Proof Poor People Deserve to Wallow in Misery Unassisted

Anecdotally, a financially comfortable person told me that once they saw someone they think was poor who was wearing what appeared to be an expensive accessory. Therefore all assistance to the poor is used unwisely and it is morally acceptable for society to allow its most vulnerable members to wallow in humiliating misery.

You Are Probably Richer Than You Think

Reality check: those in America who make $200k a year or more are in the TOP 3% of income earners. Did you think $200k makes you middle class? Wrong- it makes you RICH.

I think somehow most of us got it twisted and think that you have to be the ultrarich 0.001% to be rich.

No.

We hear so much *from* and *about* the ultrarich, while the truly poor are almost totally silenced, that we have completely skewed ideas about what wealth is and what poverty is. This is how even the rich are fooled into thinking they are struggling and part of the middle class.

Whereas only 3% of American households make $200k or more annually, 20% make $20k or LESS. We have a fuckload of poor people and we can’t even ACKNOWLEDGE that $200k is rich.

“Patriarchal, Racist & Mean-Spirited” Law Temporarily Blocked in Florida

Florida’s brand new Tea Party-approved law requiring all food stamp and other public assistance applicants to pass a drug test before accessing aid has been temporarily blocked. It seems Federal Judge Mary Scriven was concerned it violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.

Before signing the law, [Governor Rick] Scott made several references to people on welfare using drugs at a higher rate than the general population. Maria Kayanan, of the ACLU in Florida, called the law “patriarchal, racist and mean-spirited.”

Pre-judicial block, while the law was in operation, over 99% of applicants passed their tests. (6,968 out of 7,000)

This Tea Party-approved measure is estimated to cost the Florida government $178 million a year.

Sounds like a small-government, cut-wasteful-spending, fiscal-conservative type of measure to me. That’s why I’m certain it has nothing to do with poor-bashing, stereotypes, or racism. Just the cold hard facts!

It’s not like we need myths about the good-for-nothingness of the poor to prop up the solid truth of our tots meritocratic capitalist economic system.

Oh, and FYI, Gov. Scott founded the company, Solantic, that has the sole government contract to do this testing.

The US Forcibly Sterilized 60,000 Americans

Between 1920 and 1970, the United States government forcibly sterilized 60,000 Americans because they were poor and/or people of color. The justification was that there would be future savings for welfare programs.

Elaine Riddick was 14 years old when she was raped. When she gave birth 9 months later, the government labeled her “promiscuous” and “feeble-minded” and had her sterilized.

Elaine Riddick, sterilization victim

Elaine Riddick speaks out.

From WCTV:

When Elaine Riddick gave birth to her son 43 years ago, doctors sterilized her on orders from the State of North Carolina.

“They cut me open like I was a hog,” says Elaine Riddick, a sterilization victim.

Riddick was only 14 at the time, a victim of rape. She didn’t realize until years later, when she was married, that she would never again have children. The state had deemed her too feeble-minded to have them.

“I am not feeble minded, I have never been feeble minded,” Riddick says.

…”The people who were the focus of this movement were the dispossessed of society, the poor, common criminals and in some cases, simply people of color,” says Paul Lombardo, Georgia State University.

It seems like somebody knew what they were doing was probably wrong…

Most of the sterilization laws, including North Carolina’s, were written to give states immunity from lawsuits.

-From CBS

LAND OF THE FREE HOME OF THE BRAVE!!!

Poor People Blighting New Orleans

“The blight eradication program, if not done correctly, can become a poor-person eradication program,” said Lance Hill, the executive director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research, a race relations center based at Tulane University.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu intends to eliminate “10,000 broken-down properties” in three years. Guess who doesn’t have enough money to repair Katrina-damaged homes. Guess whose homes are slated to be eliminated.

What Else Would You Ban from Me?

If there are two things we know incontrovertibly about poor people, it is that they are stupid and obese. What with their drinking of soda and purchasing of cheap, unhealthy foods. Don’t they know that’s why they’re all fat? No they don’t, because they are uneducated and also obviously bad decision makers. I mean, if they chose to be low-income, can they really be trusted to make other, smaller choices correctly? Good thing millionaire NYC Mayor Bloomberg is right on top of that with a ban just for food stamp recipients on “sugary drinks”.

Of course, these “sugary drinks” largely don’t contain real sugar. They contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, which indeed has been linked to obesity, moreso than plain sugar. So why are these drinks called “sugary” and not “fructose-y”? DUH.

So if HFCS is SOOOO bad that it must be banned, why not ban it from everyone? Why just poor people? Why can’t poor people make their own choices?

Ooooh right, because A) poor people have no power, and B) SO WE CAN EXPERIMENT ON THEM!

The mayor requested a ban for two years to study whether it would have a positive impact on health

That sounds ethical. Non-consensual human experimentation while infringing on the autonomy of a specific demographic of citizens? Yeah.

Charing Ball at the Atlantic Post writes:

Despite the many years of research, our politicians have yet to figure out why obesity and socioeconomic class are often interconnected.

…Moreover, not everyone…can afford to spend his or her “whole paychecks” on “organic” and “healthy.” Can someone explain to me why a 1,000 calories bag of potato chips is cheaper than a 44-calorie apple? Oh yeah, that right: because our government subsidizes many of the food items found within that bag of potato chips as oppose to fresh fruits and veggies, which we are suppose to eat.

I probably wouldn’t be so outraged at this ban if it also came with a plan – and funding – to address the issue of food insecurity in many of these lower income communities, many of which are more likely to have several fast food restaurants and no adequate supermarket. Giving grocery stores tax incentives for doing business in low-income neighborhoods is just as effective as food bans at giving these lower income families access to healthier options.

How about this: Don’t make rules that only apply to one group. Especially if that one group is historically oppressed by the group making the rules. Condescending government paternalism doesn’t change the real reason why many impoverished people experience obesity. It isn’t poor people’s “fault” for our cultural and social conditions that have ramped up obesity and other illness… it is the fault of corporations who have something to gain. Why punish the victim and let the perpetrator go unscrutinized?

What else does it “make sense” to you to ban from me and my poor brethren? Cookies? Jello? Potato chips? Is there anything else that you higher income people would like to ban from the poor? Let’s get it all out now so I can start planning how to do without.

Why ban it from me but not from yourself? Oh right, I’m spending your tax dollars on a soda. Since food stamps are about 1.6% of the federal budget, which is half of the interest we pay on the national debt, and 1/10th of the Defense Budget, clearly my soda purchases, which come directly from your paycheck, are what’s wrong with government today. Let us recall that we aren’t talking about shrinking the food stamp budget, so ban or no ban the amount of the budget the program goes up or down only based on how many people are poor.

Soda

Poor people can't handle the high level of maturity that soda-drinking requires.

Here are articles by two of my fave bloggers explaining this point
better than I could:
Shakesville
Womanist Musings

Also read Why the Food Stamp Soft Drink Ban Is BS at A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss.

US Poverty Numbers

Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate 1959-2009

From Ezra Klein:

We’ve seen a big jump in the poverty rate in the past two years, of course, but we also saw a mild increase in the years before that. Between 2001 and 2007, the poverty rate increased from 11.7 percent to 12.5 percent. But the economy grew in every one of those years. This was the first period since we began keeping records in which the economy expanded but poverty went up — usually, economic expansions bring the poverty rate down. It’s more evidence that the pre-crisis “normal” was an economy that wasn’t working very well for a lot of people, even when it was growing.

H/t Chris P.

Are You Unemployed? Would You Like to Feel Worse About Yourself?

Ben Stein is always available to help you understand your worthlessness.

The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job.

I mean, he understands your recession troubles, because his rich friends “in the very tony neighborhoods where I hang out, like Beverly Hills and Rancho Mirage and Malibu” are having hardships too. It’s just that he needs you to comprehend the fact that you have no value as a human being.

Limbaugh Mocks Impoverished Children

I am mostly speechless, so please listen to this recording of Rush Limbaugh’s mocking tirade against impoverished children, which will not imbed on my site for some reason.

Part of the rant:

[W]e’re going to start a feature on this program: “Where to find food.”

[T]he first will be: “Try your house.”

If that doesn’t work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. You know where McDonald’s is.

There’s another place if none of these options work to find food; there’s always the neighborhood dumpster.

Can you imagine the benefit we would provide people?

Playground Jail for Public Housing Children

New York City has a real subtle way of expressing its feelings towards its public housing inhabitants:

Public Housing Playground Jail

This snapshot was taken at a Brooklyn public housing development. Though it looks like it, the word “jail” and the jail details are not the work of a clever and/or mean-spirited sticker-er, but actually are printed directly onto the playground material, i.e. came that way from the manufacturer. I.e. these items were deliberated ordered, were received, and were erected all by people who knew they were ordering a play jail for the children of color that live in this public housing development in a part of town where police harassment is common, and police murder of locals (of color) not unheard of.

Who can name all of the things wrong with this scenario?

TRICK QUESTION! It’s impossible because there are infinity number of things wrong with it.

NYCHA (NYC Housing Authority): Just getting them poor kids of color ready for their place in society.

Via blackandbrownnews.com. H/t Cynthia.

Here’s the NYT article.

Free School Lunches Encourage ‘Stray Animals’ to ‘Breed’

I love it when American leadership poor-bashes!

Andre BauerSouth Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer was speaking at a town hall meeting when he felt the urge to discuss poor people who receive government aid:

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”

The news media have pointed out that 58% of school-age children in Bauer’s state qualify for free or low cost lunch.

But that hole was not deep enough by Bauer’s exacting standards. So he kept digging.

“I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina. You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I’ll show you the worst test scores, folks. It’s there, period.”

and…

“So how do you fix it? Well you say, ‘Look, if you receive goods or services from the government, then you owe something back.’ “

and…

“They can continue to have more and more kids, and the reward is there’s more and more money in it for them.”

Where to start? The suggestion that starving poor people will stop them from “breeding”? The suggestion that while the well-off classes are thinking people who make love, the poor are thoughtless “animals” who “breed”? The weird idea that receiving free lunch makes you a bad student? The suggestion that the poor have to pay back their aid to the government?

It’s not like food is a human right or anything. It’s not like it’s morally reprehensible to suggest starving children based on what class of society they were born into.

How is Bauer not transparent as he blames all of our problems on a despised, disenfranchised minority?

Racewire has some great analysis:

Sarcasm aside, it’s real easy, regardless of background, to buy into the ‘welfare queen’ racialized stereotype — the Black mother popping out kids and living well on the taxpayer’s money, because she has the morals of a common animal. That image has been complemented in recent years by the ‘illegal immigrant’ having ‘anchor babies’ and refusing to learn how to speak American. Call it one of Reagan’s many gifts to the nation he hated so much: a method by which amoral rich white men can change the subject away from themselves.

The truth is that poverty, and everything connected to it, is a systemic issue, not an issue of choice. It’s a lot easier to make it to that parent-teacher conference when you have a good job with benefits and child care. And it’s a lot easier to have that good job when your parents could afford to get you into a good college, and when your family’s lived for generations in a neighborhood with access to public transportation and grocery stores — when you never had to learn about redlining. When the ground you walk on doesn’t make you or your kids sick, because your neighborhood has always had the political clout to keep that oil refinery from being built next door.

“We Are Not Animals in the Hood”

Lisa Gray-Garcia has written a superb article for Poor People Magazine about a new phenomena of “Gang Tours” in LA, where tourists can pay to see REAL! graffiti, the Skid Row, “all-black” public housing, and even The World’s Largest Jail! Now white people too can enjoy Compton and South Central Los Angeles, after purchasing the $65 ticket and then riding in air-conditioned (bullet-proof?) buses on this “customized high-end specialty tour”.

LA Gang ToursLA Gang Tours is a non-profit run by LA activists, which says the profits will be funneled back into the community.

Lisa Gray-Garcia says the tours “zoo-ify” poor people and people of color, who will clearly not be paying $65 to drive around looking at projects, tags and bullet holes.

Some evidence makes the zoo-ification more than speculative:

From the LA Times:

But one backer said he also hopes to stage dance-offs between locals; tourists would pick a winner and fork over a cash prize. It wasn’t long ago that organizers decided against a plan to have kids shoot tourists with water pistols, followed by the sale of T-shirts that read: “I Got Shot in South-Central.”

Come see how they live! In their natural environment! We’ll even make the natives dance!

Commenter ipastor01 at the Huffington Post wrote:

OJ’s house, Brentwood

Manson Moorders, Beverly Hills

Neverland Ranch, Santa Barbara

Polanski case, Hollywood Hills

Do come down to my neighborhood to get away form those crime ridden cities running wild with thugs.

Take it away Lisa:

One of the many oxymoronic aspects of this concept is the notion… that our neighborhoods, our communities, our corners, our schools, and our homes, are crazy, dirty, sick, disgusting and must be cleaned up, cleaned out and eradicated, hygienic metaphors about humans scattered about with impunity. And the complete and utter disregard for the fact that in everyone of these so-called, blighted neighborhoods, filthy apartment buildings and poor people schools, homes and communities, there are families and elders and children of color who are living, thriving, learning, and resisting. There are heroes, and leaders, and lecturers and healers, and dreamers and teachers, and poets and artists, revolutionaries and scholars…

I started this piece by saying I had terror in my heart about the gang tours, but be clear its not terror for the poor, unsuspecting tourist, default colonizers and 21st century missionaries, stumbling and trampling over our communities and cultures as the well-meaning gang tours commence, rather, its terror for the residents of the proposed tour sites, and so I caution all of the community members, families and young people to hold on carefully to their purses, wallets, belongings, poetry, art and scholarship, cause, well, you know how dangerous those tourists can be.

Please read her whole article at Poor Magazine.

Whites Favorite Race of the Human Rights Campaign

Totally not news: the Human Rights Campaign continues to center the experiences of white middle-to-upper class gays while claiming to exist for the good of all LGBT people. Their tagline is: Working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights. But if that were the case, why are they so focused on the agenda of a certain class, race, and gender subset of the community?

New York LGBT activist and blogger Kenyon Farrow has an opinion about this.

One quote:

[A recent] study showed that black gay and lesbian couples had higher poverty rates than their black straight counterparts, and three times higher than white gay couples. White gay male couples with jobs and no children had higher incomes than all compared groups – even heterosexual couples.

My Crime Is Biking While Female (and living in a classist, racist nation)

Last night, I rode my bike home from an event a couple miles from my house.

It was nearly 2 am and I had some concerns about drunk drivers. I turned down a driveway passage that leads between some public housing complexes near my house to avoid the cars racing up and down the major roads.

As I was riding through the central courtyard, I noticed a group of rather large men, dressed all in black, standing together at one end.

As I passed them, they took note of my presence and started shouting at me. They yelled out “HEY!” several times and demanded that I stop and talk with them.

It took me zero seconds to decide that would be a piss poor idea and to peddle all the faster. Usually ignoring such attention from men and leaving the area quickly is enough.

Not this time. I realized one of the men was literally chasing me. I was overwhelmed with fear. I didn’t even want to imagine what a cluster of five men hanging out in a dark corner at 2 am and shouting at women would want with me. My whole body went cold and I peddled as fast as I could, aiming for the bright lights of the nearest busy street.

I heard one of the men shout “Police!” and thought maybe a police officer was coming to the rescue.

Oh how wrong I was.

Because these men were the police.

That realization did not make me feel any better. I quickly assessed my options and decided to stop before any guns were drawn. Though I experience white skin privilege, the police in my neighborhood are so accustomed to abusing the marginalized communities here that I believed white privilege wouldn’t overcome their “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality.

The five police officers approached and surrounded me. Up close I could see that their dark clothing was black or navy uniforms with policey-decorations on them. They were all white, which I thought was odd for this majority-POC neighborhood. They demanded to know what I was doing in “the projects”. I responded that I was riding my bike home, and that the complexes were between my starting point and destination. They told me that this is a “high crime area” and that I “shouldn’t be around here”. I informed them that that was unreasonable because I live “around here”. That sounding deeply implausible, the leader demanded my ID and accused me of fleeing the police. He and three officers went a few paces away and huddled, speaking in low tones, for the next 15 minutes. One officer was left to monitor me.

I was thoroughly frightened and confused. I had only planned on a quick 10-minute bikeride from hanging out with friends to my home. Being shouted at, chased, and surrounded by a group of five big-bodied men… it hadn’t really occurred to me as a possibility. I expressed my confusion at this turn of the events and questioned my detention. They told me to wait.

Eventually, the leader of the group stalked up to me and in a raised, aggressive voice informed me that I was charged with disorderly conduct and riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. He informed me that I had known all along they were police, that I had shouted insults at them, and that I had deliberately tried to flee them.

This was, of course, news to me. I explained that when I pass noisy groups of men who shout at me in dark passages in the wee hours, it is simply a matter of survival that I get out of the situation, and that any woman in my place would do the same. He repeated that I had known they were police and had intentionally committed this crime.

He handed me the tickets and I got out of there fast. I have never felt so unsafe in my own neighborhood. I have never been harassed in this manner in my neighborhood before. I feel thankful that I came out of the situation with my life. That may be my white privilege. Around here, as around the country, police have a reputation for murdering black people. They murdered one man earlier this summer for the crime of being on his porch and telling a disguised under-cover cop to stop loitering on his property. He was killed in his own front doorway.

Some other reflections:

1. All this shouting and chasing and harassing was in the courtyard of a large housing complex full of families. I am talking hundreds of people. How safe can they feel when police officers are loitering outside of their homes screaming at the top of their lungs at every passer-by? Especially when this community, being low income and of color and partly immigrant, is already subject to excessive amounts of police harassment?

2. My own white privilege was revealed to me as I came to realize that this is what my neighbors experience every day, and that I usually escape it. It’s possible that the same darkness that prevented me from seeing the police uniforms prevented them from seeing my skin tone. They may have planned on harassing a public housing resident of color, and I just blundered into the situation by assuming that I can go wherever I want without police harassment. The fact that I never realized how police interactions interlace the daily lives of my neighbors is a wake up call for me.

3. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THOSE OFFICERS? How dare they harass a woman who is traveling alone at night in an isolated location away from any busy roads (where there would be witnesses and the potential to call for help)? Are they out of their minds? How can they be so blind to their male privilege and the legitimacy privilege of possessing state power? Could they really not see why the situation they chose to create was a terrifying nightmare-scenario for their victim? How in the world is public safety achieved by men shouting at and chasing women in the night? I have never felt so unsafe in my neighborhood as I do now. My neighbors haven’t ever done anything to make me feel unsafe, and so until now I had no fears. The behavior of these men was so egregious that I believe it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find similar instances perpetrated by the supposedly dangerous inhabitants of the public housing buildings.

4. Essentially, my crime here is that I was biking while female. I acted as any rational women would react in this situation. For my natural behaviors of simply trying to survive on the street, I actually have to be a defendant in court.

5. I want to state clearly that this is an intersection of institutional and state classism and racism, and that I will not be accepting comments to the effect of “Oh you’re so naive to live near public housing and/or to think good on your neighbors.” Those comments would be classist and racist and that’s not what this post is here to talk about. Why would I be the “naive white girl” to live near these apartments, but the residents are “hardened black criminals” simply for residing inside the same apartments I live next to? The location of your home does not define you as a criminal or not, nor does your skin color nor your poverty. I guess I should say “should not” instead of “does not”. We all know that people of color, public housing residents, immigrants, and poor people are criminalized simply for existing as such.

Puke.

Share your stories of police harassment if you like. NO RACISM & NO POOR-BASHING.

NYC Rally to Support Abahlali baseMjondolo

See my previous posts on this topic here and here.

Shackdwellers Movement under attack in Durban, South Africa

Friday, October 9 2009
12:00pm- 1:30pm
outside the South African consulate
333 E 38th St, btwn 1st & 2nd Aves
(near 4/5/6 trains at 42nd St)

Members of Picture the Homeless, the Poverty Initiative, and Domestic Workers United, three NYC grassroots organizations, met with representatives from the South African Shack Dwellers Movement Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) in NYC in August. As AbM faces attack and repression in Durban, poor and struggling people and our allies in NYC make common-cause & stand with our friends in South Africa!

For more information, contact Picture the Homeless at 646-314-6423 or brandon@picturethehomeless.org and tej@picturethehomeless.org
More information about what’s going on in South Africa: http://abahlali.org
***
Abahlali baseMjondolo is making the following suggestions, in terms of folks doing actions in solidarity with their movement:
1. Affirm our right to exist and our right to be critical of the government.
2. Organize in support of our demands.
3. Support those of us who have lost their homes and all their possessions with material support.
4. Support those of us who are traumatized, including the children, with counseling and spiritual support.
5. Organize serious discussions about the nature of democracy in our country – and include delegates from poor people’s organizations in those discussions on the basis of equality.

You can also take action NOW by calling or e-mailing the South African Consulate and supporting the demands of the Shack Dwellers!
Call: 212-213-4880 or e-mail: consulate.ny@foreign.gov.za

What Anti-Racism in St. Bernard Parish Could Look Like

I was thinking about the St. Bernard Parish Housing Discrimination Saga while at work today. Or should I say, while I was bathing in cash from the huge payments I’ve been getting from Provident to write this. ;) And I was mulling over how several commenters at the above thread expressed anger at St. Bernard Parish being labeled racist, or at the label of racist being applied to themselves individually.

To wit, Amy wrote: “I am not NOT talking about race or what not. I am talking about Low-Income housing that people are on welfare and expect to get everything for free.”

Amusingly, lsder said: “In My Honest Opinion, The only racist people are the people screaming it.”

Yet in a later comment wrote: “answer two questions for me, who sold the black people into slavery(not who purchased slaves) who freed the slaves? ”

And then we have the immediately-banned Kay:

I am so sick of the race card always being played. What is funny it is the blacks who are always using it. The Blacks are their worse enemy. Look at the stats, who does the killings….blacks, who screams about race……blacks. Turn on the TV an the first thing you hear is about the murder or murders of someone……who is the suspect……..a black person.

While still arguing for an outcome in this housing battle that would have racially disparate effects and undeniable racial implications, these particular commenters claim that they are not racist and have some other motive in mind that is 100% divorced from race. Which in a situation where a white majority is making it nearly impossible for a black minority to live amongst them, is a hard argument to make.

Por ejemplo Jude (the guy who figured out I make the BIG BUCKS being a social justice blogger) escribe:

if you had any common decency you would be demanding that this developer place these apartments in a place where there is a hospital, services, and a tax base that could provide needed services. This blog isn’t about what’s best, or the right thing to do, it’s about jumping into a fight that you know little to nothing about and sadly people are going to pay for it with their lives. It’s too bad you don’t get it, but then you are probably being paid not to

Yet while his concern that low income blacks have the best possible housing built for them is one that I share, somehow I can’t bring myself to believe that the resistance to public housing in SBP is due to the fact that whites are concerned it won’t be good enough for blacks.

Perhaps my skepticism (besides it being a natural Czech trait) is due in part to comments like George Crossman’s: “Wow, all these wasted words and time on this, the bottom line is when the blacks moved to village square [demolished public housing] it ruined st bernard parish there is statistical proof of it.”

So I sez to myself, what kind of statement could a white St. Bernard Parish resident make that would make me not doubt their sincerity when they say they are not racist, or even, as some commenters have said, only have the best interest of blacks at heart?

Here’s what that would look like to me:

1. I assembled a community group who met with concerned blacks about what kind of housing would best suit the poor black community’s needs.

2. I arranged a meeting between the Parish Council and black leaders in St. Bernard.

3. I lobbied the Parish Council to ask Provident to build several smaller public housing units scattered throughout the Parish instead of simply one giant building.

4. I met with local housing advocates and asked for their opinions on affordable housing and preventing housing discrimination in St. Bernard.

5. I read up on the Fair Housing Act and the history of racial discrimination in housing in the US.

6. I organized some people to survey low income residents in St. Bernard and established a task force to implement their suggestions.

7. I took an anti-oppression class.

8. I located the former residents of the Village Square and wrote to the newspaper about their current situation and solutions to improve it.

9. I looked at recent cases where cities, parishes or counties experienced similar housing problems and learned x, y and z from their examples.

10. I learned to question common stereotypes about poor people, recipients of government aid, and blacks.

11. I volunteered my time to work in low-income communities on neighborhood beautification projects.

12. I talk with my neighbors about the harm racial discrimination brings to St. Bernard Parish.

13. I accepted that St. Bernard Parish has a terrible history of racial discrimination and decided to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, starting with myself.

14. I learned what terms are considered offensive by minorities in my community and have stopped using them.

But I have not heard anything like this. Instead, I have heard decades-old arguments that whites use when forcing shitty situations onto blacks and trying to wash their hands of the racist label.

So if anyone is wondering what it would take for me to believe white St. Bernard residents sincerely have the best interests of the black residents and former residents of SBP at heart, something like the above would convince me.

Anyone have any other positive anti-racist suggestions for steps forward in SBP?

This thread will be strongly moderated for racist language, personal insults, and threats. Sadly, after my previous St. Bernard post, this has now become a problem.

“Every society is judged by how it treats the least fortunate amongst them.”

-Thomas Douglas

UPDATE: Anti-racism =/= racism against whites. Do we really have to play that game? Try reading Color Blinded by Whiteness.