Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Archive for the ‘facebook’ Category

Friendship. Ur doin it rong.

Well, it finally happened.

Not because I am atheist.

Not because I am liberal.

Not because I am loud, provocative and offensive.

I lost a friend because I am poor.

It didn’t start out that way.  It started out as a typical Facebook debate over liberal and conservative ideals.  Welfare was brought up, as usually happens no matter what the original topic is, and I reminded my friend that I am a government assistance recipient.

It isn’t much.  My son receives Medicaid and SNAP (the new name for the federal food stamp program.)  We recently voluntarily gave up his WIC benefits because I felt we did not need them.

I take a lot of pride in the contents of my friends list.  I did one of those “who’s on your list” things about a year or so ago.  Most of my list is composed of people who are opposite of me in almost every respect.  Religion, politics, education, financial situation, sexual orientation, marital status, you name a demographic variable and my friends are different than me.

I think that’s awesome.

Back to the story.

This friend became upset because I did not choose to take him up on a job offer he presented to me several months ago.  If I remember correctly, this offer was presented as I was choosing to return to school to begin my graduate degree.  The decision had already been made, I had come to an agreement with my family about the support they would give to help me achieve this goal and I had already accepted a job on campus.  If I remember correctly…it’s entirely possible that I have the timeline wrong.  If I do, it means the offer came as I was graduating last summer (pretty sure that isn’t it) or it came after I had already begun classes, taken a job and would be unable to do something different.  Quitting in the middle of the semester is grossly irresponsible financially for a number of reasons.  Not the least of which is that any financial aid received gets all messed up and withdrawing with F’s or I’s doesn’t work the same way at the graduate level as it does as an undergraduate.

Not that any of this even matters.

There is a pervasive idea in this country that if you are poor, you are undeserving.  You must work your fingers to their bloody bone, never have anything nice, always be miserable until you climb up bruised and beaten to the next tiny rung on the social mobility ladder and you’ll be grateful about it whether or not you actually reach the next level.

Because I am poor, I must try and get a job any place I can, shun any chance at happiness or goal fulfillment, never buy anything new, hide my face away inside my home so that no one gets the wrong idea that my life might actually be good and never draw out of a system I have paid into consistently.

I should not use my talents to get the education I need to have the career I want if I am poor because it might mean 1/10000000 of 1% of the aid I receive might come from someone who does not think I should have it.

(Wonder how well that will work when I start demanding the money I pay in taxes only go to those in need and NOT fund war or farm subsidies or corporate welfare.)

I have a great life.  I have a wonderful family.  I am happy and fulfilled.  I work a job I love that provides me with a small salary, great experience and allows me to go to school at a significant discount.  It adds to my employment capital, AKA the “thud factor” on the curriculum vitae that I will provide to the school where I earn my PhD.

I’m angry that I feel like I need to explain myself.  I’m not doing anything wrong.  I’m sad that someone would choose to judge me and refuse my friendship over $300 per month that buys food and only food for my family.

When I was strung out, I hid away.  I never applied or received any assistance from the gov’t.  Thank Bob my family thought I deserved to survive or I’d probably be homeless and still strung out right now.  It wasn’t until I decided to go get those things I want for my life and had a family to support that I applied for assistance in the first place.  It wasn’t until I decided to make something of myself that I asked for help.

And this is why I know it isn’t about welfare fraud or welfare drug users or welfare queens, whatever the hell that even is.

Because I’m not any of those things, but I am still undeserving, I am still a leech on the system; I am still filthy liberal scum.

Guess what?

Friendship. Ur doin it rong.

Written by thelittlepecan

August 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

A Word on Tolerance. Well, Several, Actually.

I fancy myself a pretty open-minded individual.  I like civil rights, I’m a big fan of free speech and I personally think the United States Constitution was a great start for securing those things for a budding nation.  When I’m studying groups I don’t understand or want to know more about, I think I have a great capacity to tolerate whatever crazy ideals the members of that group may have and I try very hard to honor their humanity without compromising my own.

But, there’s one thing I can’t stand, I won’t stand and certainly in my personal life I absolutely will not tolerate.  Intolerance.

Liberals get bagged as very wishy-washy when it comes to things like this.  I hear that right-wing stand-by “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” often as the go-to for pointing out that open-minded tolerance of all types of views and opinions basically makes us spineless.

I think I may agree.

See, we’ve gotten so used to touting ourselves as lovers of everyone that when people start spewing hate all over the world, including our schools, even from those in charge of education, we sort of throw our hands up in the name of free speech.  Or go the opposite way and start threatening people or their families, which is pretty abhorrent behavior.

Then there’s this guy, Andrew Shirvell who used to work in the Michigan Attorney General’s office but was fired for conduct unbecoming an officer of the court.  Conduct in the form of an anti-gay blog.

I’m not advocating that we start policing folks for taking advantage of their Constitutional right to be a jackahole (similar to whack-a-mole) at all.  What I am advocating is that we stop allowing people the space in our personal lives to be hateful.

I used to really try to let everyone have a say on my social networking pages.  Then someone posted something really anti-GLBT.  I was mortified.  I was worried that my gay and lesbian friends would see that and think that I was okay with someone posting things like that on my page.  So, I started deleting.  Then I started deleting “friends” who could only drum up happy talk for other types that only believed like they do.  I am not the United States and my personal life is not a democracy.

Bishop Spong (who is one of the few religious heroes I have) has done amazing work changing minds and lives inside the Episcopal Church.  He recently wrote a sort of manifesto (and again, I’ll thank my friends in Religious Roundtable for the heads up on this one) basically refusing to engage in the debate of intolerance anymore.

“Life moves on. As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago: “New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth.” I am ready now to claim the victory. I will from now on assume it and live into it. I am unwilling to argue about it or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer. The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.”

You can read it in its entirety here on Walking With Integrity.

So, yeah, I’m gonna do that, too.  There aren’t always two sides to every story.  Sometimes there’s just right…and then there’s wrong.  I feel confident, even arrogant, that I’m on the side of right, on the side of human rights, so yanno, if you don’t agree, feel free to not engage with me about it, either.  I won’t tolerate intolerance.  So.  There.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 18, 2010 at 8:45 am

Blah, blah, Jesus, blah.

Yesterday, a “friend” posted some ridiculous drivel about not apologizing for being an American and some other mess about making kids say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Something about they “don’t make the kids say it no more.”

 

So, I mentioned that yes, indeed kids do say the Pledge at school and I know this because my boyfriend’s three boys all say it.  The response was that “well, we were forced to say it.”

 

Being a fan of actual facts and not fear-mongering, divisive, made-up bull-shit, I said that no, compulsory recitation has never been the case, though it has been tried in several areas of the United States since its addition to the school day.  You can actually thank the Jehovah’s Witnesses for saving you from being forced to pay allegiance to any flag or country without your permission.  I know this because I stopped saying the Pledge in the 5th grade in protest, ironically enough because I felt like we weren’t “One Nation under God” and until we were, I thought it was fallacy to recite it.  I was further supported by, I dunno, a little summer class I took on religion and politics.  But, hey, what the hell do I know?

 

I also mentioned that I don’t believe in god and non-belief really has not one damn thing to do with being an American (apologetic or not) and that the country was built on the backs of all of us (many of whom didn’t speak a lick of English, as it were.)

 

Which was met with some crap about feeling sorry for me because I don’t believe in god.

 

Really?

 

Good frakking grief.

 

First, be proud that I held my tongue, er, fingers far enough away from my keyboard so that little jolts of high voltage didn’t emerge on the responder’s end of the interwebz.

 

Second, I live in a part of the world that has a church on every corner.  I grew up immersed in the Southern Baptist tradition and I am the granddaughter of a United Methodist pastor.  Do you really think I don’t know all about your god, what he entails and whether or not I’m really missing out on something?

 

Give me a break.

 

The mere mention that I might believe something different, or nothing at all, offends you.  Stupid.  You piss and moan about how you’re so damn persecuted because you no longer have free reign to indoctrinate my child whenever and wherever you want, but when it comes to showing respect and compassion and tolerance to someone else…all that Jesus-itude goes right out the frakkin’ window.

 

I won’t even get into the fact that non-belief wasn’t a choice and if I had my druthers, it sure as shit would be a  helluva lot easier to believe than not.  When I was a Christina, I never heard someone say they didn’t think a Christian ought to be able to raise their own child…but I’ve had a Christian tell me someone ought to call DFCS and take my son away because it’s abusive to raise a child without god.  I didn’t say anything about the fact that I really don’t find your god to be all that good and I surely wouldn’t say I feel sorry for you for believing because believing in something so obviously without evidence is really kind of stupid.  Why?  Because my Mama raised me with some semblance  of manners and it’s RUDE to be condescending to someone you don’t know not to mention that it’s a little bit gaumless to engage someone who’s light-years ahead of you in knowledge of religion, belief and history.

 

Idiot.

 

So, I hit “remove from friends.”

 

Bah.  Bunch of BS if you ask me.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 6, 2010 at 12:57 am