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I got nothing.: Working Poor


I am not a huge fan of this descriptive, but I get it. And since I fall smack dab into this demographic, I spend far too much time thinking about what it means.

Never mind that I was unemployed for almost 8 months so we’re already living in a massive deficit, but I have a lot of work and life experience, but in fields that do not pay a lot. I have a family, which means I have a level of responsibility with regards to housing and food, so I have to make ends meet.

We don’t. At this point, I am the head of the household based on the IRS tax rolls. I work in a serious and very difficult job and am responsible for things in an organization that rank as pretty high, but am paid not a lot, which in my field, a start-up arts and education non-profit, it’s totally expected. That alone astounds me, as we’re doing really good things here. Helping children in high-risk situations, providing our state with a monument and connection to historic bravery and yet we have to sing for our dinners. It sucks. It makes me feel really depressed to think it takes far more work to do good things. 

When I went in and set up our Medicare, I was really taken aback to some of the questions they asked and the paperwork I was required to provide. Anyone who thinks some ne-er-do-well can just show up and get a ‘free handout’ is clearly a fucking table, because I had to tell at least 4 people I was not pregnant and answer a litany of question regarding my drug use, where I get my income, etc…

It’s mind-blogging to me that as a society, we’ve become so far removed from understanding how each other lives. I don’t actually want to be rich. In fact, I don’t want the responsibilities that come with it. I’d like to have enough money to pay my utlility bills and feed my daughter. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. Yet, society seems to spit back at me that what I want is either not achievable or selfish.

It’s certainly easy to mock people who bought too-big houses and too many cars and ran up $50k in credit card debt on clothes from Talbots, but the reality is we’re all responsible for that, too. We’ve made our society so based on having stuff we’ve forgotten about DOING stuff as opposed to having it.

I’ve lost my way in this, so you’ll have to bear with me. I think what I originally wanted to write about has kindof left, but maybe what I’m wondering is why we no longer actually care about each other anymore. It’s so divided; me vs you and fuck you if you even remotely infringe on my side.

As a society, we’re so afraid, so angry and unable to empathize with one another. Frankly, it feels so un-Christian. I am not a Christian because I don’t believe there is ANY god, but I was raised a Catholic and have spent so many hours (that I will NEVER get back, derp) reading and listening to the dogma. Last I checked, some of the basic tenets are we’re supposed to WANT to help each other, which by in large helps the entire world, not push each other away. 

So how did this happen? 

(Source: ro-s-a-spark-s)

Filed under Working poor random thought society money arts

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Britain's fried-chicken booooooooom

The “Worldwide Evils of Black Culture?”: This is food as a basic necessity. They are coming because they’re hungry.

"Fried chicken won’t work in Chelsea, Kensington or Hampstead, or anywhere like that. It’s only places for the lower middle class or working class. That’s the only place you can do it."

No surprise that it is in the most deprived areas that fast-food outlets, and fried chicken places in particular, seem to thrive. Since 1998, the average income of the poorest households has risen by 17.5%. In the same time, food prices rose by 25%.

In the borough of Tower Hamlets, home of the capital’s most deprived children, for every school there are 42 fast-food outlets. In inner-city London generally, the figure is 37. In the country at large, on average just 25.

Filed under business chicken environment food health society uk urban urban living london

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Big Brother isn’t watching you…
Dismissing rioters as mindless is futile rhetoric. However unacceptable the UK riots, we need to ask why they are happening.

I feel proud to be English, proud to be a Londoner (all right, an Essex boy), never more so than since being in exile, and I naturally began to wonder what would make young people destroy their communities.

(Source: Guardian)

Filed under london riots politics celebrity society

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A few days ago on Facebook I watched two community activists have a throwdown over the phrase “mixed race.”

This exchange brought back some of the most difficult writing that I have ever done on Racialicious: where readers challenged my right to call myself, as a mixed race person with parents of two different races, mixed in a separate way from those who are mixed race but share the same identity as their whole family, for e.g. folks who are mestizo, Creole, African American, Metis, Peranakan…


Filed under race america mixed race mixed society identity

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I’ve woken up in a riot – inside a London phone box. A brick has just smashed into the glass. There are four of us squashed in to get out of the rain of bottles and stones. I can’t get my arm up to protect my face, we’re all trying to crouch down, I can feel glass fall on my hair. But I’ve got a thick, springy Afro and I can still shake it. My friend’s got blood on his ear lobe; we look at each other and nod, instinctively – the two of us bursting out onto the road and legging it hard and low so the wind of the riot blows over us.

That was August thirty-five years ago, and this is August 2011. By my reckoning, the difference between then and now is that this generation of rioting looters and arsonists thinks we failed. Not only did we fail to end discrimination, create better outcomes in education, health, employment and social mobility, we failed to end the entrenchment of hopelessness and poverty in the young


Filed under london riot youth society police 1970's