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We Need To Stop Normalizing Poor Shaming

October 31, 2020

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What is poor shaming? Basically shaming poor people for using assistance (like food stamps) to provide for themselves or their families.

There are ignorant fools who think everyone who uses SNAP is unemployed. One time I was on Facebook, you know how people were collecting unemployment because the C-19 closed their job. This guy was angry people collect unemployment and ‘sit on their butts’ while he barely makes it on his job. Someone replied he is working for the wealthiest company in the world (Amazon) and he is blaming people out of work collecting unemployment so they can still eat. Amazon’s CEO and other wealthy corps pay zero taxes but its the fault of the poor for why your wages are so low?

Why is it, if you are barely scraping by, why is it the fault of someone on disability or food stamps and not your employer?

You think disabled people on disablity ‘sit on their ass’ well in some cases

  1. they have a chance to get the treatment they had to miss because of work ( ex if their illness calls for bi-weekly doctor’s visits that they had to miss because they could not get their employer to approve of the day off and the clinic is closed on weekends. (or close early and all of the appointments were taken) Following up with your doctor is important. Abled-bodied people can’t get employers to approved of vacations or off days for proms etc. How can disabled/sick folks get approval for their needed appointments?
  2. or if the meds impair them. ( most pill bottles tell you the meds may cause dizziness and drowsiness and not operate a machine. They cannot drive on meds that impair their ability. Imagine having to skip the meds so you can make it to work. Which worsens your illness.
  3. the job itself hurts their health. ex if a diabetic can’t check his sugar because the employer will have a fit. He could slip into a coma if his sugar gets too low.

People who need help are not your enemy

There are other possibilities.

On an autism page, I had a run-in with someone who hates people who collect SSI. What did a person on SSI take from him? If you are not making enough money. That is your employer’s fault. If all he does is bully people on SSI, he needs to GTFO the internet. Is he really gonna bully millions of disabled people and the elderly? Shaming and belittling a person on disability is not going to raise his wages. I wrote this rant blog post shortly after

Here is a post explaining my process, after that tell me where is the ‘handout’ part.

To this guy, I am Hitler for collecting something that can really help me.

Your employer is the on paying you slave wages

You work for your employer, not SNAP. Not SSI.

If your employer paid you a living wage, you would not have to work 2 jobs. IT’S YOUR EMPLOYER, NOT THE GUY WHO JUST WANTS TO FEED HIS KIDS AND NEEDS SNAP.

It’s not the fault of the unemployed. There are barriers that keep people from gaining employment. I admit there are people who are able to gain employment who won’t.

If you keep blaming other poor people and not these large corps you will never get 15/hr. Stop coming down on people who are trying to make a living. A consequence of the helldemic put so many people out of work.

Your Ableism is tiring

You will never know. You could get sick, lose your job, and need that assistance you spent your life bullying people for needing.

Like that guy coming down on me for needing disability. God forbid he gets sick or hurt and needs it to provide for himself. Do you really deserve it since you thought you were all that and mocked innocent people for needing it.

I get it, people abuse things and the guidelines get tougher. Jesus, not every single person on the globe using it gamed the system!

If they weren’t disabled, they’d be working. Even then. Hiring managers are too picky.

Situations change. When that mother of 3 had her kids. She had a good-paying job to care for them. The plant closed and she could not find another job. Stop acting like you know everything about their situation.

What you see through your lens isn’t always right.

We are better than this.

The real enemy is your employer. Not the struggling disabled/sick person who needs disability. I find it sad that we’ve normalized putting people down for their circumstances.

Your employer is the real enemy not the disabled/poor.

You are angry at the wrong people. You would have time to ‘sit on your ass’ if your employer paid you a living wage. Meaning you would not have to work 3 jobs to pay your bills if your job paid you enough.

Imagine a society where jobs pay low and people take their rage out on a struggling person using food stamps or disability like they are stealing from you and not your job. Think if jobs paid more, folks would not need stamps, if jobs were easier to get, people would not need assistance. People will always have some barriers that stop them from getting jobs etc lack of transportation.

If people were able to find a job after they finished college.

I just don’t understand why someone using food stamps to eat makes folks so angry but not employers paying wages so low that they need stamps to eat.

I don’t understand why someone on SSI makes folks so irate but not the fact that jobs are inaccessible, ableism, discrimination, etc are barriers that keep disabled people out of jobs. Eg if a guy in a wheelchair can work in an office but none of them have ramps or elevators.

Disability benefits are not handouts

And people calling assistance ‘handouts.’ I feel that they do this to feel better about themselves. They don’t know the person’s story beyond what they tell on Facebook or Twitter. They enjoy looking down on people for trying to make it. So they call it a handout.

If the disability benefits are a ‘handout’ then why do people go through 3 or more denials to get it? Why do you need loads of medical evidence to back up how your illness keeps you from working? I didn’t realize I needed such proof for a ‘handout.’

If all they had to do is give it to me, I wouldn’t need a lawyer, notes from the doctor, and my records from the school. My records from school had a background regarding the issues teachers saw with my social skills. One thing jobs require that autism hinders.

Why can’t ya’ll just leave us alone? We are not taking anything from you using disability or food stamps or WIC. Stop taking your anger out on an innocent mother using stamps to feed herself and her child and instead channel your energy towards your employer, you know the guy that is paying you slave wages. I kept repeating this. But obviously, nothing will get done blaming an innocent person who just wants to make it.

Ok, I get It

You have a right to be angry that you are hardly scarping buy. You are taking your anger out on the wrong person. If that guy in the group is hardly making it, it is not my fault. I don’t even know him.

I find it pretty sad that because there are people who game the system to get the help they don’t need, we’ve somehow normalized the assumption that every single person using said help is gaming the system as well and proceed to come down on them, accuse them of taking handouts and shame them because they need help. There is NOTHING wrong with needing help if you do need it. Don’t let those judgemental assholes tell you.

Closing Statement

I made the mistake of telling an autism group about my disability case. When one member accused me of taking handouts. I should have said ‘since you are such an expert at everyone’s circumstances, please tell me how this is a ‘handout?’ I started my case in 2015/2016. This is 2020. Gee, this is one hell of a handout if it took nearly 4 years to get. My mom is still fighting for her ‘handout’ and she started in 2012.’ I wanna hear from the expert.’

The point behind the ‘expert’ part is to see what the person really knows. Do they think you walk into the building, say you need disability, and bam you get a free check? Total opposite. The process varies depending on what you are filing for.

It may be a snarky rude remark but I have a point. If someone needs help, why do you come down on them saying it’s a handout? You are shaming the fact that this person is struggling and food stamps or WIC or SSI is the glue that is holding them together so they can get back on track. Maybe they need the disability check while going to school. Maybe they want to work from home and need to get things they need like a computer. Working from home is the only job I can get and if this helps me fund the things I need. To judgemental pricks this is a handout, to the struggling person, it is a lifeline to help them get on their feet.

There is more to a story than what the person tells you.

Stop acting like you know everything about everyone.

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