August 14, 2012
Judgement, Judgement Everywhere
This is a little bit of a rant, so if you choose to walk away, I will understand.
All over Facebook, Pinterest, and blogs......people are ranting about the abuse of Food Stamps (EBT, SNAP, whatever else your state calls them). They range from mild disgust, to outrageous hate. I understand, in this economy, and with our government spending tax payer money like it is monopoly money, why people are up in arms. And recently the Obama Administration was trying to get more people to sign up...like it is a prize or something.
The rant on my part, which has been brewing in my brain for weeks, is this...........DO NOT JUDGE UNTIL YOU WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES. Yes, there are abuses. But for every one person who abuses the system, there are 50 who don't. Stop lumping us in to one category, just because we are swallowing our pride and asking for help. It doesn't help our self esteem one bit, and it makes you look like an ass.
A gentleman I don't know, posted a photo of a woman at a local grocery store in NH, on Facebook this afternoon. He took the photo himself without her permission. He was outraged that she used an EBT card, but was driving a very fancy SUV from Massachusetts. He also assumed that she is on vacation at a campground (I can only assume he followed her? Otherwise how would he know this).
Let me give you another scenario:
-She is living at the campground because, after 20 years at her job, she was let go. The company folded. She has over 200 applications out to various businesses, including for jobs like burger flipping at McDonald's. Nothing.
-She has 2 or 3 kids that need to eat. They also need to be able to go to the doctors when they are sick.
-The newer SUV she was driving was actually her parents, who drove up to check on her, since she no longer has a phone, so they can't call. She hadn't been able to get to the store because her car broke down weeks ago, so she borrowed their car so she could get some food.
Among some other assumptions I see.....you have a tattoo so you must be abusing the system. I personally got my tattoo while I was not on assistance, and paid for it myself. I will not be removing it in this lifetime, no matter how much it offends you.
You have a smart phone, so you must be abusing the system. You can now get smart phones for prepaid phone plans like Straight Talk for only $45 per month. So that is no indication of anything....would you rather they use the Safelink, the taxpayer funded free phone? Me personally....I have a smart phone that is costing me way too much per month. I got it when I was still at my job and not receiving assistance of any kind, to help build my credit score back up. I wasn't planning on getting hurt, or having to go back on assistance. But the carrier doesn't care, my contract doesn't run out until May of next year, and unless you are willing to pay the $300 penalty for early termination, I will not be getting rid of my phone just to please you. It is also my only phone, I do not have a house phone.
My point is this: I worked since I was 14 years old, and more years than I care to count, as a single mother. I paid into the system just like you................DO NOT JUDGE. But for the grace of G-d go I..............
Ok, rant over :)