Vote for Most Classist Comment of 2013

We want to hear your opinion

Each December, Class Action solicits nominations for the most classist comment by a public figure over the past year and invites our supporters vote on the worst one.

The 10 nominees – some real doozies this year! – are below in chronological order. Cast your vote by clicking the name of the offender on the form below the comments. We’ll let you know who ‘wins’.

1. British reality TV star Katie Hopkins ranted about not letting her children play with children with certain names:  “A name for me is a short-cut – it’s a more efficient way  of working out what class that child comes from, do I want my children to play with them?… We don’t achieve best friend status with Chardonnay. Someone named after a wine is not coming through our home… I think children that have intelligent names tend to have fairly intelligent parents, and they make much better play dates.” – July 4

2. Andy Kessler, a wildly successful former hedge-fund manager, said, “My 16-year-old son volunteers with an organization that feeds the homeless and fills kits with personal-hygiene supplies for them. It’s a worthwhile project, and I tell him so — but he doesn’t like it when our conversation turns to why these homeless folks aren’t working. Perhaps, I suggest, because someone is feeding, clothing and, in effect, bathing them.” – July 8

3. In a Fox News story called “The Great Food Stamp Binge,” reporter John Roberts said, “It used to be that, you know, that if somebody was on food stamps, it’s like ‘hey, they’re on food stamps, you know… loser'”; and Bret Baier asked about SNAP (formerly Food Stamp) recipients, “Shouldn’t there be at least some stigma?” – August 8

4. Senator Vicki Marble, a Republican state senator in Colorado, implied at a hearing that African-Americans and Hispanics faced increased poverty because they ate more fried chicken: “When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race: sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it. Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south and you — I love it. The Mexican diet, in Mexico, with all of the fresh vegetables, and you go down there and they’re much thinner than they are up here, they’ve changed their diet.” – August 22

5. Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), in response to a constituent opposing cuts in the food stamps budget, quoted a Bible verse: “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” – September 20

6. Duncan MacNaughton, executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart: “WalMart associates are really excited to work that day [Thanksgiving], it’s a pretty high energy day for associates as well.”- November 14

7. CNN contributor Kevin Madden, a former advisor and spokesperson for Mitt  Romney, said that Congress should not raise the minimum wage because it would deny people the “opportunity to grab that bottom rung of the economic ladder.”  – December 1

8. The CEO of a Silicon Valley startup, Greg Gopman, wrote on Facebook, “There is nothing more grotesque than walking down market St in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and  trash I have no clue… The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it’s a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests…In downtown SF the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, sell drugs, get rowdy, they act like they own the  center of the city. … There is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us. It’s a burden and a liability having them so close to us. Believe me, if they added the smallest iota of value I’d consider thinking different, but the crazy toothless lady who kicks everyone that gets too close to her cardboard box hasn’t made anyone’s life better in a while.” – December 10

9. A psychologist defending a wealthy young man who killed someone while driving drunk, G. Dick Miller, successfully used the “affluenza” defense in court to win an acquittal: “The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone. If you hurt someone, you sent money. He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way. He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.” – December 15

10. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said about the federal school lunch program, “Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it  would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people — getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch.” – December 18


There is only one nonprofit in the US dedicated to uprooting this ugliness from our national discourse — and that’s Class Action. With your help, one of these years we’ll discover that there are no classist comments to nominate.

We envision a world free not just from classist speech, but also free from the unfair policies that these myths and stereotypes justify. With no institutional funding, Class Action depends on donations from individual donors like you to shine a spotlight on classism. We hope we can count on your support.

Voting has closed for 2013.

A national nonprofit founded in 2004, Class Action inspires action to end classism.Class Action is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies – Program on Inequality and the Common Good.30 Germania St. Building L, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA | Click here to unsubscribe