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Thursday, August 11, 2011

126

I Would Hate to See the Fox News Comments On This

If you're toying with the idea of reading the comments on the New York Times piece on Section 8 subsidies in California, maybe you want to skip that. Apparently, saying you just plain don't like black people doesn't carry the sort of social stigma one might expect/desire.



126 Comments / Post A Comment

AdrenaC

I won't rent to Section 8, ever. Our rental house is in a poorer neighborhood on east-side Austin...predominantly black and Hispanic. These renters act as many welfare recipients do- they don't have to work to pay the rent, they don't care about the space. It's true. Section 8 homes in my area are regularly trashed by shitty renters, at a much higher rate than those paying their entire rate with their own paychecks.

boyofdestiny

Be careful what you wish for, Nicole.

AdrenaC

@boyofdestiny Do you have a house? Do you rent it out?

melis

"Do you know her daughter?" "Do you know her daughter?"

nogreeneggs

@AdrenaC It's not just Section 8, shitty people that don't care about anything come in all races and classes. I own a house with my boyfriend, his friend from high school rents a room from us. He's not Section 8 but he's far far worse than what you described up there. He's not black or Hispanic either. Some people, simply do not care about the conditions in which they live and have never learned how to be respectful of other people's (and sometimes even their own) property.

AdrenaC

@nogreeneggs I totally agree- I happily rent to people from any race who pay their own rent. When you pay for something with your very own money that you made yourself...the likelihood is higher that you'll respect what you're paying for.

nogreeneggs

@AdrenaC Eh I disagree, the guy we rent to pays his own rent, but he still just doesn't give a shit. Some people just don't care, is what my point was. Doesn't matter if they pay full or partial rent.

safeword

@AdrenaC An acquaintance lives in east Austin and has a nice house that he keeps up. After his house got robbed, a neighbor commented, "That's what you get for showing off."

AdrenaC

@safeword Ha! Most of the people I live near just show off with fancy cars...that must be why they keep the outsides of their houses looking like crap. Keeps away the thieves.

AdrenaC

@AdrenaC *Agree that shitty people are all over the spectrum of race and class. I'm not making a gross generalization based on something I'm making up. I'm making an observation about what is actually happening, right now, where I live and SEE IT EVERY DAY.

nate@twitter

@AdrenaC Congratulations, you have used the power of your anecdotes to prove that gross stereotypes about poor people are correct!

gfrancie

@AdrenaC An observation that is filled with a wide assortment of generalizations. High-fives for justifying your bigotry.

waitykaitie

@gfrancie thank you for saying what i can't seem to convey, my rage is blocking the keyboard

mouthalmighty

@AdrenaC: What the...

These renters act as many welfare recipients do- they don't have to work to pay the rent, they don't care about the space.

As someone who grew up on welfare and lived in Section 8 housing for a good chunk of my childhood (it was a goddamn celebration when my family finally got accepted into the program), this is one of the rudest, most disgusting things I've ever read on this site. First, I want to tell you to go fuck yourself. Second, have you ever actually been inside a Section 8 apartment? They're often shitty places BEFORE the Section 8 recipients move in. And every single landlord I've had to deal with for my (disabled) mother, who still lives in Section 8 housing, are assholes who hold the same notion of poor people that you apparently do, which is that their just no good and have no sense of value. Ugh.

wee_ramekin

@AdrenaC The reason that I think your post is racist is because you include a bunch of racist / classist details that have nothing to do with your central argument.

You could have just said "I own a rental house and I would never rent to Section 8 renters because several other landlords I know have had bad experiences with them". I personally would not find anything racist about that statement. I understand that your rental house is your investment, and it would be crazy for you to place your investment in a situation that you have seen with your own eyes leads to devaluation of said investment.

But that's not all you said. You sprinkled your statement with a bunch of information that was not at all necessary to make your point, and all of that superfluous information was racist. You said "Our rental house is in a poorer neighborhood on east-side Austin...predominantly black and Hispanic" (what does that have to do with you not renting to Section 8 folks?). Then you go on to say that these black and Hispanic renters in East Austin act "as many welfare recipients do" (do all welfare recipients act a certain way? No, as the post above mine indicates!). What do those details add to your argument? Seriously, what?! I mean, other than a racist and classist rationalization for your behavior.

Had your comment been solely the last sentence of your original post, I would stand up beside you against the people on this board who are calling you a racist. I would say "Y'all, she owns this house and based on what she has seen with her own eyes, you can't expect her to put her house in a situation where she'll see it devalued". But I can't support the argument of someone who feels like they need to buttress their argument with racist generalizations that don't even add to their argument.

Oh, and just so we know where I'm coming from: I live and rent in East Austin. I don't know my neighbors very well, but from walking my dog, I can tell you that there are well-kept houses in my neighborhood owned by people of ALL races. The shittiest house on the block? The one in front of mine, inhabited by five white people. So, you know, there's some more anecdotal evidence to toss into the pot.

applestoapples

@AdrenaC I live in a mixed-income neighborhood in NYC with lots of Section 8 (read: black/Hispanic) families. Most of them keep their front yards/stoops and homes clean and make about as much noise as do the white, upper-middle class yuppies. They play peacefully in the community parks, and I even see them pick up after people who toss trash on the street. I'm making an observation about what is actually happening, right now, where I live and SEE IT EVERY DAY.

NeenerNeener

@wee_ramekin: Perfect. I wish I could've organized my thoughts on this as well as you just did.

pk
pk

@mouthalmighty You need to chill out. Telling someone to "go fuck themselves" is a really ignorant way to express yourself. Is that how you talk to people in person, or do you just reserve this kind of rudeness for strangers on the internet who you don't have to look in the eye?

melis

I'll totally give you rude, but how is it ignorant? It's not like Wee said "gu, lyk, fuk urself."

melis

Also, the Wee one has chutzpah for days, so yeah, she rolls around Austin telling people to fuck themselves as often as necessary. No more, no less.

nogreeneggs

@pk Telling someone they need to chill out because OMGS they made a swear and totally ignoring the rest of their (very valid) comment is ridiculous and unhelpful to this or any conversation. But thanks, comment police.

pk
pk

@melis "showing lack of knowledge or intelligence". i.e. lack of knowledge in how to communicate like an adult.

pk
pk

@nogreeneggs And your reply contributes... what?

melis

Do adults not swear? Also, apparently I'm talking about mouthalmighty, not the Wee one, so, ten points off for me. But my points still stand, or lie, as they prefer.

pk
pk

@melis This conversation is bitchy and pointless. *close browser*

nate@twitter

@pk "Welfare recipients lazy|trash apartments" is a deeply screwed up sentiment. For me, it's a foolish overgeneralization. For someone who grew up on welfare, as @mouthalmighty says s/he did, it's personally insulting. I'm sorry if the comment gave you the vapors, but I don't think it's appropriate to demand robotic politeness in response to something really hurtful.

theinvisiblecunt

@mouthalmighty, you should be way kinder when talking to internet strangers who hate poor people lol

@melis, it's so bitchy to make polite requests for clarification lol

~*CLOSING MY BROWSER RN*~

melis

@pk DON'T GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Every time I think a relationship is going to last, I chase them away. Will I ever find love?

nogreeneggs

@nate@twitter That's what I was trying to get at...but not as good as you. I too was on welfare for a bit during my childhood and, last I checked my parents were not lazy trash bags. Also, vapors! hahaha

@melis There's a hole in my heart where pk's browser used to be :(

applestoapples

A closed browser is temporary, but pointless nitpicks on the internet are forever.
(This is the part where two shadow people kiss in the background of a hidden Google Chrome window.)

melis

@theinvisiblecunt Yes. Maybe before you comment on the Hairpin you should be required to learn basic HTML tags so you're never reduced to using asterisks to denote action.

noodge

@melis aw man, then I wouldn't be able to comment on the Hairpin. *FROWNY FACE*

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin Argh...my response up there was supposed to be prefaced with "@NeenerNeener". Now I have ruined The Hairpin. FML.

melis

@teenie No, you're totally grandfathered in.

wee_ramekin

@teenie I can teach you the ways!!

If you want to make something bold, put a < b > (without the spaces) before the words you want bold and a < /b > (without the spaces after them.

If you want to make something italic, put an < i > (no spaces) before the words you want italic and an < /i > (no spaces) after them.

If you want to insert a link, put an (no spaces, EXCEPT BETWEEN THE first 'a' and the 'href', and take out that ellipses) before the words and an < /a > (no spaces) after them.

There are more things you can do (like strike-through!), but I don't know them :-(.

Better to Eat You With

@ImASadGiraffe Ditto my mom, except that her payment portion of the Section 8 housing here is actually more expensive than the rent she's paying now. It's actually above-market in much of my neighborhood.

noodge

@wee_ramekin: I have stood in awe of your boldy slanty writing for weeks, and now you just told me the secrets?!?!! I'M SO STOKED!
perfect

mouthalmighty

@pk: @pk: No, that's how I talk in person, too, when dealing with bigots. *shrug* Thanks for the concern?

wee_ramekin

@teenie ARGH! I couldn't figure out how to teach you the Ways of the Hyperlink in the first post without actually hyperlinking to something! And then I couldn't edit my post in time!

Okay, let's try again.

If you want to insert a link, then do this before the words you want to hyperlink:

<
a
(put a space here, between the 'a' and the 'href', otherwise, no spaces)
href
=
'
____insert link here_____
'
>

....and then when you want to end your hyperlink, put an < /a > (no spaces)!

Does that make sense?

noodge

@wee_ramekin kind of. i'll try it when feeling super ambitious and smart.

NeenerNeener

@wee_ramekin: You're my hero today. Mostly clear, except where to put the words that are to be the link wasn't really clear, so I am inspired to try it for my first time ever, and @teenie, say this page was helpful (ignore the simple GUI way).
I hope it works.

theharpoon

@all you people who want to do the html, Check out w3schools, their tutorials are pretty darn good.

@wee_rameking You are so much more helpful than me.

wee_ramekin

@theharpoon I really hope that the misspelling of my name in your comment was intentional.

thebestjasmine

@mouthalmighty Thumbs up. Telling racists to go fuck themselves is really the only intelligent reply to a racist.

It makes me sad that the very first damn comment even on The Hairpin has to be a racist one, but the string of comments afterwards were pretty awesome.

theharpoon

@wee_ramekin Sadly, it was not. I fail again. *cries*

noodge

yikes. it's like the comments on philly.com - i try to reassure myself that it's likely only 2 or 3 people who log on to different accounts to troll the shit out of the comments section. right? that's what's going on, right?

pk
pk

What comments are you referring to? I see no problem with the top rated comments on the NY times article.

melis

Would PK ever come back, she wondered as she leaned against the barred windows of her Section 8 housing, wistfully gazing out over the streets and letting a Flaming Hot Cheetos bag fall softly to the ground. Where was he right now? Somewhere in the darkness, a stray looter set a trash can on fire, adding another scrap of light to the myriad flickering points in the distance. The tongues of flaming oil clawing the storefronts were especially beautiful tonight, but without PK to share the view, their beauty seemed as hollow as the emptied shells inside said storefronts.

If he came back, she thought to herself as a single tear dropped from her eye into the crumpled Mountain Dew can she subsequently flung into the baby's crib, things would be different.

If he came back.

joie

@melis so I came back to this thread after work and re-read it, and I have to say, I love you.

antarcticastartshere

@melis You have to stop wondering about PK. Wondering where he is, who he could be with, what he's thinking, if he's thinking of you, and whether he'll ever return one day.

melis

@antarcticastartshere If he knew about the baby, he would come back. Things would be different then. There would be cheese from those CVS pharmacies that sometimes sell groceries, not just government cheese then.

jule_b_sorry

@antarcticastartshere : My God it stinks in here. It stinks of stupid women wondering about PK. Wondering where he could be, who he is with, what he's thinking, whether he's thinking of you, and whether he'll ever return someday.

*if you haven't seen the sketch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p4LcL8fC6A&feature=youtube_gdata_player

melis

@jule_b_sorry Don't try and put me down just because fine ham abounds.

TheAlbondigasBar

It's hard for me to comment on racist crap cause my brain gets all ragey and befuddled. I'm hoping one of you wonderful Hairpin ladies can come up with the correct zing! and right on! response.

littlegirlblue

Yeaah. I'm... pretty sure it's not their skin color that makes them that way. Just a theory though.

nogreeneggs

Living in a college town, I would take Section 8 renters over college renters any day. People who think Section 8 is so bad have obviously never been through a student ghetto. If you want to feel bad for anyone, feel bad for the normal families that happen to work and live in a city that has 8 colleges in or around it.

littlegirlblue

@nogreeneggs Thank you! I'm one of them. We rent an apartment in an undergrad neighborhood, because it's all we can afford right now. They throw glass bottles in the streets, leave trash all around and set off fireworks, even though we all live in wooden houses and there have been several that have burned down because of idiocy like this. These are largely rich kids with big SUVs parked in their driveways. And they make the whole neighborhood live in squalor. And they make me feel like a bitter old lady, shaking her cane.

kimburly

@nogreeneggs I want to throttle college kids for this, and I'm a college student myself. Ugh. I could say more, but it would be about on par with the negative-sterotyping rage that these commentors have for section 8 folks. First appalling self-realization of the day.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@nogreeneggs Don't miss the TAL episode "#1 Party School," which briefly features Jane Marie, nee Feltes!

miss buenos aires

@josiah Pedantic me (or is it pedantic I?) wants you to change that "nee" to "formerly."

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@miss buenos aires Oh you're right! My memory of that article was wrong! And too late to edit my post now. As if Jane doesn't already have enough reasons to hate me!

nogreeneggs

@littlegirlblue Haha I so feel your pain, let's shake our canes at those animals together!

@kimburly I don't want to stereotype people either, but the college kids in my city had a riot and destroyed basically an entire block of houses and cars just because it was St. Patty's Day. So I feel comfortable calling them out as animals. Yes I live in Albany, and yes this was covered on the national news and Tosh.0.

Megasus

@nogreeneggs College kids did the same thing in Kingston Ontario! Woooo!

kimburly

@nogreeneggs I didn't mean to accuse you. I am the old lady on campus, though to be nice my friends call me an "old soul' instead. I meant to point out how easy it is to generalize. Change "the college kids..." to "some college kids..." and I'm with you. I get my jollies combing through legal writing for this stuff. Yeah.

Captain DuClark

These type of articles, and the discussions they promote, are part of a 40-year long strategy designed by Republicans to distract people from thinking along class lines. The freeloaders work on Wall Street. They don't rent from you.

sox
sox

@Captain DuClark I didn't even read the comments, but this quote from one of the mayors in question just cracked me UP. How many people move to LA with nothing but some makeup and stars in their eyes? I heart your comment so hard because it hits the nail square on the head.

"People come here with no support network, no family at home to help them, nothing but just a house to live in. It makes no sense to encourage them to come," said R. Rex Parris, mayor of Lancaster, Calif.

iceberg

@Captain DuClark Yes, I've heard people say things like this before and it makes SO much sense, play the Have-Nots off against each other and they won't notice who's really robbing them blind.

iceberg

@iceberg ALTHOUGH (and I haven't seen any numbers on this so I could be wrong) it does appear that race correlates pretty strongly with poverty here in the US. BUT I would say that poverty --> crime regardless of race/country, and race --> poverty because racism. (where--> = "can lead to", or something)

Ugh trying to say this without sounding racist or classist ugh.

Quinciferous

@iceberg This is what I say: In the US, people of color are more likely to be poor, be incarcerated, live in underserviced neighborhoods, not have access to good education, among many other problems because of deep, systemic and institutionalized racism.

See: structural violence, everyday violence.

pk
pk

@iceberg "play the Have-Nots off against each other and they won't notice who's really robbing them blind."

How are people who get welfare and Section 8 housing getting "robbed blind"?

Quinciferous

@pk Poor people get systematically screwed by society, capitalism, and the government. The government then patches up the giant holes in access with just enough support (like food assistance programs and Section 8) so people don't actually riot.

I really cannot recommend Teenie's link from below enough:
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr08/vol65/num07/The-Myth-of-the-Culture-of-Poverty.aspx

antarcticastartshere

@pk Also, we aren't talking just about the welfare/Section 8 recipients (the poorest of the poor); we're talking about the vast majority of us who make less than $200k a year and who, when adjusting for inflation, make LESS than we did forty years ago. We are, in general, becoming poorer. Except for the ones at the tippy-top.

applestoapples

I love when people try to whitewash (so to speak) racist and classist overtones by substituting "Section 8" or "welfare recipients" for "[insert minority race here]" and then try to play it off as their ostensible frustration with government's gross conspiracy to favor the Poors.

Next week's lesson in Advanced Nuances of Bigotry focuses on why the "Section 8s/welfare recipients" can't just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and learn to be decent, articulate, hard-working folk.

melis

@applestoapples Too busy throwing the dozens and eating cracklins and also looting. Watch the cups, keep your eye on the cups, while I disappear with your retirement savings!

noodge

@applestoapples the whole Culture of Poverty argument has been thoroughly disproved. But I suppose asking people who make glib judgements about others based on their skin color or class to become more informed about the causes of poverty is asking too much. arrghhh

nokittythisismypotpie

@applestoapples Can we talk for two seconds about how the idea of "pulling yourself up by the bootstraps" makes NO fucking sense? Every time I hear that I just want to punch a Republican. How exactly is this supposed to work, exactly? Reach down, pull your foot off the ground by the strap of your boot, and then... what? Leave it anchored to the fucking air while you reach down and grab the strap of your other boot? I'm just unclear on where exactly you're expected to take yourself by picking your feet up off the ground with your hands. So stupid.

applestoapples

@teenie Analogy time: You feel sick, and because you know everything, you look up symptoms on Web MD and freak out because you think you have lupus (it's never lupus). When you finally go to a real doctor, he/she tells you to quit binge drinking, but you shake your head and say, "No, that can't be right. I've been doing it for years and never had a problem before."

That's why people will never learn.

applestoapples

@nokittythisismypotpie Most of these people telling others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps have only ever worn house slippers.

melis

@nokittythisismypotpie Well, if you can't use simple willpower to levitate your entire body, then maybe you deserve to be poor.

gfrancie

@applestoapples Or they have someone to pull up their bootstraps for them.

so what?

@applestoapples http://shegetzguevara.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/pulling-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-an-etymology-of-an-american-dream/

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@teenie I imagine that, at the end of the day, we would probably agree on many things, even if we can't agree on whether the whole Culture of Poverty argument has been thoroughly disproved. That said, I'd be interested to know what research you're thinking of when you say that. If you tell me, I promise I'll read it!

Quinciferous

@nokittythisismypotpie For some classes of people, when they (metaphorically) lift up a boot-strapped foot, find that a step appears underneath it. The stepstool (of privilege) is mistaken for Good Old-Fashioned Hard Work. Urgh overextended metaphor, but you see where I'm going!

noodge

@josiah Thanks for being interested! This is one of the most compelling online articles I've found recently that discusses the research/reasoning behind Culture of Poverty, and the ongoing research that is taking it on, and disproving it brick by brick.
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr08/vol65/num07/The-Myth-of-the-Culture-of-Poverty.aspx

Quinciferous

@teenie Thanks for the article -- this is wonderful stuff.

Quinciferous

@teenie Also, have you read any of Phillipe Bourgois' ethnographies of poverty and drugs? I think you would really like them. He's at Penn now and gives the occasional public lecture...

noodge

@Quinciferous oooh, really? I haven't read any of his stuff, but sociology is a big interest of mine. I work at Penn Health, so I'll try to find out when it's happening, that would be pretty sweet to check out. THANKS!

joie

@teenie this is a great article. Thanks for sharing.

plonk

@nokittythisismypotpie yeah! i mean the whole point of the idea of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is that it's IMPOSSIBLE, it's a TALL TALE! it's SUPPOSED to evoke images if impossibility, like baron munchausen pulling himself and his horse out of the swamp by his hair. you can say that somebody did it, but only if you're using a figure of speech to express awe at their near-magical abilities. the fact that this expression is what gets tossed around as a serious moral imperative is...extraordinary.

I'm Not Rufus

@teenie

I agree with the observation that poverty isn't monolithic and that some systematic factors make it easier or harder for kids to succeed in life. But the article you linked papers over a ton of research documenting differences in frequency of different parenting styles and household characteristics between families of different SES, which are what most educators are primarily talking about when they describe "lack of support at home". See for example the work of Vonnie McLoyd on disciplinary styles, or Shirley Brice Heath and Annette Lareau on differences in household reading habits, asking of "why" questions and critical engagement, vocabulary usage, etc. These differences are statistical and not uniform differences, but they seem to account for a large fraction of the parallel statistical differences in likelihood of unemployment, incarceration, or other undesirable life outcomes as an adult.

I'm saying this not because I want to assign blame. I don't. What I care about is changing culture so that as many kids as possible arrive in kindergarten with behavioral habits that allow themselves and others to learn. I think the narrative that The Man is preventing people from being successful, though it is no doubt in SOME ways accurate, not only misses a whole lot but is actually very disempowering and discouraging because it teaches people that they are at the mercy of other people and that their choices don't matter. Choices DO matter! Sadly, many young people I encounter seem not to understand that they even have choices available to them about how they live their lives, and as a result they withdraw their active participation from trying to secure a future for themselves.

noodge

@I'm Not Rufus : It sounds like you're an educator? maybe? I don't know? but this article will definitely mean more to you than it probably does to me, and I think some of the nuances that the article and you discuss are (just to be honest) lost on me.
I don't necessarily believe that The Man is preventing people from being successful, although there are a number of policies that certainly could paint that picture. What I DO believe is that poverty is not something inherent to a genetic line or race. I believe that poverty can be overcome, and that it doesn't involve bucking someone's inherent "laziness" or "lack or work ethic" - those qualities that some people believe the poor inherently embody. Choice is definitely a factor in that. But so are piss-poor social programs and health programs that are supposed to be helping these people (don't kill me) pull themselves up by their bootstraps. A more well-rounded and comprehensive approach to assistance for those in our lowest socio-economic groups is what I believe will help our nation most - including psychological and financial counseling, and better substance abuse recovery programs. The majority of people I've met in low circumstances would welcome these things. But I think the perception that our lowest socioeconomic groups would squander that opportunity because there is "something inherently wrong with them, that's why they're poor", is too pervasive for our nation to try to change our policy any time soon.

tiny dancer

@josiah For those interested in the 'culture of poverty' arguments, this is a good critique of a (surprise!) 2010 NYT article discussing the culture of poverty. Learn more about W.J. Wilson (complex) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (that guy!) if you'd like.

Even though I encounter it all of the time, I'm continually surprised by the level and expressions of structural racism in this country.

p.s. the hyperlink instructions worked! thank you, above.

theharpoon

This thread rocks, thanks guys. Hairpin <3

mouthalmighty

Agreeing with @theharpoon. Thanks for the all interesting reading!

kimburly

Its so hard not to be a stereotyper/racist, because of the way we categorize experiences and ideas. Everything we learn is based on schemas. So, one day you come upon a wolf and she bites your leg. The next day you see a German Shepard. Who would approach it and how many German Shepards would you have to have safe experiences with before you would stop assuming that they were all wolves?

I'm blonde and blue-eyed, and I was homeless and unemployed for the last three months. Nobody assumed I was drunk when I stumbled around the cereal aisle and eventually had to sit on the floor (low blood pressure is fun!). I doubt they would have helped if I was less white.

williamjoel

Is this the Times or the Daily News?

gfrancie

It makes me think of an anecdote that Al Franken shared about his Mother selling real estate back in the day. His Mother was showing homes to people (and this was still in the days of zoning restrictions) and one of her potential clients made a comment about Jewish people not keeping clean homes. Franken's Mother of course was Jewish herself and she was pretty graceful when she said, "Some keep cleaner houses than others." Really I bet she wanted to say, "thanks for the ignorant comment!"

I spent part of my childhood living in section 8 housing. It isn't like you are handed a house and you can live it up. Like any other form of welfare there are a lot of hoops to jump through, there are a number of restrictions and requirements and it is difficult to find a landlord willing to rent to you. When you are poor you are constantly trying to hold onto your pride and dignity because the powers that be (and every other person with an opinion) is trying to take it away from you. You are seen as a moral failure by many, a criminal by others and just plain stupid by the rest. No one wakes up and says, "you know what would be fun? To have someone to make all kinds of assumptions about me based on my socio-economic status!!! Bring on the government cheese, the forms and the patronizing attitudes!"

Jon Custer

I say let's make Social Security means tested, and THEN we can come back to this issue what Section 8 tenants need to do to 'deserve' our 'charity.'

melis

Yeah, I thought that "needing help" was the primary criterion for receiving charity.

Jon Custer

@melis Um, duh, the primary purpose of charity is to make the people giving it feel good about themselves, which is hard to do when you have to listen to their loud music -- and obviously the way to get rid of that problem is not to file a noise complaint, but to make the people playing it homeless. (Also I put 'charity' in scare quotes, too, because talking about Section 8 as 'charity' implies that people do not have an automatic right to some kind of housing... which I guess is another issue.)

Dancercise

@Jon Custer
Thanks for setting me straight. Here I thought the primary purpose of charity was to, you know... help people. Boy is my face red.

melis

@Dancersize Lins, he's on our side, he's just being sarcastic. At ease, soldier.

Dancercise

@melis My sarcasm radar seems to have malfunctioned. My apologies.

plonk

this is slightly off topic, but i'd like to take this opportunity to revisit the "how do you respond to inappropriate comments?" thread from a while back.

i live in sweden. today at work we were all sitting around on a coffee break, chatting normally -- blah blah air travel sucks, blah lines at the airport and bags being searched, oh modernity etc. all very commonplace. this woman was complaining about being pulled aside for screening, and then feels the need to mention that the other two people being screened with her were blonde swedish guys (she is also blonde), and, i quote, "like WE'RE the ones they should be suspicious of." and in my head i was like "...norway? two weeks ago?" i didn't say anything, because i'm slow and by the time i was done even processing my reaction the conversation had moved on to something else, but assuming that i had gotten it together in time, should i have said something? and if so, what? it just seems, aside from the always-relevant fact that it's not like non-white people don't get screened ENOUGH, that now is an extraordinarily insensitive time to be making "blonde people can't be terrorists" comments. but maybe everyone REALIZES this and there's no need for me to swoop in with my righteousness? or maybe it's the opposite, and i really SHOULD? other factors: i am by far the youngest member of the department, and this woman is old enough to be maybe not my mother, but definitely my aunt; i've been in sweden less than a year; this woman has never said anything objectionable before aside from mildly annoying men/mars, women/venus- type comments. opinions!

thebestjasmine

@plonk I think the answer is that yes, you could have said something, and maybe should have. But a lot of the reason that people don't say something the first time this happens is that you are flabbergasted and don't know how to respond to something like that, and it takes a while to a) comprehend that yes someone was being that blatant of a bigot, and b) what to say about it. So maybe next time, you'll be ready.

ImASadGiraffe

I have a disabled parent that gets SSDI and Section 8. She is quiet, respectful, and treats the apartment she lives in as if she owned it. Her neighbors in her building are similar to her and many of them are also Section 8 renters.

If my mother didn't have this assistance, she would be homeless. I'm grateful for her sake that it is there, even if others abuse it.

noodge

@ImASadGiraffe I work in healthcare, and a number of my patients are needing and deserving of our social services. I'd say the percent of people "milking" the system coming through my practice are approx 1-3% (of the total number who use social services for their healthcare). Truly not the catastrophic wave of freeloading welfare queens that the Tea Party shouts about angrily on the reg. I'm glad your parent has the help they need, and I hope we can help educate the public enough that this support system doesn't end due to political sleight of hand.

Jon Custer

@teenie How come we always talk about poor people 'deserving' social services, but we never talk about, say, whether a Goldman Sachs employee, who makes his living on speculation with money borrowed at 0% from the government, 'deserves' his summer house? Surely everyone 'deserves' the (presumably often life saving?) healthcare your practice provides, even if they are an asshole?

noodge

@Jon Custer : I totally agree. I've never understood the indignation that the "haves" get over being deprived of a few percentage points of their income, which could go towards an extra month long vacation in Europe, or a yacht graduation present for their son or daughter, when there are the "have nots" who really and truly work so hard to get so little, or can't even work, so have to make do with the scraps from America's table. It kills me when I can't get the care a person needs due to "falling between the cracks" of government support and private health insurance.

FoxyRoxy

Goodness. This has been eye-opening.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

The best job interview question I ever got was, "So, why are some people poor?" I said that it was because poor people are necessary to the economy, that if there were no poor people, then no one would be desperate enough to do the unpleasant jobs.

theinvisiblecunt

@josiah, what sort of job were you applying for?

melis

More importantly, did they hire you?

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@theinvisiblecunt This summer program! I ended up doing something else!

melis

So...they didn't hire you.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@melis Gosh, it's been a while (back when there was less competition for summer stuff for law students!) but as I recall, they never called me and, before I got around to calling them to follow up, I got something else that I liked more. Is that enough detail!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@josiah If you had replaced "the economy" with "capitalism," you would've gotten a callback, obvs.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Something unexpected surprise Right! Because other kinds of economies don't have have poor people doing the unpleasant jobs!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@josiah Seems like if you're going to be doing legal stuff, you should be defining your terms, or at least placing them in a conceptual framework where they make logical sense, even if the question is in vague HR speak. Anyway, garbage collectors don't seem to be doing too bad, but they're just pawns of the Socialist Union Machine, so.

amirite

@Something unexpected surprise Thanks for registering this username! I was hoping someone would.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Something unexpected surprise :^¥ <--Once again accidentally started fight on internet somehow, zipping internet-lips closed now.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@amirite I didn't, I'm only borrowing it. sshhhhhh

@josiah Sounds like something a revisionist would say...

fondue with cheddar

The problem with Section 8 housing is that the people you see are the bad ones. I lived in Section 8 housing as a young adult, and there were a lot of good people who lived there. That's not to say there was no riff-raff, but the bad ones make their presence known, whether by doing shady things out in the open or merely using the ground as their trash can.

fondue with cheddar

@jen325 It's funny that this was posted when it was, because just yesterday I went to meet my boyfriend after work, where he does maintenance at a Section 8 apartment complex. As we sat in the car chatting, a resident strode from between two buildings, drinking a 40 oz. bottle of beer in broad daylight. He stopped to dump the remaining 20% of the bottle on the sidewalk, then proceeded to throw the bottle into a nearby mulch bed (better than breaking it on the sidewalk, since there were children playing nearby). It's so sad that people feel they have to accept living with neighbors like this.

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