So this was on my FB.
What I got from your lesson is that you think poor people are no better than animals. What I got from your lesson is that while you’re a Christian minister, you obviously don’t seem to remember Christ’s commands to tend to the poor.
What I got from your lesson is that if there is a judgment day that you so badly crave, and if YOU have to stand before God and Christ, you will NOT be able to answer the charge of “what you did not do for the least of them, you did not do for ME.”
Because several people need it. I’ve copied quite liberally from classism.org for this and would encourage all of you to head over to their site for further reading. Bolded emphasis is mine.
What do you mean by class?
Class is a relative social rank in terms of income, wealth, education, status/position, and/or power.
A class consists of a large group of people who share a similar economic and/or social position in society based on their income, wealth, property ownership, job status, education, skills, or power in the economic and political sphere. Class is determined not just by “economic capital” (what you earn or own) but also by “social capital” (who you know) and “cultural capital” (what you know). Our class identity affects us on the personal and emotional level, not just in economic terms, since it influences how we feel about ourselves and others.
What do you mean by “classism?”
Classism is when someone is treated differently—better or worse—because of their class (or perceived class). Classism is similar in many ways to racism, sexism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression. Classism appears individually through attitudes and behaviors, institutionally through policies and practices, and culturally through norms and values. Like other forms of oppression and prejudice, it is the tendency to make sweeping generalizations or stereotypes about people, such as “Poor people are lazy.”
Isn’t the United States a “classless” society?
No. There are classes in the U.S. just like everywhere else in the world. However, we do a great deal to deny or mask class differences, and there is more confusion about the role of class in our society than in many other countries.
How does classism show itself?
On an interpersonal level, classism might play out when a middle- or higher-class person acts arrogant, superior, or entitled—or is considered smarter or more articulate than a working-class or poor person. As the dominant group, people on the higher end of the class spectrum, and institutions get to define what is “normal” or “acceptable” behavior in the class system. But classism also shapes the structures and rules of institutions, so that privilege also has real financial benefits for higher-class individuals.
What are the different classes?
There is no precise definition or delineation of class groups. The most commonly used class identities are: upper class (or owning class), middle class, working class, and poor. Another way of looking at class is as a hierarchy of access to money and power. At the “top” are the Haves, or Dominants, and at the bottom are Have-Nots or Subordinates. Most of us occupy places along that continuum and experience both domination and subordination in various aspects of our lives.
Aren’t we primarily a middle-class society?
Because we don’t talk straight about class, there is a lot of confusion as to where each of us fits into the picture. As a result, most people in our society (80 to 90 percent in some surveys), including very poor and very wealthy people, identify themselves as some version of “middle class” — a symptom of the myth that we are classless society.
I’m confused. Is class a subjective feeling or a function of how much money I have?
It’s both, and more. Class is relative, both subjective (how we feel) and objective (in terms of our access to financial and social resources and decision-making). Some unionized industrial workers earn as much as a college professor but identify as working class because of their family history, the lower status accorded to their job, or the limited amount of control they have at work. We also experience class very differently depending on our race, gender and ethnic backgrounds. But while there are subjective considerations, it is accurate to say that people at the top end of the economic class spectrum are mostly dominant and derive substantial benefits and privileges from our class system, while virtually everyone at the bottom end is subordinate and has limited access to the material benefits of our society. However, our felt experience often varies depending on whether we are looking “up” or “down” the class continuum.
Can I tell if someone is poor or rich by looking at them?
Maybe. But more often you risk reinforcing stereotypes. There are a lot of “millionaires next door” who may have a high net worth but don’t look any different than their working-class neighbors. For various reasons, people of all classes have learned to disguise, hide, “code switch,” or adapt their class identity. It makes more sense to suspend tired stereotypes and get to know people’s real stories.
How does classism hurt poor and working-class people?
Depriving people of what they need to meet their basic material needs can hurt or even kill them. Classist attitudes in public policy can lead to hunger, disease, homelessness and other forms of deprivation.
Sometimes, people who are poor or working class internalize the society’s destructive beliefs and attitudes and turn them against themselves and others of their class. These can include feelings of inferiority to higher-class people, shame about one’s traditional class or ethnic heritage, and superior attitudes toward people lower on the class spectrum, resulting in the conviction that classist institutions, policies, and practices are fair. These are the sometimes hidden injuries and wounds of classism.
How does classism hurt wealthy and owning-class people?
Everyone is placed at a disadvantage when they have a limited interaction with their world, no matter how much money or material wealth they have acquired. Existing within gated communities, real or assumed, which chronically over-shelter owning-class people, can prevent them from obtaining a secure sense of place or purpose within a dynamic human community. Many owning-class people remain largely unaware of their economic privilege, which can inhibit them from satisfying their basic human desire to experience an authentic life. And upon becoming aware of their economic privilege, wealthy people can suffer from the guilt, shame and depression often associated with the realization that they may not feel like they deserve what they have, and that much of what they have may have come at the expense of other people.
Does classism contribute to inequality?
Yes. Because class and classism are so invisible and such a taboo subject, we often accept classist myths about other people. These myths fuel wider attitudes that in turn influence decisions, rules, laws and policies. Such policies have a real and dramatic impact on people’s economic possibilities and social lives. For instance, why do we tolerate such grotesque levels of wealth inequality in our society? At some level, we believe in a myth that says “people get what they deserve in our economy.”
But isn’t inequality a reflection of people’s different levels of effort, intelligence, and education?
No. We are far from having a really level playing field. Of course, people bring varying levels of effort and skill to their work. But these differences can’t explain the enormous disparities that currently exist. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “the average CEO earns more before lunch in one day than the average minimum wage worker earns all year”—a compensation ratio of 821:1. Is anyone really worth that much more than someone else? These obscene discrepancies are better explained by social attitudes, inherited class advantage, family of origin, and power—not inherent or learned ability.
What about all those people who were poor and became rich because of their own efforts?
There is no question that people rise and fall in our class system. We pride ourselves on a certain degree of mobility and class fluidity—and periodic stories of “rags to riches” reflect the possibilities that exist for upward mobility. But there are a lot of smart people who work extremely hard and live very economically insecure lives. The growing reality is that we think of ourselves as much more mobile than we factually are. Research shows that most people stay in the income group they start life in. The single biggest determinant of one’s class identity as a middle-aged adult is not your education level or job, but your father’s occupation and income (The Century Foundation). As a society, we tend to focus on individuals, not on the social structures and social context that impact and shape them.
How much of a role does inherited privilege play in our society?
Humorist Will Rogers once said: “If there was a correlation between wealth and hard work, we’d see a lot of rich lumberjacks.” It’s estimated that over 50 percent of wealth is inherited, which means winning the game of “ovarian roulette” is a major factor. But there are more subtle and invisible ways in which inherited privilege and advantages explain current class outcomes. Someone born into a U.S. family that is white, owns property, and has higher education levels competes in our economy with some clear advantages over someone who is born outside the U.S., is a person of color, and has less family wealth, property and educational opportunity.
Are you saying my efforts and hard work don’t matter?
No. Individual effort, creativity and wits do matter. But should they justify such huge canyons of inequality? At some point, we need to ask: “What kind of society do we want to live in? What is the price of ‘dog eat dog’ competition when the winners get mansions and private jets and the losers become homeless or, at the very least, have little or no access to health care and lead shorter lives of toil and hardship? Where does hard work end and inherited advantage begin?”
Are classism and inequality the result of our system of values?
We’ve built a society and culture around certain values of competition and individual private wealth. We celebrate and value certain people and what they do much more than others. But wouldn’t we all be better off if everyone’s efforts were valued and maximized? Are teachers really worth so much less than bond traders? Is paid work the only way to value someone’s contribution to society? What about the invisible “caring economy” and the unpaid work that many women do? Should we focus so much on individual achievement and merit to the detriment of strong community institutions and values of sharing? If we can unpack some of the myths about class, maybe we can have an honest conversation about the values underlying our economy.
Isn’t the U.S. the most upwardly mobile society in the world?
Not anymore. It used to be that the U.S. was a mobile society and the “old world” countries of Europe had rigid class systems and limited mobility. But unfortunately, there has been a reversal in these trends. In the thirty years after World War II, in the years 1947 to 1977, the U.S. experienced rising opportunity and mobility. But as the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman recently observed in The Wall Street Journal, “The big finding in recent years is that the notion of America being a highly mobile society isn’t as true as it used to be.” This is why we have a stake in making sure the economy works for everyone, not just the very wealthy. To read more on declining U.S. mobility see www.classism.org/about_class.php
Isn’t race more important than class in explaining inequalities and problems in society and the economy?
Because of our history of racism in the U.S., we cannot pretend that race isn’t a dominant stamp upon our class system. There are deep interconnections and complex interactions between race and class, as well as gender. Bill Fletcher Jr., president of TransAfrica Forum, writes: “Class is the fault line of U.S. society and race is the trip wire.” But “ranking” oppressions and saying that one is more important than the other is not constructive. In order to deal effectively with classism we need to deal with racism and sexism. And in order to deal effectively with racism or sexism, we need to deal with class.
Aren’t people of color the majority of poor people?
No. The majority of poor people in the United States are white. But because class has been racialized in the U.S., a greater percentage of people of color live in poverty. Poverty and unemployment rates for African-Americans, Latinos (Hispanics), and Native Americans are more than double that of white Americans. We all need to broaden our understanding of how race, class, and gender oppressions are linked.
I saw this yesterday, I just saw it again.
It is NOT YOUR FUCKING PLACE TO JUDGE SOMEONE WHO IS HAVING A HARD TIME FINANCIALLY.
It’s not your place at all. Fuck you.
This bullshit of “well, if you’re THAT poor then you shouldn’t be spending money on new clothes, or a phone, or…
This is wrong in so many ways. It actually is my place to judge someone who is having a hard time financially, especially if they are on welfare that I’M PAYING FOR. First, POOR PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE NICE THINGS. What the fuck. Nice things, such as iPhones, nice clothes, rims on their fucking cars, etc., are all PRIVLIGES, and if you can barely afford food and housing you should not be spending your money on that. And lol, “Clothes go out of style, we need clothes to be presentable in society and, you know, for work”…well, if you’re actually poor, whats in style shouldn’t be your top priority, and you don’t need nice clothes to be presentable in society, AND, if you’re so poor, I doubt you’re working somewhere where you would need to wear nice, stylish clothes. You can buy decent clothes that look “presentable” and “non-holey and worn out” from Wal-Mart or Target. Yet, they buy it at Nordstrom, Abercrombie, Forever 21, etc. Also, I don’t think anybody would get mad at a poor person buying Taco Bell. That seems extremely normal and a good choice in the situation.
First of all, I would like to know how many “poor” people you have personally followed into Nordstrom’s to watch buy clothing. That’s some blatant classist stereotyping and generalizing right there.
How are you determining they’re even poor? Are they telling you this while inviting you to come and watch their shopping trip? Are you deciding they’re poor by looking at them and then stalking them around the store to see what they buy?
Or are you just buying into a decades old Reaganonimcs scare tactic about supposed welfare queens and regurgitating it because you don’t like what I said?
I never in my post said anything about spending money you didn’t have on wildly expensive shit. I said having nice clothes to be presentable.
Also, you claim that poorer people wouldn’t be working at jobs that required them to dress up? You’re an asshole and clearly out of touch with reality.
You also say that you don’t need nice clothes to be presentable in society. Again, if you read my post I specifically illustrated an example of “not nice” clothing. We live in a judgmental culture. So yes, you DO need to have acceptable clothes to look presentable. Or would you like to go around wearing rags or very obviously outdated clothing from the 70’s and see how long you can put up with the judgmental stares people WILL send your way? Have you ever been in that situation on a daily basis?
Here’s another pro-tip. They’re called consignment stores. You can get brand name clothing there for cheaper than getting clothes at Wal-Mart and Target most times. So even if a “poor” person IS wearing brand name clothes, you have no idea how or where they got them.
Lastly, nice conflation of poor to mean welfare. By the way, all of these federal benefits you get from living in the United States? Poor people help pay for too because guess what? They get taxed too.
No. Your judgmental, overly generalizing and stereotyping, ignorant and unempathetic, privileged self does not get to judge the poor, especially when you still appear to be in fucking high school yourself (at least according to your tumblr bio) and have never had a day of the real world.
I’ve seen many OBVIOUSLY poor people, who are most likely on welfare shop and buy clothes at Nordstrom, and other stores like it. Yes, it’s stereotyping, but, boo hoo, cry me a river. There’s a reason why the stereotypes exist. 99.9% of the time there is truth behind them.
The shopping for clothes example wasn’t too strong. I typically can determine they are poor because they live in Public Housing…yet, they drive a Mercedes with nice rims. And don’t act like you never just see people and make an assumption that they’re poor, and don’t need to be buying a fucking Chanel bag. I honestly wouldn’t care that much if they weren’t on welfare (that *I* am paying for). But they are, most of the time. If not, then I don’t care, it’s their money, they can spend it how they want.
No, I’m not out of touch with reality. If you were really THAT poor that you could barely afford Taco Bell, I can make a nice ASSUMPTION that you wouldn’t be working at a job that requires you to look nice. It’s a generalization, and theres always a few exceptions from the rules, but most of the time, it’s true.
And lolol, we live in a judgmental society, however, if you’re truly *that* poor, I think you have other things to worry about than what some random people you walk by on the streets think of your clothing. I’m definitely not poor, but I couldn’t care less what people think of my clothes. I always get “judgmental” stares from girls walking down the street and in school. And it doesn’t bother me, because, again, I don’t care what random people think of me.
And great. They *could* buy the clothes at consignment stores, but most of the time, I see them wearing clothes that didn’t come out too long ago—so they wouldn’t be at a consignment store.
And I’m not equating poor to welfare. I am willing to say that 95% of the people that I’m talking about in here^ are on welfare. Those are the poor people that I don’t support, because I HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM, and muuucch of the time they are illegal, illegals who don’t pay taxes. Like I said, I do not give a shit if you’re poor, and not on welfare. Spend your money on what you want. It’s yours. But I have a problem with it when I’m paying for you to be able to buy a new Mercedes, when I can’t get that myself.
And lmao. You’re retarded. Your making generalizations about me, and being judgmental to me in your last paragraph. I’m not going to be a pussy and get offended, because unlike you, I couldn’t care less if you stereotype/judge me, but, I suppose I’ll retort. Funny how you assume I’m privileged and have no place in judging the poor, especially since I’m in High school and have “never had a day of the real world”. That just proves how ignorant *you* are. I am privileged, so what? For the millionth time, If I am paying for them, then I have EVERY right to judge them. And furthermore, no matter who they are, I can judge them. I judge every single person I meet. And don’t act like you don’t either. Don’t act like you didn’t judge me—or even anyone you just walk by on the street. Because I guarantee that you do. And yeah, I’m in High School? Your point, that I’ve never had a day of the real world….right. Riiight. You just made THAT assumption/generalization of me. Obviously I’ve never had a day in the real world, since I’m still living with my parents. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know what goes on in the real world. My mother grew up in the Projects and she told me everything about it. How hard it was on a daily basis. But guess what? Even though she was DIRT POOR she managed to actually make something of her life, by becoming a Doctor, instead of mooching off other working Americans. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what the real world is like. Don’t tell me what I’ve been through and haven’t been through. I know what the real world is.
Sweetie, whose tax dollars do you think funds the military that you want to join?
I’m going to lay this out very basically for you.
You are judging people off of false assumptions and grossly overly blown generalizations. Your falling back to stereotypes being 99.9% true without ever being willing to look at any sort of context behind that is terribly problematic.
And the military that you want to join is funded by our taxes. Taxes that poor people pay. So you can cut your bs about welfare, because all of your pay, insurance, etc that you’re gonna have when you’re in the military is going to come from the rest of us. And that would mean that your logic then extends to every single decision or purchase or action that you make or take is now under our purview for judgment.
I saw this yesterday, I just saw it again.
It is NOT YOUR FUCKING PLACE TO JUDGE SOMEONE WHO IS HAVING A HARD TIME FINANCIALLY.
It’s not your place at all. Fuck you.
This bullshit of “well, if you’re THAT poor then you shouldn’t be spending money on new clothes, or a phone, or a computer, or to have internet. You shouldn’t be spending money on food I don’t think is acceptable poor people food.”
FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING PRIVILEGED, CLASSIST ASSFUCK.
Let’s have some real talk to get this shit through your classist blinders.
POOR PEOPLE DESERVE NICE THINGS TOO. THEY’RE ALLOWED TO HAVE NICE THINGS.
Don’t buy new clothes? WTF is wrong with you? What planet of Reagan bullshit welfare queen scare are you still living on?
CLOTHES WEAR OUT. THEY GO OUT OF STYLE. WE NEED CLOTHES TO BE PRESENTABLE IN SOCIETY AND, YOU KNOW, FOR WORK.
You cannot show up to an office job in a holey, worn out button up shirt, missing buttons, that was fashionable in 1973. It’s not appropriate. You cannot work as a cashier with clothes that are about to fall apart.
If you want to keep your job, you need the appropriate clothing. If you want to move up in your job, or find a better job, you need to invest in the appropriate clothing.
So yes, you need to spend money on clothes. Nobody is telling you that they’re gonna go out and buy outrageously priced designer duds. So shut the fuck up. Because if they’re spending the money, they’re wasteful and vain. If they’re not spending the money, then they’re lazy and don’t have any ambition to try and “better their lives”. Fuck you.
The same goes with phones and computers and the internet. Whether you want to admit it or not, much of our daily lives revolve around cyberspace. Most people job hunt online. Get their information online. They need to be able to communicate wherever they go. We no longer live in an age where people write letters as a primary form of communication or only communicate via landline IF they’re home.
No. If you’re looking for a job, they’re gonna want to be able to have you available immediately. If you have a job, they’re gonna want to be able to get a hold of you immediately.
And another thing. Poor people are allowed to have nice things. Everyone should be allowed to have some comforts.
That’s like saying since y’all are saving for retirement or whatever the fuck you’re working for, you’re not allowed to have anything nice while you’re saving for it.
"But that’s different!" you say? "I work hard for my money!" you say?
SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE. They’re entitled to niceties just like you are. You want to get a loan for a house? Okay, you have to eat ramen until the loan is paid off.
THIS IS YOUR LOGIC, YOU ASSHOLES.
I’ve been poor. I’m not by any means RICH now, but I’m a far cry from the dirt poor I used to be. I’ve been so desperate that I would beg cabbies for quarters and walk around the streets all day on my day off looking for loose change, just so I could afford a few packs of ramen, and then I’d ration those off and live on ramen broth.
You know what a fucking feast was in those days? A fucking two dollar Taco Bell burrito. And FUCK YOU if you tell me I shouldn’t have spent that money on one meal. Sometimes YOU NEED ONE. NICE. THING. to get you through that shit.
So fuck you. Fuck you all and your classist bullshit.
You’re so out of touch with reality that I’m surprised your heads aren’t orbiting Uranus. Lord knows your asses must be begging for a break, for as much as you’ve been talking out of them.
Stop enforcing your bizarro and impossible Catch-22 standards on other people. Stop feeling like you’re fucking entitled to bully people that aren’t on your “level”. Stop with your hypocrisy.
And if you don’t? I really hope those asses you keep forcing to speak for you revolt and make you start shitting out your mouths.
And for everyone else? Eat that goddamned burrito and eat it right in their fucking faces.