“Brittany-Ann hails from Kentucky, a state known for its tobacco and horses. She navigates it both as a feminist and as a woman with epilepsy, and is doing a pretty fair job of it. She writes at Bookish Beemer.“
So, there are some commenters on Dan’s post at Womanist Musings that are pissing me off with their self-righteous indignant ranting.
Basically, the theme is this: “OMG you awful moral-less poor person! You’re RUINING society by stealing food to live!”
Then, after their disgusting moralistic rants, they then offer alternatives.
1. “Go to church! Churches feed poor people!” I would really, really like to know what churches these people are talking about, because by and large, they don’t. The church I attended as a child certainly never did–and none of the others I visited ever did, either. Christian churches do not hold Jesus’ teachings to feed and clothe the poor, and ‘treat the least of these’ as you would Christ himself as their prime sacrament and mission. No. Churches are concerned with getting butts to warm the pews and cash to fill the offering plates. That money never goes to feeding the least of these–it goes to buying shiny new equipment, furniture, or renovations–and paying the staff.
1a. Churches don’t much care for LGBTs, or anyone, really, that come and go “as they are.” They’re only interested in those families who make them look good, and can give a big fat tithe. They’re only interested in minorities, however that may manifest itself, to “save” them and hold them up as a posterchild (aka testimony) of how awesome and godly they are.
2. “Just go to a food bank!” Food banks aren’t available in every town and rural area. In fact, unless it’s a large city, I doubt they exist at all–and the food banks in the cities serve so many people you’re lucky to get any. (The one in my city runs out of food by 10:00am. If they have enough supplies for a “full day.” If.)
3. “Discrimination! Sue!” The legal system isn’t open for everyone. (Seriously, one commenter’s solution to Dan’s poverty was to sue the company that fired him for being trans. WUT.) As another commenter pointed out, discrimination cases are hard to win. See: Wal*mart. AND, even if you can find a lawyer to help you, litigation drags out for a long ass time. Suing your former employer isn’t going to get you grocery money that week. And it’s not guaranteed. (Again, see Wal*mart.) It may also make it pretty damn hard to find a job if everyone knows you’re the guy suing a former employer. In this economy, companies can be picky, and you don’t want to do anything that may prompt a potential job offer to go sour.
4. “Just try harder!” IS NOT A FUCKING TIP. Way to go buying into the whole Social Darwinism thing, you jackass.
5. “Think of the children!” Um. Is this like “spread your legs and think of England”? ’cause I don’t know about you, but when I’m starving, I’m definitely NOT thinking about hypothetical children I’m setting a bad example for.
5a. “Think of your COMMUNITY! And that store owner! And those poor employees! And the other customers!” Second verse, same as the first. Also: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
6. “Shop here! It’s cheaper! Use these websites! You can get free stuff!” Good suggestions…for people who live in largely enough populated areas that those stores have a presence in, or that enough locals use sites like freecycle and Craigslist to make them useful on a continuing basis.
6a. There’s also the assumption that people have functioning cars, with money to put in the tank. Or a good public transit system, with money to pay for that. Or a bicycle, and being able-bodied enough to do that. Or have enough money to have the internet at all! (I know. “But he’s writing on a BLOG! He must have internets!” No…One could be using a friend’s laptop, or the public library’s, etc etc.)
Oh, and this is just rich:
“Most of the independents have actually fallen by the wayside,
1.) Because large chains can buy in such huge volumes that the “little guys” can’t compete with the ridiculously low profit margins and the low wages that they pay their employees ( more and more work for less and less pay).
2.) Because dishonest people do things like dent perfectly good cans of food and steal everything they can get their hands on with no regard for the people who actually work hard to keep that store (and all of it’s employees), afloat.
So when you see an article about food deserts and you wonder “Why does that happen? I can see why a large chain might not feel a need to open a store in an economically depressed area, but why doesn’t some independent grocery store go in there and set up shop so that those people have a nice place to purchase decent food?” You can thank yourself and people like you who make it impossible to make a living in some of these neighborhoods because you steal their profits one penny at a time and justify it because you need to have money to dye your hair purple. “
Summary: People have nowhere to buy food because of large chains and you! But mostly you, you can-denting poopy-face!
Nope, food deserts don’t happen because a combination of forces, it’s because teh evil purple-haired man stole food so he could fill his belly. Congrats, Dan. That’s a mighty superpower you have there. Now you just need a catchphrase.