POVERTY IS NOT NEGLECT!
Recently the South Dakota legislature redefined neglect, putting at risk many low-income families and skyrocketing the amount of native children placed in Foster Care.
Testimonies we have received from Native families in South Dakota provides evidence that often times DSS workers view poverty as neglect.
7 of the 11 poorest counties in the U.S. are made up mostly of reservation land in South Dakota. All on the western side of the state.
Every year, roughly 743 Native children are seized from their family and tribe. Of the children who are not returned to their families, only about half will be placed in foster homes at all. The other half will reside in state institutions.
HELP US INVESTIGATE SOUTH DAKOTA’S TREATMENT OF NATIVE CHILDREN AND FOSTER CARE SERVICES
'You have to think of a different kind of menu,' says Alice [Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and organic Slow Food guru]. 'You eat dried fruit and nuts. You make pasta sauces out of canned tomatoes … you're eating different kinds of grains—farro with root vegetables … Turnips of every color and shape! Carrots that are white and red and orange and pink! … Cabbages!'
Basically, you can eat like a fucking Russian peasant, is what she’s saying. I don’t know if that’s what they want to hear in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Buffalo. And what about the healthy, pure, wholesome, and organic foods that Alice says I should be buying—particularly if I have children? If I’m making an even average wage as, say, a sole-providing police officer or middle manager? Regular milk is about four bucks a gallon. Organic is about twice that. Supermarket grapes are about four bucks a bunch. Organic are six. More to the point, what if I’m one of the vast numbers of working poor, getting by in the service sector? What should I do? How can I afford that?
Asked this question very directly, Alice advises blithely that one should ‘Make a sacrifice on the cell phone or a third pair of Nike shoes.’ It’s an unfortunate choice of words. And a telling one, I think. You know, those poor people—always with their Nikes and their cell phones. If only they’d listen to Alice. She’d lead them to the promised land for sure.
What else should we be doing? Alice says we should immediately spend 27 billion dollars to ensure every schoolchild in America gets a healthy, organic lunch. More recently she added to this number the suggestion that fresh flowers on every lunchroom table might also be a worthwhile idea. This is, after all, ‘more important than crime in the streets. This is not like homeland security—this is actually the ultimate homeland security. This is more important than anything else.’
Which is where Alice really loses me—because, well, for me, as a New Yorker, however quaint the concept, homeland security is still about keeping suicidal mass murderers from flying planes into our fucking buildings. And organic school lunches might be more important to you than crime in the streets in Berkeley—but in the underfunded school systems of West Baltimore, I suspect they feel differently. A healthy lunch is all fine and good—but no use at all to Little Timmy if he gets shot to death on the way to school. In fact, 27 billion for organic food for Timmy seems a back-assward priority right now—as, so far, we’ve failed miserably to even teach him to read. What kind of dreams can a well-fed boy have if he doesn’t even have the tools to articulate them? How can he build a world for himself if he doesn’t know how to ask for—much less how to get—the things he wants and needs? I, for one, would be very satisfied if Timmy gets a relatively balanced slab of fresh but nonorganic meatloaf with a side of competently frozen broccoli—along with reading skills and a chance at a future. Once literate, well read, and equipped with the tools to actually make his way in the world, he’ll be far better prepared to afford Chez Panisse.
As of this writing, not too far from Berkeley, just across the bridge, in San Francisco’s Mission District, they line up every Tuesday for the $1.99 special at Popeye’s Fried Chicken. They don’t stand in the street waiting for forty-five minutes to an hour because it’s particularly healthy chicken, or organic chicken, or conscientiously raised chicken. They do it because it’s three fucking pieces for a dollar ninety-nine. Unless we respect that reality, Alice? We’re lost."
Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and People Who Cook
Bourdain devotes an entire chapter of his book to decimating Alice Waters, who has been lauded in a 60 Minutes puff piece as “the Mother of Slow Food” (which is a bullshit claim). He admits that he was perhaps overdoing it when he called her “Pol Pot in a muumuu” in an interview — but only barely (he also called saccharine blonde Semi-Homemade host Sandra Lee “the hellspawn of Betty Crocker and Charles Manson” and called her Kwanzaa Cake “a war crime on television”, so Waters is far from alone). Bourdain selects his targets for a reason, and Waters is a highly suitable stand-in for the growing ranks of white, privileged, socially ignorant eco-food ideological stick-wavers whose contempt for communities of color and for the poor ooze out through their self-righteous evangelism.
In a typical move, Waters wrote an open letter to the newly elected president Obama warning that “the purity and wholesomeness of the Obama movement must be accompanied by a parallel effort in food”. She appointed herself onto an advisory committee to help the Obamas select “a person with integrity and devotion” as White House Chef, adding “I cannot forget the vision I have had since 1993 of a beautiful vegetable garden on the White House lawn” — apparently oblivious that they already had a chef of “integrity and devotion” and a vegetable garden. This, from someone who has boasted that she hasn’t voted since 1966. Nevertheless, the Obamas were cool and invited her to the White House to throw a series of dinners and help expand the garden. As an example of her sustainable, locavorian ways, she flew in big-name chefs from all over the country for a five-hundred-dollar-a-plate gala, as though there are no qualified chefs in Washington fucking DC. This is why I appreciate what Tony Bourdain does. His targets usually deserve it. He’s a linguistic assassin, and sometimes that’s just what’s needed. And yeah, it feels good too. Plus, say what you want but I dig Popeye’s.
Why Does Anyone Still Think It’s OK To Listen To R. Kelly?
R. Kelly is one of the most successful R&B artists of our time. He’s sold 54 million records…
By celebrating R. Kelly and other men like him, whether it’s because they’re geniuses, family members or “pillars” of our community, we’re implicitly saying to victims of sexual assault that their bodies and stories don’t matter. You can be urinated on, married at an age when you cannot legally give your consent, manipulated and coerced. You can gather the courage to come forward to the police; however, we will honor, protect and revere the man who violated you, rather than honor your courage by ensuring your words aren’t in vain.
R. Kelly’s legacy isn’t that of a tortured genius who had legal woes. R Kelly’s legacy is one that shows me what happens when society is silent. If we look inwardly, we’ll admit that although we weren’t co-conspirators, in our silence we have become complicit. We didn’t shout enough. We didn’t demand more.
We didn’t demand more for Aaliyah, Tiffany, Tracy, Patrice, the young woman on the sex tape and the other girls who never came forward. And why should anyone else come forward? History has demonstrated that even if they do speak, we will reward their testimony not just with silence but with turning the radio up even louder.
John Elder Robison, "I resign my roles at Autism Speaks"
Robison was the only openly autistic person among 37 people on the Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Board and the only openly autistic person among 19 people on the Autism Speaks Treatment Advisory Board. Zero members of the AS Board of Directors, most senior executive staff, or Government Relations Team are openly autistic.
And now, after three years, Robison has resigned as well.
The obsession with Asian eyes, especially the shape, dates back centuries. And it seems like the easiest way to describe an Asian person’s eyes is by likening them to nuts. Specifically, almonds. Like many others, I’ve thought: Hey! My eyes aren’t even shaped like these things. And comparing the eyes of Asian folks to almonds isn’t even really accurate, according to blogger Claire Light. She superimposed almonds over the eyes of Asian and white people. Light concludes, exasperated: “People, do I have to spell it out for you? East Asians don’t have almond shaped eyes. White people do.”
But where does the phrase “almond-shaped eyes” come from?
Kat Chow breaks it down on NPR’s Code Switch blog.
Every time I’m asked to make feminism more palatable to men, it’s this giant reminder that my humanity is dependent on how much men like me, not something people think I deserve inherently.
Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?
Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?
How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”
Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, “Your sexual experiences don’t dictate your worth just like a woman’s sexual experiences don’t dictate hers.”
Last but not least, do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word “slut” liberally? Or when you overheard him talking about some girl from school as if she were more of a conquest than a person?
I want you to consider these conversations and then ask yourself why you don’t remember them. The likely reason is because you didn’t have them. In fact, most parents haven’t had them."
Not being a rapist should not be a symbol of being a hero; it should be the bare minimum for decent behavior. Refusing to sleep with someone who is too intoxicated to consent or who is being forced into sex because someone is threatening her does not make you a “good guy;” it just means that you pass one of the lowest bars for basic humane treatment.
That these movies are using that act as some sort of shorthand for “hero” is troubling. It implies that these men are doing something extraordinary by resisting the urge (and often it is an urge that they have to resist, especially in the films where they end up having consensual sex with the women later) to rape or take advantage of these women. Ultimately, that narrative helps support the idea that avoiding rape is a difficult thing, something worthy of praise.
The truth is that avoiding rape isn’t hard. If you don’t have consent, you don’t have sex. If you’re not sure that you have consent, you don’t have sex. If you are unable to get consent because of the person’s condition, you don’t have sex. If you get consent and you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have sex."
The Invisible War (Kirby Dick, 2012)
This is depressingly accurate.
Everyone I talk to or have heard talk about SNAP negatively seems to have a story about how they saw somebody buy crab legs “with food stamps” and somehow think this is a valid argument against our country’s most effective and least fraudulent program.
This June, Louie Gohmert (R-TX) cited his numerous “broken-hearted” constituents (I’m sure they shed many a tear over the 49 million Americans living in food insecurity) who seem to have all seen someone buy crab legs with food stamps.
Dear broken-hearted, hard-working Americans: I don’t believe you. First of all, there are way too many of you making this claim. (One person didn’t even see someone buying crab legs - just saw that a business had the audacity to try and increase its market access a little by accepting EBT - how’s that for anti-capitalist?) This is just what I’ve gleaned from a quick Internet search - not counting conversations I’ve had with people. You’re a liar spreading around an urban legend to mask the fact that you hate poor people. Maybe it’s time for some self reflection. I am not claiming that nobody has ever bought crab legs on SNAP. In truth, it is 100% legal. And it totally should be.
First though, I want to address why I just called you a liar. Maybe one of you did see someone pay for crab legs with food stamps. If you saw this happen at any time after 2004, you must have a very sharp eye as well as a knack for invading someone’s personal space at the grocery store, as all SNAP benefits are now processed electronically with EBT cards that look just like debit cards.
Second of all, how can so many of you claim to have seen this apparent travesty? I’ve seen people buy crab legs using ANY form of payment at the supermarket maybe twice, three times in my life. Now, anecdotal evidence is no foundation to make an argument on, right? Well here’s some math for you. Per capita, Americans ate 0.57 pounds of crab meat in 2010. That’s 0.57 pounds out of a total 1,997 in a year, or 0.028% of food purchased in the US. I am really skeptical that so many of you were witness to such a minor transaction. Maybe you should all start buying lotto tickets, I don’t know.
So yes, some people have purchased crab legs using EBT. If you claim to have witnessed this though, you’re either a liar, a no-good nosy neighbor, or a witness to a specific 0.028% of American food purchases.
But you’re probably still mad that the Poors are buying crab legs, living fat off the government dole, right? Of course you are.
The hard-working American you are, I know you’ve scrimped and saved to have a celebration every now and then - a 25th wedding anniversary, a Christmas dinner, a child’s birthday. Who are you to deny someone less well-off than you the same comforts? I guess you need to be eating shoes before you’re deserving of help in America. None of us live off crab legs or other “luxury” food items, though. If we buy them at all, we buy them to celebrate, be with family, eat with one another, take a break from life.
It’s still not fair, it’s my tax dollars!
Yes, and it’s their benefits. First and foremost, choice is an important pillar of American consumerist life. If you did not have the right to choose what you bought at the grocery store, you’d be up in arms.
But even beyond that, crab meat, calorie for calorie, is healthier and cheaper than all but the lowest quality beef. Here’s some examples from the PeaPod grocery website:
Cost: $4.50/lb; cost per 85g (3 oz serving) - $0.84
Protein: 22.6g protein per 85g serving (26.59% protein by mass).
Cost per gram of protein - 3.7 cents
Calories: 293 per 85g serving; calories from fat, 197 (63% calories from fat).
Cost per calorie - 3.4 cents
Cost: $12/lb; cost per 85g (3 oz serving) - $2.25
Protein: 14.8g protein per 85g serving (17.4% protein by mass)
Cost per gram of protein: 15 cents
Calories: 73 per 85g serving; calories from fat, 7.4 (10% calories from fat).
Cost per calorie - 3 cents
In terms a of a low-fat diet, crab legs are a great way to get a lot of protein without a lot of fat.
I challenge people who are opposed to SNAP to stop throwing this totally useless anecdote around. It is a myth, based on a kernel of truth, that has grown out of proportion. If we’re going to have a serious debate about food assistance policy in the US, it’s time for you to stop peeking at receipts in the grocery store and start using data.
Someone sent me an Ask recently about welfare fraud. Have some info!
hey teenage girls
i know the world sees you as shallow, useless, and the butt of a lot of jokes.
but i know you are awesome, smart, and strong.
this is not a lead on or anything. i am a grown woman who remembers what it’s like to be a teen girl and how people dismiss just about everything you say and experience ( unless it sells products or creates national drama, then you’re important ).
know that there are a lot of us women out there who are looking out for you and we believe you and believe in you.
Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak, on the question “Have any readers ever asked questions that shocked you?”
Read that again. Read it again, and again, and again. Over and over guys have asked her why Melinda was so upset about being raped. This is a girl who went to a party with friends. She was thirteen. She had a drink, because everyone else was. And a senior held her down and raped her while she was too drunk to get away.
And guys don’t understand why she was upset.
Read that again and then come back and tell me again why I should just shut up and take a joke when a comedian blows off rape as a big deal, or women’s bodies are casually treated as commodities in media. Remind me why I shouldn’t care about the very real harm that society’s treatment of women and sexual assault does.