Congress and the White House are wrangling over the future of the Bush tax cuts, which expire this year. Much has been written about how the 2001 and 2003 cuts widened the gap between the very wealthiest 2% of Americans and the middle and working classes. But far too little notice has been paid to […]
Recently four people were killed about ten houses away from where I grew up in Mattapan, a neighborhood of Boston. The neighborhood was maligned by the media coverage which plastered the headlines “Massacre in Mattapan” in large print across the 6:00 news every night. That image of Mattapan was permanently emblazoned across the minds of […]
I have been reading (I am sure you have too) about the many cases of bullying and the awful consequences of being a target for bullies. Kids and young adults committing suicide, suffering chronic depression, choosing to be home-schooled, or quitting school altogether: there’s no doubt that being bullied negatively shifts how a person experiences […]
I’m a kid of a single mom that works very hard to make a living and support her family’s needs. We live in a rich neighborhood. The other kids at my school are richer than us and they have a lot of things we don’t. They can get a lot of stuff that they want. […]
I have two little boys; they are very bright, good boys. They have never had a babysitter and maybe I have been a little over protective. But their innocence is refreshing. They do not understand that when a bigot sees that our car is dated, and that our address is in the flats, and they […]
It is unjust enough that scores of young people in the United States are denied basic human rights; that even in a country which paints itself as a global model of human rights, kids go without food, safe and affordable housing, equitable schooling opportunities, and healthcare. Heck, in a country with the level of resources […]
I fidgeted throughout the film Waiting for Superman, through the bells and whistles, the graphs, the close-ups of the five cute kids and their caring single moms, grandmas and parents, having read enough reviews, and having listened to enough critiques to know that I wasn’t going to like the film. And I didn’t, but what […]
“Social class and the Internet” usually implies issues of access to high-speed Internet and newer computers. But recent online discussions have me reflecting on how my Facebook friends are divided clearly along class lines, in how we interact online. Class differences in dealing – or not dealing – with conflict show up starkly in my […]
I was born and raised in New England, half Jewish, half WASP. Went to the same prep school as my grandmother, and the same college as my great-grandfather. I ended up in graduate school for sociology, with a specialization in class + race + gender inequalities. I heard the occasional call for studying the unmarked […]
25. In order to get promoted at McDonald’s, there is no need to invent an original sandwich and defend it. 24. You are guaranteed a meal at McDonald’s. 23. McDonald’s has more people of color in top positions. 22. Once you submit an order to a customer, either the customer tells you what is wrong […]
At a meeting in Amman, Jordan, high-powered social policy analysts from many nations were deploring the limited intelligence of illiterates and the effects on their offspring; I rushed to defend illiterates. Then, I suddenly realized that my mother had been an illiterate. Indeed, I quickly recognized that Mom was illiterate in three languages. But she […]
The hardest place to pretend that the U.S. is a classless society is when traveling. After all, it’s the travel industries who put “Class” into “First Class.” Instead of the avoiding the language of class, the travel industry seems to flaunt it.
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen was quoted in the September Harper’s Bazaar UK as saying, “There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.” Bundchen got lots of outraged reactions to her statement, but mostly from women with positive opinions about bottle-feeding, or general dismay at woman-to-woman lifestyle […]
“We already have the privatization of the military…; we’ve seen the privatization of the prison system. Well, the next step is the privatization of public schools.” That prediction by Jonathan Kozol four years ago has come closer to reality with the enactment of President Obama’s Race to the Top educational goals. Besides continuing the previous […]
A month has gone by since I experienced my first-ever social justice conference, the US Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit, and I’ve been trying to erase my memory of that time ever since. The lack of logistical planning we experienced had a classist effect that seemed antithetical to the forum’s message, and I was left with such a bad taste in my mouth for the progressive left that I will carefully reconsider attending any conference in the future.
It was the usual chit-chat among strangers encountering each other over breakfast at a Seattle bed-and-breakfast: “where are you from?,” “how’s the weather there?” Three middle-aged couples and a 20-year-old son who immediately set off my classism alarms. The first red flag was his face, a sneer usually seen on sulky teens much younger than […]
There was an upset in Hollywood this March when the Academy anointed Sandra Bullock best actress for her role in “The Blind Side.” The controversy hinged on the fact that she, an historic B-level comedienne, bested Meryl Streep, a far more Serious Actor who has a standing relationship with Oscar.
Laid-off professionals are “dumbing down” their resumes to avoid being rejected as overqualified when applying for jobs outside their former field, reported the Boston Globe. Job seekers are deleting graduate degrees and high-level jobs, and revising titles (for example, from Marketing Director to Marketing Manager). It was Globe reporter Katie Johnston Chase who chose the […]