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View Diary: The New White Poor are Not Honey Boo Boo, They Sleep in Their Cars and Shop at Trader Joe's (194 comments)

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  •  but here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
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    Mindful Nature

    there are plenty of stories written over the last few years about formally educated and formally middle class or above families becoming poor.

    It's just that this one wasn't. You can't possibly expect every story to align with what you want written, can you? A simple good search will show you that poverty stories have been written about every segment of society, every color, every past, every future, every city, etc.

    •  If I'm understanding the diarist's point however (4+ / 0-)
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      poco, burlydee, mrkvica, schnecke21

      It isn't a criticism of this story, but of the way that this story simply fosters a continued historical narrative about what white poverty looks like.

      That's a different criticism than the one you are heaping upon the diarist.

      His criticism is that in our culture we have a kind of standard idea of what white poverty looks like, and low and behold, here's yet another example of that:

      I haven't conducted the search, but I can tell you that in my neck of the woods (inside the beltway metro DC) there are very few stories about middle class people who have become poor.  You almost never see images of college educated people in poverty.  If such stories exist, I'd be happy to see them.  But when Diane Sawyer goes out into the country to do her poverty stories, more often than not she ends up in places like Appalachia and rural Oklahoma, not the suburbs of Fairfax, VA or Atlanta, GA or even Minneapolis MN.

      I'm happy to be corrected if this is true, but the fact that such a story doesn't resonate and that I can't remember one is also some pretty good evidence that the mainstream media still traffic in mostly conventional and "easy" (i.e. the ideologically established) images that make white poverty = to honey boo boo types in most people watching US media's imaginations.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 01:44:13 PM PDT

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      •  not a comprehensive search (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature

        but here's a book released this year about middle class to poverty.

        http://www.brookings.edu/...

        here's another from Huffpo

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

        As for the diarist, I'm simply saying that s/he can't expect EVERY story to reflect the angle that s/he wants. This one is about honey boo boo variety.

      •  Well, but how many people who are well educated (0+ / 0-)

        and middle class in their history/identity/aspirations would allow a reporter to cover their plight? These are people who are more likely to grocery shop after midnight to hide their snap card use from neighbors, shop high-end thrift stores for clothing and kids' stuff, and generally do all they can to cover their plight.  Being the subject of a poverty-in-America story won't advance their situation in any way; it will, however, become something prospective employers/colleagues can find online, judge, and use against them.

        Long-term poverty can teach the foolishness of hope and ambition, and lead people to give up on both. When a grandma believes there's  no future for her grandchild except drugs, then maybe she and her daughter feel less inhibited about having a reporter with a video camera show the world their pain.

        No family should feel that hopeless.

        No wonder she and her little grandson have  that look on their faces.

        •  long term poverty (2+ / 0-)
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          elfling, nomandates

          Yes, long term poverty does sometime cause people to just give up.  I have seen it, even in my own family. Education can make a big difference, but most people don't know how hard getting that education can be.  I am raising a granddaughter, I am 58, my husband is 65. He is disabled, probably won't live much longer.  I have health issues myself.  I worry alot about what, if anything I can do to get my granddaughter a better education.  College is so expensive.  I know I can't afford it, yet she really needs it.  I push her to get as good grades as she can, hoping she will get scholarships and grants, but afraid she will have to go into debt to do it.  Plus it is no guarentee that even having a degree will insure she will get a good job. Not with the economy the way it is.  She goes into the 8th grade this year.  She has 5 more years to get herself ready for the future.  I know she must get more education, but the delema is how?  That is why you see that look on their faces, why they have given up.  You struggle day after day and it doesn't seem to make much difference.  You want more for your kids, but it seems unattainable.  I do know it can be done, my daughter-in-law did it, but I also know how hard it is.

          •  Even if she has to go into debt for her education (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nomandates

            in the end I think it would be worth it.

            If she distinguishes herself as a student, encourage her to apply to private colleges, even expensive ones. Often they are more able to come up with financial aid than public schools, especially for low income families. She may actually pay less going to a very expensive school because of it.

            Study for those SAT tests, take the practice tests over and over. Speed matters. Have her read lots and lots of books.

            If she doesn't get into a 4 year university she can afford, the community college route can be very successful as well. If it's not a path to success in your state, encourage her to move to another state for her education.

            There are opportunities out there.

            Good luck to you, and to her.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 12:30:31 PM PDT

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          •  In our area, 4-H is a path to some scholarships (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nomandates

            and some good networking opportunities. I don't know if it's the case in your area, but it's worth looking into. They are usually set up to be welcoming to low-income families, and she can raise chickens for her project. :-)

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 12:32:07 PM PDT

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