Arthur Wise, president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
This is so true. I worked at a school that was majority black. The students enter 6th grade and their math teacher is a woman who has just gotten off maternity leave and was regularly teaching social studies.
So many of the students failed math that year. They were made to feel like their failure was wholly their fault and their lack of caring about their education. Obviously they are individuals that could have made better decisions in class and with their homework, but the fact that the administration was so unorganized was never brought up.
Let’s also include the fact that Teach for America inundates at risk schools with young teachers who receive about five weeks of training. Some people join Teach for America as a precursor to a teaching career, but many people use it as a “gap year” (in the case of TFA two years) before moving onto either higher education or another profession. There are some people in TFA who are wholly committed to serving their students and come with an education background, but so many of them don’t have this foundation.
One manager at the apartment complex where I worked while in college told me, repeatedly, that she knew I was “Okay” because my little Nissan was clean. That I had worn a Jones of New York suit to the interview really sealed the deal. She could call the suit by name because she asked me about the label in the interview. Another hiring manager at my first professional job looked me up and down in the waiting room, cataloging my outfit, and later told me that she had decided I was too classy to be on the call center floor. I was hired as a trainer instead. The difference meant no shift work, greater prestige, better pay and a baseline salary for all my future employment.
I have about a half dozen other stories like this. What is remarkable is not that this happened. There is empirical evidence that women and people of color are judged by appearances differently and more harshly than are white men. What is remarkable is that these gatekeepers told me the story. They wanted me to know how I had properly signaled that I was not a typical black or a typical woman, two identities that in combination are almost always conflated with being poor.”
More snippets from this article about why people in poverty buy expensive products that they “can’t afford”. When it comes to upward mobility and standards of living, being able to own and wear status markers makes a HUGE difference.
this article is really really good, definitely worth reading the whole thing.
I see “poverty envy” all the time. Privileged people honestly believe being poor is fun and easy. “If Obama gets reelected, I’m going to quit my job and live off government entitlements!” Sure you are. Let me know how that works out.
Having a TV, a fridge, and a coffee maker doesn’t mean you aren’t poor. It means you live in an industrialized nation with a consistent power grid (thanks, government!). My apartment came with a fridge included, I won my coffee maker at a wine festival (true story), and my last TV was carted from my in-laws’ spare bedroom. And I’m not even poor! The Heritage Foundation is desperately in need of a reality check.
(via stfuconservatives) What these tanks fail to mention is that with the changing face of modern basic living and the continuing rise of technological infiltration into everyday life, what once seemed like a luxury item is now a basic requirement for existence on this planet. Maybe a refrigerator would be a luxury item…if many of us still had iceboxes in the garage to store our tinned goods in and the iceman came once every two days to refill it. But that technology is obsolete. The refrigerator is the new ‘basic living.’ And my favorite example of the deliberate omission of the new American life concerns internet access and cell phones. Poor people with smartphones become targets. Poor people with computer access become targets. And yet Internet access has become vital to finding jobs and filling out applications both for assistance and work. A cell phone becomes necessary to have contact with potential employers. We’re asked to believe that what was a luxury item in the 1950s is a luxury item in 2012 and that just isn’t true. Not to mention that I am positive that there are people who go without these goods too—part of the upswing in public library usage has to do with public access to internet for people who can no longer afford service…but still live in a world where it is necessary. But this demonization works because people are so fucking desperate to believe in the welfare myths, the hordes of poor people sucking the hard-working rich people dry of their hard-earned dollars so that they can buy cell phones! And coffee pots! And TVs! Oh my! Luxury is your tax break on your millions of dollars. Luxury is your multiple houses while people go without shelter. Luxury is knowing your millions are untouchable. Luxury is not a refrigerator. (via inautumn-inkashmir)
IN OTHER NEWS, WATER IS WET
I love (read: hate) how it’s not really real when people who live this reality are shouting up and down that this is how it is, this is the truth, this is the world out there and everyone’s still passing around that ridiculous as hell “you can buy healthy foods for cheap” infographic that must’ve been made in 1970 because fuck it doesn’t even touch what real prices are here in 2013. It’s just people talking, it’s just “anecdata” which is a word people use to say “your life experience isn’t scientific enough to count”.
But when the U of Washington or the U of AnyFuckingThing does a fucking study, oh well, then it’s very real. When people who probably don’t have to live this reality go in and come up with some numbers, oh well, then it’s data. Then it’s gospel fucking truth. Then we can recognize a problem. Probably not do anything about it because, let’s face it, the system is doing what it was designed to do. Punish and starve out those already made most vulnerable economically or in other ways.
But we’ll have a study that documents that it was really real because the U of Washington fucking DISCOVERED it. And all those people who were practically shouting the walls down about it? Magically they evaporate and were never there.