Malnourishment: A Case Study on U.S. Food Insecurity

The final report of the 1996 World Food Summit states that food security “exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture agrees – at least in theory. Pat’s Story The Personal Is Political In 1998, I was hired to interview women on welfare to find out how they were making ends meet after Bill Clinton signed the 1996 “Welfare Reform Act.” The act essentially gutted safety nets and imposed sanctions on women who... Read More

Addressing Food Insecurity on Campus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had been both poorly understood and oftentimes neglected until very recently. I think the overwhelming view of the administration was that students were, in general, getting enough to eat through the campus meal plans or retail dining options at the student center or elsewhere. Progress towards addressing food insecurity on the campus only began in summer 2017, with the creation of the Food Insecurity Committee that put students, staff and... Read More

Mirroring Administrative Attitudes: One Year Into Trump’s Rhetoric

Kalkaska, or Trout Town USA, is a picturesque northern Michigan town touting a population of just over 2,000. Located in the snow belt with its Trout Festival and Winterfest the area offers a modest place for a modest life. Growing up there and graduating in 2009, life seemed simple enough. Of extremely modest means, my family was one of many who lived below the poverty line within the county. Yet, there was indeed “space to grow” as the town slogan promised. Now the mindset seems to no longer be growing. The days of my learning in the halls of Kalkaska... Read More

Trump Supporters: Why Our Attitude Towards Them Matters

Not Stupid. Not Crazy. Those are the two most important things for progressives to remember about rightwing people, says Chip Berlet. He has tracked U.S. far-right populist movements for the past 30 years, including going to the events of white nationalist groups and the Tea Party. If you want to understand them, and even more if you want to change their minds, you need to remember that they are sane people of normal intelligence who hold a different ideology than you do. Chip’s message advances Class Action’s mission of reducing classism, because stupid and crazy are two common stereotypes about... Read More

Trump One Year Later: Most of Us Live in Dread

I had a discussion with my doctor late spring 2017. I was having gastrointestinal issues, and I said to him that I kept wondering whether the anxiety that I felt about the Trump regime was affecting me physically. My doctor responded very seriously and with a straight face. He replied that many of his patients had been saying exactly the same thing ever since November 8, 2016. So, the first thing to acknowledge about one year into the Trump regime –and I use the word “regime” to convey that this is not just about Trump the individual – is that... Read More

President Trump, One Year Later

After 12 months that have felt like an eternity, Mr. Trump remains as greedy and volatile as ever. Donald Trump campaigned on the pledge to “Make America Great Again,” but he never did specify exactly who he wanted to make the country great for. After a year in office, we can deduce from his actions that Mr. Trump was really only concerned about helping his greedy billionaire peers. A year of Trump’s rule has done little for the well-being of working-class families. Meanwhile, the gap between the rich and poor has reached record-highs and are on track to continue to... Read More

Trump’s First Year: Did the Working-Class Benefit?

Donald Trump ran for president on a populist and inclusionary platform. As he campaigned across the country, he appealed to increasingly larger numbers of Americans who felt forgotten by the country’s policies and politicians. Despite the fact that he lost the popular vote by three million, there’s no doubt that he tapped into the visceral anger and disappointment of the working-class. When he and his top aides detailed his proposed plans, they promised that more Americans would share in what’s been characterized as the American dream – stable and dependable incomes, high-quality health care and education, and the ability to... Read More

“Homeless People Not Wanted Here”

They are all addicts, criminals, on drugs, mentally ill, dangerous and have made bad choices, unlike us.  That was the general sentiment of the people who showed up to protest a new homeless shelter in the community where I live. They might as well have put a sign out that read, Poor People Keep Out. It was so disheartening and sad for me to hear what privileged white people believe about people who do not have homes. I do not own a home, either. Is this what they think of me? Is my value as a human being solely based... Read More