Thoughts on “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”

The article  “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps” was sent to me about a dozen times by mid-morning. I tweeted my thoughts about it and you can see them below in the Storify I made (which may look wonky since embed doesn’t work correctly in wordpress, so I had to convert to html and …yeah).

I don’t have much to add to the series of tweets. A lot of people really loved this piece and I respect that. I suspect it’s because people are liking a narrative that addresses going from stability to poverty in a short time since it’s becoming a common story.
As always, I just like to look at things through a more critical lens and offer perspective that may be outside of popular opinion.

Thoughts on WaPo “Drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”//

 

 

Thoughts on WaPo “Drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”

  1. OK, I read the Mercedes-Food Stamps thing.
    1st off: I agree that when you become poor, it’s illogical to sell things. #talkpoverty
  2. Selling things of value when you find yourself in poverty only reduces your access to opportunities & advantages. #talkpoverty
  3. I was bothered by the author’s wording sometimes. She seemed to see herself as above the “poverty stricken mothers” in their “grungy den”
  4. Referring to herself as the tall blonde girl on heels and it’s really a powerful statement against the way she describes the other WIC moms
  5. I had to stop going to WIC b/c I had to take 2 buses to get to the appointments & couldn’t afford bus fare.Reality for some
    #talkpoverty
  6. Even if we had a car, I could never guarantee at times we’d have gas money or be able to pay insurance.Grateful for having public transport
  7. In the WaPo piece, author mentions the Mercedes was a 2nd car. The Honda wouldn’t start. So, that makes me feel a certain way…
    BUT
  8. I mean…you have a paid off ,reliable Mercedes… that’s the car you should be driving. That’s reasonable.
  9. Someone also just asked me…”what did she mean ‘picking up food stamps'”?
    Good question because WIC isn’t food stamps
  10. It’s important for people sharing their stories of poverty,however brief, refer to gov’t programs & processes correctly in their writing.
  11. when you call WIC “food stamps” , it’s misleading as to how programs work. You can be eligible for WIC but not food stamps.
  12. @dumbsainted that confused me, too. You don’t pick up food stamps at a church.
  13. At no point in the WaPo piece does the author tell a story about using food stamps. She’s using WIC.
    #talkpoverty
  14. I appreciate that she mentions that the application process for safety net programs is not easy because really…it isn’t a piece of cake.
  15. @dumbsainted did she learn the lesson that poverty has nothing to do with character flaws? that other poor ppl “failed” bc systemic problem?
  16. .@MommysaurusRAWR There’s no lessons except to reveal that she felt embarrassed & internalized msgs about how poor people should live
  17. @dumbsainted For me her piece smacked of respectability, that she only became poor through larger forces, as if others did not.
  18. @dumbsainted I liked the article because it showed another side. Her language/descriptions weren’t always the best. The emotion was there.
  19. Whenever someone writes about their poverty experience, their individual narrative isn’t going to be something everyone can identify with.
  20. Poverty can look different. It can last for years and years or be a brief experience. Some people have more advantages to escape,too.
  21. Someone who is white,cishet, educated, ablebodied…. it’s less likely that they stay in poverty for long periods of time.
  22. No, I was not saying that white people don’t live in poverty for long periods. I think I’m proof of that.
    (Hi, I’m White )

 

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”

  1. The comments on WaPo shamefully point out how ignorant our fellow citizens are when it comes to poverty. The GOP has succeeded with the “if you are on welfare, you are abusing the system.” stereotype. God forbid anyone takes a moment to not watch Faux News and read and research to understand just how complex poverty situations are. To lose a job, struggle with finances, if a medical issue arises, applying to jobs out of state and STILL getting a no. The answer of moving elsewhere always cracks me up. Yeah, because that is the best solution all the times. Let me go where I have NO support system at all to get a buck.
    I also loved the people who gloat about struggling with lower paying jobs and not asking for any handouts. Assholes. We ALL pay into the system so it is there for you when you need it in tough times. I swear to God sometimes I wish awful circumstances would befall these fools to learn a lesson, but I know it would never matter. America is not the easy to prosper paradise people continue to praise it to be and I wish they would stop.

    1. I didn’t even dare venture into the comments! You are a brave soul 😉
      And in the case of this woman…they went from $120,000/yr to $25,000. That’s huge. If someone is living on that amount while raising a family without assistance, they probably have other things working to their advantage and another type of support structure that helps them…like daycare within the family, land they can garden on, help from church,etc.
      No one does it alone. It’s a myth that you can.

  2. I picked WIC up in a church basement. I’m saying that here because heck no HuffPo I won’t even venture near that comment system. I love your twitter thoughts/responses because they make a lot of sense. At our WIC office we had to park three blocks away and walk to the church-building so no one would have known what I drive. Even at the public aid office I go to now, unless I showed up way early no one would notice and, honestly, there are more than several very nice cars in the parking lot every time I go there and I’ve never thought a thing about it.

    Also, every time I see an article title like this I just cringe because I know it’s going to be an entire comment section assuming everyone on public aid has NEVER paid into the system. We simultaneously pay in as we use it and so do a lot of other people. (Even if they didn’t pay into it ever I don’t care, it’s just this huge assumption that feeds into the “users” mentality that keeps people steeped in ignorance and intolerance.)

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