Been thinking a lot lately about who I am right now, where I want to go in life, and who I want to become in that journey. Been questioning if I’m going on the right path. Been experiencing noticing a lot of changes both around me and within me. I fear that I’m losing the core of myself, who I fundamentally am and what I’m passionate about. I want to live a life of love and knowledge, and want to explore that artistically and express that creatively. But what standing in my way is not school or whatever excuse (tho that doesn’t help either), but myself and how I’ve come to internalized self-doubt and fear. Why am I so afraid of my own voice and vision? Why did I let others silence me and stomp out my fire? Why do I have to consent to this self-censorship? I always talk about self-love and self-care. But self-love means I need to let myself pursue my passion. I need to let myself feel okay and comfortable doing that and don’t ever let anybody says otherwise anymore. I need to stop old habits in order to go…#qotd #selflove #selfcare #selfexpression #reflection (at City of Long Beach)
Identities are formed at the unstable point where personal lives meet the narrative of history. Identity is an ever-unfinished conversation.
Stuart Hall (1932-2014)
damn, some of the shit he spit
"I’m a sucka for a brown-skinned dude with a clean ass fade" mmm, yeah.
Beautiful day with the bestie Ibeth #california #sunny #LA #writing #reflecting #bestie #park
Now, with commentary! Yay! Slowly, but surely, I’m starting to accept and embrace that I just don’t really care to talk all the time and am content with just listening to the conversations around me and observing my surroundings. And I’m “turnt down” most of the time because my energy is valuable, but sacred and I need to conserve it. This is what it really means to be a truly “chill” person. Lol
In the 1970s, Ronald Reagan villainized a Chicago woman for bilking the government. Her other sins—including possible kidnappings and murders—were far worse.
In brief: Linda Taylor was a real person. She was a criminal. She was an anomaly. And she—along with Regan and his morality cowboys—have caused immense harm to innocent people for decades. The whole story is worth reading, it’s brilliantly researched. Just a huge amount of work.
This is the story that has haunted welfare and government assistance for decades, not just in America but internationally. It made demonizing and dehumanizing welfare recipients acceptable. And it was a lie. The statistics show that, on the grand scale of things, the welfare queen never existed. The consequence is that, in truth, many people who could have found adequate support and made it out of poverty did not, because of the cut backs.
There’s the fraud. We are still paying, all of us, for the fraud perpetrated against us when Regan attempted to sell the story of the welfare queen. The only thing he got right—shockingly—was that the person he was describing did exist.
The plural of anecdote is not data. The plural of the craziest anecdote you’ve ever heard is definitely not data. And yet, the story of the welfare queen instantly infected the policy debate over welfare reform. Sociologist Richard M. Coughlin notes that in 1979, AFDC families had a median of just 2.1 children and a very low standard of living compared to the average American. In 2013, Bureau of Labor Statistics data continue to bear out the stark economic gap between families on public assistance and those who are not. Linda Taylor showed that it was possible for a dedicated criminal to steal a healthy chunk of welfare money. Her case did not prove that, as a group, public aid recipients were fur-laden thieves bleeding the American economy dry.
Even so, Ronald Reagan regularly dusted off the welfare queen’s lurid misadventures, arguing that rampant fraud demanded decisive government action. In pushing for welfare reform as president in 1981, he told members of Congress that “in addition to collecting welfare under 123 different names, she also had 55 Social Security cards,” and that “there’s much more of [this type of fraud] than anyone realizes.” The recent debate over cuts to the federal food stamp program, too, has featured Republican claims that we can save $30 billion by “eliminating loopholes, waste, fraud, and abuse.”
In truth, Reagan wrung savings out of the federal welfare program by slashing benefit levels and raising eligibility requirements. And with regard to today’s food stamp cuts, as Eric Schnurer explains in the Atlantic, “none of the savings actually come from fraud, but rather from cutting funding and tightening benefits.”
If Linda Taylor had been seen as a suspect rather than a scapegoat, lives may have been saved. Prosecutors have great discretion in choosing what cases to bring—that’s how the rate of welfare indictments could shoot up so dramatically in a single decade. When politicians and journalists whip the public into a frenzy about welfare fraud, the limitations of municipal budgets and judicial resources dictate that less attention be paid to everything else. Linda Taylor’s story shows that there are real costs associated with this kind of panic, a moral climate in which stealing welfare money takes precedence over kidnapping and homicide.
Yesterday in Thailand, riot cops yield to peaceful protesters by removing barricades AND their helmets in a shocking gesture of solidarity.
Erykah keeping me company as I get some work done at my field work site.
Piñata by Pages Matam (x)
I was in tears by the end.