As Andrew Golis points out, this might suggest something even deeper than the idea that poverty’s stress interferes with our ability to make good decisions. The inescapability of poverty weighs so heavily on the author that s/he abandons long-term planning entirely, because the short term needs are so great and the long-term gains so implausible. The train is just not coming. What if the psychology of poverty, which can appear so irrational to those not in poverty, is actually “the most rational response to a world of chaos and unpredictable outcomes,” he wrote.
None of this is an argument against poorer families trying to save or plan for the long-term. It’s an argument for context. As Eldar Shafir, the author of the Science study, told The Atlantic Cities‘ Emily Badger: “All the data shows it isn’t about poor people, it’s about people who happen to be in poverty. All the data suggests it is not the person, it’s the context they’re inhabiting.”
Komal Ahmad created a new vehicle to get uneaten food to the people that need it the most.
Excess food wastage is a serious problem in the United States. Americans throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal and glass, and in 2012 (the most recent year with available data), Americans threw out over 35 million tons of food. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry every year.
As Ahmad said, excess food waste is “literally the world’s dumbest problem.” She noted that “Hunger is bad – it’s terrible everywhere – but in America, in the most prosperous, industrialized country in the world, this just shouldn’t exist.”
As Ahmad told the New York Daily News, “We need to figure out how to establish sustainable solutions that can distribute the food we already have faster and get it to people who need it faster and safely.”
Appearing on the the hit American satirical news show, The Daily Show, South African comedian Trevor Noah, spoke with the host, Jon Stewart about his anxiety around visiting the United States
It actually is quite silly but, if you really think about it, most of the stuff Trevor Noah highlights here has a touch of truth with it.
Using current affairs as a point of comic departure, Noah, expresses his fear of American police, comparing them to the brutal apartheid police of the old South Africa. With sharp irony, he also launches an offensive on the US’s attitude to Ebola ‘in Africa’ (stating a funny but true fact about Ebola statistics between South Africa & the US). And, of course, what would current affairs comedy be without a jab at Bob Geldof’s silly Band Aid 30 initiative.
This video brought me back to a “Black people don’t vote” meeting held in one of the most federally reliant cities in the Capital Region, NY. The message was, African Americans do not vote, therefore if you are arrested and not a registered voter or have not recently voted, – you are disregarded. Another was, African Americans do not have collective issues such as other communities and groups. One of the attendees, a young child replied that her mother, with a Master’s degree, could not find employment – “because she is Black.” The room went silent.
The speaker moved on with his agenda, pushing forward “his” chosen candidates, which was really the point of this advertised “empowerment” meeting. Who were these candidates? One woman who the speaker noted refused to personally address African American speaking engagements – the other, a woman who personally told me, when asked two years ago, how she stood on African American issues that she was only concerned with women and seniors. I left the meeting assured that these candidates would be elected on the African American vote since they were advocated through white Democratic-manufactured Black community leaders.
None of the current local or world issues was addressed at this meeting. The audience sat fearful of offending the speaker, thus projecting animosity towards the only Black city council official who had organized this meeting. The question begs, how is a city with a dormant Affirmative Action program addressed by hiring more white women, limited access to private industry employment, currently publicized race-based physical and psychological workplace attacks, and an African American community held hostage by Black representatives to manage city-wide issues affecting their health and well-being? This video may be a start. It has been proven that churches, the old stand-by, are not the answer. Community groups throwing civil service jobs, poverty programs and bread to the hungry are not the answer. One woman stated, “The birds are getting fat,” after shouting, “bread, bread, bread.” Black history month is coming fast upon us. Are we going to dig out worn photos of historic Black firsts in American establishments and politics? Or are we finally going to hold ourselves up to the mirror? If not now, then when?
Ebola dead are carted away to cremation without burial rites and rituals. Their families cast aside as refuge. All of the victims are not Ebola deaths, however. Under legitimate fear and the subsequent necessary forced cremation policy, all dead are now being carried away while their families look on in horror. The photo below tells some of this story. The associated article and photos tell the rest. Sacred social rituals are easily disposed of among the most poor of any community.
A woman throws a handful of soil towards the body of her sister as Ebola burial team members take her Mekie Nagbe, 28, for cremation on October 10, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. Nagbe, a market vendor, collapsed and died outside her home earlier in the morning while leaving to walk to a treatment center, according to her relatives. The burial of loved ones is important in Liberian culture, making the removal of infected bodies for cremation all the more traumatic for surviving family members. John Moore/Getty Images
For decades, the fault in education disparities between low-income whites and African Americans was thrown atop the African American parents and parenting skills. They are not equip to raise children to think critically, engage literature, and calculate, – some said. The some included government officials, teacher’s unions, and even Black officials. Maybe this article will set them straight.
Mayors, teachers unions, and news commentators have boiled down the academic achievement gap between white and black students to one root cause: parents. Even black leaders and barbershop chatter target “lazy parents” for academic failure in their communities, dismissing the complex web of obstacles that assault urban students daily.
A reader of The Root noted in the comments section of our site that this form of PTSD should have been labelled CTSD, or “continuous traumatic stress disorder,” and I agree.
To understand CTSD, it works like this: It begins with an infected set of economics. Low-income jobs lead to low-income-areas. Poor housing usually means poor education. If left untreated, the infection takes root and attacks the sensibilities, altering perceptions. Guns, drugs and turf battles become larger-scale symptoms, as does living in a constant state of fear. Apologies are no longer effective in treatment. Once airborne and full-blown, CTSD spreads through neighborhoods, creating a sense of dread that is comparable only to living in a war zone.
Yvette Carnell teams up with Dr. Boyce Watkins to chime in on the discourse following Paul Ryan’s recent disparaging quotes. Check http://habariganiamerica.net for comments by Ta-Nehisi Coates and others.
Dr. Boyce Watkins:
Recently, Paul Ryan was called out for remarks about inner city men, with Democrats calling him a racist. But Bill Maher pointed out that Michelle Obama made a set of remarks that were similar to those of Ryan. So, what does that say?