I just lost my shit on Facebook at a guy I went to college with who posted some bullshit clickbait article about “how to raise a smart baby,” which was of course actually basically a numbered list of OMG THESE THINGS THAT BAD (READ: POOR) PARENTS DO MAKE THEIR KIDS STUPID.
Which, first of all, obviously every study they cite is using IQ like it’s somehow objective, but also…
…literally half the research they mention, I can immediately produce research findings demonstrating that any correlation with IQ comes directly from the thing they’re talking about being directly related to POVERTY, which has all kinds of large, well-documented effects on life outcomes. And that’s just OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, without looking anything up.
Look, fellow middle-class assholes, our kids will probably do fine because OUR parents owned a home, okay? It’s not because we never let them watch TV and exclusively breastfed and selflessly made the choice to forego cocaine during pregnancy (oh hey, do y’all think the kind of circumstances in which pregnant people use cocaine might be INDEPENDENTLY BAD for children? JUST MAYBE?).
No. Our middle-class kids are probably going to do fine because class mobility is a fucking fantasy.
— I wrote about the intersection of class and fat fashion. I gave some pointers for those who are not poor and talking to poor folks about fat fashion. And gave a lil update. Go forth. Enjoy. (via nudiemuse)
Generally, overzealous law enforcement delivers its heaviest blows on communities of color and poorer folks. Unfettered and often racist police forces come down hard on specific neighborhoods, and sometimes, in the event of New York City, appear to just stop every Black and Hispanic person they see and pat them down. The imprison-at-all-costs mentality has made Oklahoma in particular famous for having the highest female incarceration rate in the entire world.
This kind of self-destructive zeal usually remains below the surface, something very real in some communities, but not those the popular press particularly cares about. In the past few days, however, an exception has emerged. The high-profile suicide of the computer programmer and internet activist Aaron Swartz — committed it appears in response government prosecutors threatening 50 years of imprisonment for downloading millions of JSTOR articles — has even the Wall Street Journal writing pieces about prosecutorial overreach.
Of course when someone of Swartz’s status faces unconscionable levels of prosecutorial grandstanding, the resulting life-devastating consequences become national news. That’s how things go. It deserves pointing out however that unbelievably harmful police, prison, and justice system mistreatment are everyday realities for certain segments of the US population, generally those less able to capture top stories in the country’s best newspapers. Jamie Lynn Russell was one such person, and unless things dramatically change, we can expect many more victims to come."
— Audre Lorde, “Age Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” 241 (via femmenoire)
The CDC recommends that those who experience flu-like symptoms “should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.” However, for a huge number of American workers, that option doesn’t exist due to a lack of paid sick days. 40 percent of private sector workers and a whopping 80 percent of low-income workers do not have a single paid sick day. One in five workers reports losing their job or being threatened with dismissal for wanting to take time off while sick.
This problem is especially acute in the food industry, with its high potential for spreading disease. 79 percent of food workers say they have no paid sick time."
This flu going around is reaching actual epidemic proportions in some cities. A big part of that problem is the fact that low-income people cannot afford to take a day off. So sick people are riding the bus, taking the train, serving your food, and giving you your change at the store. But remember, we can’t give them benefits, because that would hurt businesses. …Well, except for all the money businesses lose when employees who do have benefits have to call out sick. And the lost productivity when sick people come to work. And the increased medical costs of so many people getting sick at the same time. And the additional money it costs taxpayers to pay to treat uninsured people who go to the hospital. And probably some money lost because healthy people are hesitant to go to public places (like stores and restaurants) right now because *they* don’t want to get sick.
But it’s all worth it, because BUSINESS, right guys?
— Boyce Watkins, “The World Cries for Newtown’s Children, but Few of Us Think About Dead Brown Babies” (via lavenderlabia)
The term “McJob” has come to epitomize all that’s wrong with the low-wage service industry jobs that are growing part of the U.S economy. “It beats flipping burgers,” the cliché goes, because no matter what your job might be, it’s assumed to be better than working in a fast-food restaurant.
Today in New York City, though, hundreds of workers at dozens of fast-food chain stores are walking out on strike, demanding better of those jobs. At McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, and Domino’s Pizza locations, workers have been organizing, and today they launch their campaign. They want a raise, to $15-an-hour from their current near-minimum wage pay, and recognition for their independent union, the Fast Food Workers Committee.
Saavedra Jantuah, who works at a Burger King on 34th St. in Manhattan, explained that the $7.30 she makes per hour after two years on the job doesn’t pay her enough to support her son. “I’m doing it for him, I’m going on strike so I can bring my family together underneath one household,” she said. “A union can help us get to where we can make it in New York.”
Cannot even express how thrilled I am about this story. I’ll be on the picket lines with the workers in a couple of hours, with photos and more stories. Service jobs don’t have to be lousy jobs—respect and a decent wage would do a lot.