy crack or heroin 30 feet from my door, and two of my neighbors have been held up at gun point this summer.And the City of Oakland says they don’t have the police to stop any of that.But a bunch of people protesting the fact that rich people got a bail out and everyone else got nothing? The city shuts them down tight. Bang. Done. Riot act.Do you ever get the feeling you’ve bean cheated? I do. Every day.
@el_gallo on BoingBoing.com (via lordmoudemort)
On the London riots: it’s not that simple.
My dash is covered with people who normally know better talking about how all of the rioters are stupid kids who just want to make trouble. I have to wonder if you guys think that rights are only worth fighting for if they’re in a different country. If you honestly believe that democracy automatically makes a country equal and without social problems. If so, I think you may want to re-read your history.
Are there people taking advantage of the situation and rioting just for the hell of it? Absolutely. There are always people like that in any group situation. The term ‘mob mentality’ exists for a reason. I’d even argue that at this point they probably make up the majority of the people out there. However, they are not the reason this started.
This started because people are angry. It started because the UK has some serious problems when it comes to race, socio-economic class, ethnic background, and age. It started because people aren’t being heard. Because their vote doesn’t get them what they need. Because, like in any other country, if you aren’t part of the majority you aren’t really human.
The people who were originally rioting were out there because every other form of protest had failed. Everyone’s talking about spoiled kids, but how many of you have actually tried being a poor teenager in the UK — especially London? Let me tell you, that is not a city you want to look young and poor in. Even more if you’re non-white. I love the UK in general and London in particular, but until I started wearing dress slacks and button front shirts everywhere I was treated like a criminal. Me, the 5’0”, 100lbs, flamingly gay geek. I’m not threatening in any sense of the word, but because at the time I looked about 14 and had the standard US love of hooded sweatshirts (‘hoodies’) and jeans people thought I was going to mug them or steal from their store.
When you treat entire classes of people like they’re worthless scum they will respond by behaving in that manner. What’s the point in working hard and trying to be a good person if it’s not going to get you anywhere? It’s the same reason kids in LA join gangs: at least then you have some sense of power and belonging. Maybe it’s not the best attention in the world to get, but it’s something. People are looking at you. They’re noticing. They’re scared and they hate you, but at least now you’re not invisible.
That anger and frustration and need to be heard is what started all of this. No, it’s not the nicest thing in the world to do. Yes, people are being hurt and yes, I fully believe the people responsible for that should be arrested. However, it’s not because they’re just looking to cause trouble. There is far more to it than that.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
A Marietta mother may serve more time than the driver who hit and killed her 4-year-old son.
Raquel Nelson, 30, could be sentenced to up to 36 months at a hearing July 26, said David Savoy, her attorney. She was convicted Tuesday of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct, said Savoy.
Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting the child when pleading guilty to hit-and-run, served a 6-month sentence. He was released Oct. 29, 2010, and will serve the remainder of a 5-year sentence on probation, according to Cobb court records.
Nelson was attempting to cross at the intersection of Austell Road and Austell Circle with her three children when her son was struck by a car, said Savoy. The child later died from his injuries. Nelson and her younger daughter suffered minor injuries and her older daughter was not injured.
Guy confessed to having consumed “a little” alcohol earlier in the day, being prescribed pain medication and being partially blind in his left eye, said David Simpson, his attorney.
Also, just to be clear, the reason she was “crossing somewhere other than a crosswalk” is because she had finished grocery shopping with her four year old in tow, and there IS no crosswalk close to the bus stop that she and her child had just been dropped. So the city fails to plan appropriately to ensure pedestrian safety, a partially blind man on alcohol and pain pills plows into a four year old child, and the child’s mother is sent to prison. Justice?
We should also note that Nelson is a Black woman, and was convicted of vehicular homicide by an all-White jury, NONE of whose members had ever been dependent on public transit.
Black mothers and poor mothers are disproportionately penalized for harm that befalls their children in the United States. Any mistake that they make is seen as indicative of “bad motherhood,” rather than just an isolated tragic mistake that might be forgiven in a White, middle-class woman. This plays out especially clearly in cases where children are forgotten in cars (where women in general are more likely to be prosecuted, because men are rarely seen as equally responsible for parenting to begin with), but the same issues are present here.
Interesting Discussions of X-Men: First Class and Allegory Ahoy
“No matter Hollywood’s attempt to convey moral ambiguity, the viewer is obviously intended to side with Xavier when it all comes down. But the way most of the X-Men films have portrayed human aggression toward mutants resonates a little closely with, y’know, real life violence and oppression toward people of color, towards queer and gender non-conforming people, women. These are types of oppression which do not afford the privilege of a tolerant, “oh someday they’ll learn” attitude. As someone who supports the autonomy of communities to come together to defend themselves, ESPECIALLY against direct physical threats, it’s really hard to villanize someone like Magneto who, as portrayed in this most recent film, just wants the basic right to exist without conforming his identity or experience to a non-mutant expectation - someone who, as a Holocaust survivor, knows the extremes of human intolerance, someone who is expected to overlook his experience and try having faith in humanity again”
And this is why Charles Xavier is a sheltered cock.
so, so true (although I interpreted the film as the heroic journey of Magneto, esp. with the ending scene, despite what the writers intended the audience to take away from the film)
Whoa I was totally left with the opposite! I think they pointed out frequently that Charles has had sheltered, privileged little life. The people that went with Magneto knew what it felt like to marginalized: Mystique, a sex worker, a Jewish dude, that…windy person who I didn’t think was Caucasian, and the demon dude that would stick out anywhere?
I think the most “Magneto is right” part is when Charles goes “They’re just following orders”. It’s such an awful thing to say, especially to a Holocaust survivor, and that is one of the mantras that is pretty famously attached to war but I would say ESPECIALLY WWII (correct me if I’m wrong). But especially in this context it’s like “REMEMBER NAZIS”. That one moment really hit home for me that Charles can never really understand, even though he’s brilliant, even though he can read people’s minds and understands so much (again, correct me if I’m wrong but I thought that was even a line in the movie?).
It just really made it clear to me, and to Magneto I think, that “Charles, with all his privilege, with all his money, will never understand.” It was so painful and enraging to me! Weren’t some of the most painful parts how disturbingly unfeeling he was to his SISTER? For me, every time it happened it was clear that he didn’t understand what she was feeling at all.
Even his THESIS was like “our ancestors killed the lower species” and still his mind does not connect any dots to the trouble there. Charles is simultaneously very deep but also painfully shallow! Unrealistic and lacking a true understanding! (Using his powers to hit on girls? Invading people’s privacy rather casually for his own means?). If I’m not mistaken, his goal was to be a professor! At a very prestigious (RICH AND EXCLUSIVE) college! While on the surface this seems very nice it’s also pretty bourgeoisie and pretentious and not very practical/pragmatic.
I was left going “MAGNETO IS RIGHT FOREVER” and AT BEST “This is an ambiguous movie”. I mean maybe I’m biased to think this way because I’m a minority but that is literally how I took it = what made me so happy about the film.
Excellent commentary. I’ve been following X-Men comics forever (srsly, like 17 years, I’m not kidding) and I’d never given half a shit about Xavier before this film. At first I was scared I’m just that fucking shallow and the cute Scottish guy was blinding me, but in retrospect I realized it’s because they basically spent the whole film driving home how sheltered and spoiled and just awfully privileged he is. He’s such a Well Meaning Privileged Dude, he wants to be a champion for a minority but he doesn’t really grasp what systematic opression actually is because apart from being a mutant (and one with a inobtrusive mutation that allows him to pass, at that) the system has always worked for him and not against him, so he fails epically. It’s like he’s inventing the mutant version of mansplaining.
Seriously, if we weren’t supposed to think he was being a dickbag in all those scenes where he kept telling Raven to dial back the freaky blue look, I don’t know what the fuck else they were in the movie for.
(But the windy dude is played by a Spanish actor, as in a Spaniard, not Latino, so he’s actually white… but at the same time, if they didn’t want to exotify him in a ~hawt Mediterranean guy, olé flamenco~ kind of way I really don’t get the point of casting a foreign actor and then not giving him ANY lines because his English sucks or whatever, so the point still stands, I guess.)
Some Marvel writers have favored Magneto over the years, but I think X-Men: First Class actually took one of the most sympathetic lenses on his radical and resistance-based worldview that the X-Men canon ever has: when Charles pleads with Erik that the soldiers are “just following orders,” I don’t think audiences are supposed to do anything but cringe at Charles’s horrible, privileged, ruinous gaffe. Nor to perceive that Erik’s concern for Raven and belief she’ll be happier living as herself is anything but sincere and idealistic. It’s definitely Erik Lehnsherr’s tragic arc, but secondarily it’s Charles Xavier’s, I think, as it’s sort of the side-by-side stories of How Pain and Oppression Drove Erik Lehnsherr to Radical Extremism and How His Own Naivete and Arrogance Destroyed Charles Xavier’s Dream for Unity. It’s the opposite of what I feared — what sucks in the long term is that even if that’s so, X-Men canon proves the tone-argument viewpoint of Professor X “right” and the angry viewpoint of Magneto “wrong.” But that was always inevitable with Magneto — I love him, he is my favorite Marvel character, but I know that validating his beliefs as anything but tragically-vengeful at best would undermine the whole pleasant status quo of Marvel morality.
On the other hand, when it comes to non-allegorical oppression, the movie’s abysmal, and that’s the problem that really sticks with me. I didn’t know Riptide was a white Spaniard, so I’m pleased to hear that; however, Darwin was fridged and Angel could’ve been taken in a “her oppression as a Latina stripper has made her sick of oppression” direction but instead came off as “evil skanky Latina stripper.” When it came to real oppressed minorities, X-Men: First Class did shit-all. So while I’m glad it did well by the allegory, the actual subtext of the casting choices was horrible.
Joel Mchale, Chris Colfer and Neil Patrick Harris’ faces during this video in which Ed O’Neill and Rob Lowe complain about being offered great roles for small amount of money.
wow. this is. wow. good heavens, $40,000 for six weeks of work! that’s craziness! it’s not like most of america works for less than that much money a YEAR. meanwhile chris colfer is just sitting there like, “let me take a drink so i don’t say something i’ll regret.”
pulling focus, bringing realness.
that bottom left expression is amazing.
Oh my god, Chris’ face throughout this entire video is amazing. And Ed O’Neill and Rob Lowe just made me want to vomit.