Showing posts tagged social justice

Social justice is about destroying systematic marginalisation and privilege. Wishing to live in a more just, more equal world is simply not the same thing as wishing to live in a “nicer” world. I am not suggesting niceness is bad or that we should not behave in a nice way towards others if we want to! I also do not equate niceness with cooperation or collaboration with others. Here’s all I am saying: the conflation of ethical or just conduct (goodness), and polite conduct (niceness) is a big problem.

Plenty of oppressive bullshit goes down under the guise of nice. Every day, nice, caring, friendly people try to take our bodily autonomy away from us (women, queers, trans people, nonbinaries, fat people, POC…you name it, they just don’t think we know what’s good for us!). These people would hold a door for us if they saw us coming. Our enemies are not only the people holding “Fags Die God Laughs” signs, they are the nice people who just feel like marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense, it’s just how they feel! We once got a very nice comment on this site that we decided we could not publish because its content was “But how can I respect women when they dress like – sorry to say it, pardon my language – sluts?”. This is vile, disgusting misogyny and no amount of sugar coating and politeness can make it okay. Similarly, most of the people who run ex-gay therapy clinics are actually very nice and polite! They just want to save you! Nicely! Clearly, niceness means FUCK ALL.

“Nonviolence is an inherently privileged position in the modern context. Besides the fact that the typical pacifist is quite clearly white and middle class, pacifism as an ideology comes from a privileged context. It ignores that violence is already here; that violence is an unavoidable, structurally integral part of the current social hierarchy; and that it is people of color who are most affected by that violence. Pacifism assumes that white people who grew up in the suburbs with all their basic needs met can counsel oppressed people, many of whom are people of color, to suffer patiently under an inconceivably greater violence, until such time as the Great White Father is swayed by the movement’s demands or pacifists achieve that legendary “critical mass.””
Peter Gelderlos, Why Nonviolence Protects the State (via tabularasae)

When Franklin Roosevelt announced his New Deal, religious leaders cheered. Indeed, many saw Roosevelt’s program as the realization of Christian ideals. As one Mississippi Methodist put it in 1933, “It is gratifying in the highest degree that our government is actually attempting to try out some of these things for which the Christian church has been contending for a quarter of a century.” What is striking about such fulsome praise is that it was widespread, and that clergy from a broad range of theological and political inclinations agreed that the New Deal was necessary—except the substantial number who instead protested that it did not go far enough. Certainly, dissenters spoke from the right as well, but their numbers were sparse in the early and mid-1930s.

Religious support for the New Deal boiled down to three key points. First, religious leaders recognized that the Great Depression had sapped their own ability to care for those in need. Second, many acknowledged that religious bodies had long struggled to provide adequate care even for the select few that they deemed both needy and deserving. Third, many saw the New Deal as the realization, rather than a refutation, of their Christian principles. They argued that only the state had the capacity to raise funds to support those in need. The government’s adoption of welfare and reform programs would allow churches to renew focus on their primary goal of evangelism, and the government’s emphasis on security for families and the elderly reflected the churches’ own priorities.

Anonymous asked: How do you feel about people who abuse government assistance? People who use their food stamps to buy forty dollar steaks, get angry when their fried chicken dinners aren’t covered, and leave in their brand new Mercedes?

killsmedead:

thisgingersnapsback:

Abuse happens, period. It doesn’t matter what, some people will do anything to get an “advantage” in the world. But since such abuse is statistically uncommon, while it might be aggrivating, you don’t rip out the safety net from everyone else benefiting from the programs just because a few people fuck up—that’s like saying that no one should be allowed to drive, because some people drive drunk.

The widespread myth of the “Welfare Queen (or sometimes, though less frequent, King)” you have just described (thanks, Reagan!) does nothing but harm the reputation of those who abide by the assistance program’s rules and regulations. It’s these harmful stereotypes, which you are actively perpetuating, that turn those who are privileged enough to not have to rely on assistance against their fellow human.

What do I think? What do I think? 

I think you don’t fucking know a person’s circumstances, and you shouldn’t fucking judge them. Who knows when the Mercedes entered their lives? You certainly don’t—you don’t know them, so you assume the car is brand new, and it just helps to reinforce your hateful bullshit. It could have been a gift, it could have been purchased prior to the crisis or unfortunate circumstances that lead to them needing government assistance.

Or, more importantly, it could be none of your goddamn business what kind of car they drive.

So, poor people don’t get to enjoy “good” food? Why? Because they’re poor? Because they deserve to be punished? Because why waste such good lobster on such a waste of person, right? Jesus christ, fuck you. I work in a grocery store—no matter WHAT a person paying with E.B.T. buys, it is ALWAYS scrutinized and judged, in ways that absolutely no one else’s groceries do.

A single mother comes up and buys a basket full of frozen foods, and my coworkers roll their eyes, thinking her lazy, thinking that their “hard-earned tax dollars” shouldn’t be paying for junk food. And they ignore the chorus of shouts and playful laughs of the kids running around her, her children, and the exasperated and exhausted expression on her face, because it wouldn’t help to fuel their self-righteous, “I’m better than you!” hate storm to think that maybe, just maybe the quick dinners are all she can do, because unbelievably she DOES work and DOES try to make ends meet, while at the same time attempting to raise her children and make time for them and their school and their love and their raising, and meals might not be a top priority for her.

A man shows up with a cart full of natural foods, good-for-you foods, healthy foods—sometimes, there might even be a steak or lobster. He buys mostly vegetables and fruits, and seems conscientious of the things he buys—and he pays for it with his EBT card. IMMEDIATELY a chorus of “Well don’t get to eat that well!” starts up, once again making his private shopping trip suddenly open for comment and criticism.

You just can’t fucking win, people are programmed to judge you for what you buy no matter what—they are programmed to judge EVERY ASPECT OF YOU AND YOUR LIFE that would otherwise be considered rude or hateful behaviour—so what do I think about the people who use their food stamps to buy steaks? Or who seem frustrated because a food product they want isn’t covered? I don’t fucking careJust because you’re poor, broke, or just plain in need of a little help doesn’t give me the right to turn what you buy and eat into public dialogue.

tl;dr: I don’t feel anything except extreme outrage at the self-righteous pricks who get to decide what another person “deserves” in life, and whether you intended it or not, your message reeked of judgmental implications.

People who worry about abuse of government assistance tend to not actually know anything about abuse of government assistance. News at eleven.

quixotess:

abbyjean:

so i’m writing this paper about housing chronically homeless people in order of vulnerability, which is an index created based on the level of county costs they incur through hospitalization and/or incarceration and a measure of how likely it is that they’ll die in the next year if they don’t get a housing placement. already soul-crushing, no? and then you read the numbers, that the county paid $80,000 for a pilot project that housed 50 people and they didn’t even have to pay for the actual housing because developers got all these tax breaks and stuff for building it, and then even though they provided these intensive on-site mental health and physical health and substance abuse services, in the one year after these folks were housed, the county saved over $700,000 in service costs to those 50 people alone because they spent so much less time in the hospital or in jail. but of course we’re not expanding the project, because there’s so much moral bullshit about giving “these people” housing without first requiring them to be clean and sober and why are we wasting our tax dollars on people “who have given up on life” even though clearly the problem is that we as a society have given up on them and their response is logical and natural given that inescapable fact.
but it’s not until i look at these photos that i actually start to cry.

It’s crushing to realize just how easy it would be to give EVERY SINGLE homeless person a home.

quixotess:

abbyjean:

so i’m writing this paper about housing chronically homeless people in order of vulnerability, which is an index created based on the level of county costs they incur through hospitalization and/or incarceration and a measure of how likely it is that they’ll die in the next year if they don’t get a housing placement. already soul-crushing, no? and then you read the numbers, that the county paid $80,000 for a pilot project that housed 50 people and they didn’t even have to pay for the actual housing because developers got all these tax breaks and stuff for building it, and then even though they provided these intensive on-site mental health and physical health and substance abuse services, in the one year after these folks were housed, the county saved over $700,000 in service costs to those 50 people alone because they spent so much less time in the hospital or in jail. but of course we’re not expanding the project, because there’s so much moral bullshit about giving “these people” housing without first requiring them to be clean and sober and why are we wasting our tax dollars on people “who have given up on life” even though clearly the problem is that we as a society have given up on them and their response is logical and natural given that inescapable fact.

but it’s not until i look at these photos that i actually start to cry.

It’s crushing to realize just how easy it would be to give EVERY SINGLE homeless person a home.

It’s not astonishing that the right wants to cut disability services, as it’s been a pet project of theirs for decades. What’s amazing is how blatant they’re being about it, and how they’ve chosen to go after a group which has historically been viewed as sacrosanct. Children are the hope of the future, the right claims. Every fetus is so precious and sacred that abortion should be banned, they argue. Yet, the right doesn’t want to provide a whit of support for children in need.

“Fuck Gratitude.

Or to be more precise fuck the socially mandated expressions of gratitude (Not nearly as catchy). Fuck the idea that people should ever have to bow and scrape for the simple necessities of life. For a safe place to live or food to eat. Fuck the idea that when we “help” them get those things that they are entitled to that we deserve anything in return.”
“Lawmakers today put the finishing touches on a 2012 budget that requires public employees to pay more for their health care.
They also gave final approval to stricter interpretation of Michigan’s 48-month time limit for cash welfare assistance that will remove nearly 13,000 families from the rolls on Oct. 1.
In the health insurance bill, local government and school district contributions would be capped at $15,000 for a family plan, $5,500 for a single employee. Employees would pick up the difference. Local units instead could also opt for a different formula. Employers would pay no more than 80 percent of the cost of a policy, with employees picking up the rest.”

Michigan lawmakers approve limits on health costs, welfare benefits | MLive.com

so. michigan just did this. strictly limited welfare availability. kicking families off as we speak. now—they made it so that public employees have to pick up 20% of their insurance. oh, and there’s NO legally mandated requirement that employees GET A RAISE SO THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY THAT 20% increase in health insurance.

The state just forced us all to take a pay decrease. People paid by *LOCAL millage votes*—whereby the VOTERS HAVE SAID—TAKE THIS MONEY AND PAY FOR LIBRARIES, POLICE, ETC….the *state* has said—no. not just no—but FUCK no. 

they are making it impossible to stay in this state. fucking *impossible*. 

it grieves my fucking SOUL…i love michigan so fucking much—but what the FUCK are we supposed to do???? there are no jobs, everybody is getting kicked off of welfare—which only fucking pays for groceries to begin with…people are getting the pay checks decreased *BY FUCKING LAW*…

can’t get sick, can’t find a job, can’t eat, can’t breath…

what the fuck are we supposed to do? 

(via midwestmountainmama)

Here, let me piss some people off. Thank you Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri, which are the first states that will require drug testing when applying for welfare. Some people are crying and calling this unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It’s OK to drug test people who work for their money but not those who don’t? Reblog this if you’d like this in all 50.

think4yourself:

sweetupndown:

lookinformyredneckromeo:

NC Needs To Do This!

Because being on welfare programs automatically means you don’t work. I know plenty of Military families that take advantage of WIC because while someone in their family works 60+ hours a week, they still don’t make enough money to feed a family of four when baby formula costs $24 a can. Don’t be such a fucking privledged asshole that you assume anyone who is on a welfare program, is lazy, good for nothing, drug addicted swine. Also, speaking from expierence here, my mother was an unemployed drug addict and I relied on food stamps to feed my 15 year old self, and 11 year old little sister. We definitely deserved to starve because of our mothers inability to pass a drug test, and my inability to apply for food stamps. I worked 3 jobs, and paid all our bills for over a year, including mortgage payments on a house while going to high school. Yet I still relied on government assistance, and swiping food off of friends lunch trays at school so we could eat. Don’t worry though, my mother is a meth addict. It’s not like I should have gotten anything from the government to help ease my shitty life. Seriously. STFU with this classist insensitive privledge bullshit on my dashboard.

reblogging a reblog because I originally wanted to highlight sweetupndown's story about how our country's welfare programs affected her life and apparently her part of the conversation didn't pull over in my first reblog of this.

Tumblr’s interface can be really stupid sometimes.

reblogging because I tried to reblog sweetupndown’s commentary too and tumblr stripped it from the post. y u do this tumblr

“Pumping is one of those things you learn about when you are trans. Something that people will cluck over, if you’re on the right side of the tracks that day–because it is dangerous, and potentially disfiguring, and with money and the right doctor you can have all those things done nice and neat. It’s a class boundary, a lot of the time–because so many trans people aren’t on the right side of the tracks, have about as much hope of navigating a hostile medical system as being called up to read the lottery numbers on Channel 5, and despair of ever assembling the thousands of dollars at one time just about any procedure that has the modifier “trans” attached to it would cost. In a world of bad ideas and lousy options, what’s one more?”

Florida’s welfare drug testing costs more than it saves | Raw Replay

ziatroyano:

A WFTV investigation found that out of the 40 recipients tested by Department of Central Florida’s (DCF) region, only two resulted in positive results. And one of those tests is being appealed.

Under the rules of the program, the state must reimburse recipients who receive negative test results. The state paid about $1,140 for the 38 negative tests, while saving less than $240 a month by denying benefits over the two positive tests.

“We have a diminishing amount of returns for our tax dollars,” the ACLU’s Derek Brett told WFTV. “Do we want our governor throwing our precious tax dollars into a program that has already been proven not to work?”

The cost to taxpayers could end up being significantly higher because the state expects to have to defend the law in court.

via rawstory.com

Posted via email from Ziapost | Comment »

WELL GEE WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING.

Happy birthday, welfare reform!

abbyjean:

theamericanprospect:

Fifteen years ago today, Bill Clinton signed the law that created the program commonly known as welfare-to-work, fulfilling a campaign promise to “end welfare as we know it.” Today, there is little doubt that the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act did just that, removing what had been a large cash-assistance program from the social safety net. The decline continues. With the law’s federal authorization expiring September 30 and the numbers of impoverished Americans climbing ever higher, welfare is a dead letter in most states.

15 years old and already a disappointment. 

as i’ve talked about in the past, welfare reform marked the shift of federal funding for poverty alleviation from TANF, the traditional welfare program for families with children, to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, which issues tax refunds to families or individuals with relatively low levels of earned income from employment. and it’s worth pointing out the major disadvantages of the EITC as a poverty-alleviation program in comparison to TANF:

  • TANF provides a monthly cash grant, while the vast majority of households receive the EITC rebate in a single lump sum after filing their taxes. while it’s possible to receive advances of anticipated EITC rebates throughout the year, only a tiny minority of households are aware of this possibility, much less opt to receive their rebates over the course of the year.
  • EITC is limited to households with a significant portion of income earned through employment, which does nothing to benefit unemployed people and folks who can’t find employment in today’s limited job market.
  • TANF is issued directly to debit card accounts, allowing funds to be accessed through ATMs and bank withdrawals, while the majority of EITC refunds are accessed through for-profit tax preparation services, which charge fees and commissions. additionally, these tax preparation services offer refund anticipation loans with additional fees and potential interest charges. this means a non-trivial portion of EITC funds are being channeled directly to these for-profit tax preparers rather than reaching the intended households.
  • at least in theory, TANF provides not only a monthly cash grant, but also “welfare-to-work” services including education and job training and services intended to address barriers to employment such as domestic violence, substance abuse, or mental illness. TANF also provides “supportive services” to assist employment, including child care and transportation funding. no such services are provided with the EITC.

there are likely others, but these are the major ones that come to mind.

killsmedead:

coelasquid:

Dreamsofawesome

WONDER WOMAN’S NEW COSTUME LOOKS DUMB!
Ugh, now she doesn’t have pants like how it used to be? What is wrong with you, DC?
WE WANT DC TO LISTEN TO US!
Ugh, they acknowledged but they’re not doing it right
WE WANT WOMEN FRONT AND CENTER ON COMICS!
Ugh you’re not drawing them right
I don’t think anything DC does at this point will satisfy  anyone. I agree DC has mishandled some things but I also think that  we’re reaching a point of just complaining about any and every little  thing.

The point of contention still is, as it always was, that people are getting tired of seeing all of the female leads drawn with body language and uniforms that make them appear less heroic, powerful, legitimate, and all-around able to be taken seriously than their male counterparts.

Just to add some commentary from Sociological Images:

Many sociologists see gender as something that we perform, something  that we do.  This set of drawings […] illustrate our cultural  complicity in this, and also our ability to get some perspective on it.  Coelasquid (at least, I think this is the artist) draws a series of male  superheroes in the pose given to Wonder Woman in David Finch‘s Justice  League Cover.  It reveals the degree to which these feminine poses are  something we put on, not something we necessarily are.

killsmedead:

coelasquid:

Dreamsofawesome

WONDER WOMAN’S NEW COSTUME LOOKS DUMB!

Ugh, now she doesn’t have pants like how it used to be? What is wrong with you, DC?

WE WANT DC TO LISTEN TO US!

Ugh, they acknowledged but they’re not doing it right

WE WANT WOMEN FRONT AND CENTER ON COMICS!

Ugh you’re not drawing them right

I don’t think anything DC does at this point will satisfy anyone. I agree DC has mishandled some things but I also think that we’re reaching a point of just complaining about any and every little thing.

The point of contention still is, as it always was, that people are getting tired of seeing all of the female leads drawn with body language and uniforms that make them appear less heroic, powerful, legitimate, and all-around able to be taken seriously than their male counterparts.

Just to add some commentary from Sociological Images:

Many sociologists see gender as something that we perform, something that we do.  This set of drawings […] illustrate our cultural complicity in this, and also our ability to get some perspective on it.  Coelasquid (at least, I think this is the artist) draws a series of male superheroes in the pose given to Wonder Woman in David Finch‘s Justice League Cover.  It reveals the degree to which these feminine poses are something we put on, not something we necessarily are.