Stop blaming poverty on the poor

Today, a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook. It made me absolutely FURIOUS. I’ll let you watch it, then I’ll tell you why it made me so mad:

This is false bullshit. Poor people are poor because they “pass up opportunities”? This idiot kid doesn’t have any clue what being poor even is, and anyone who blindly agrees with him also does not understand what true poverty is either. I speak from experience. A large majority of “poor people” are not passing up opportunities; they are not being given opportunities. Saying “it’s their own fault and they’re just making excuses” is a cop-out to ignore the problems, which only enables the problems and adds to them.

A lot of poor people are on disability because they have neurological disorders or mental illnesses and can’t just do any old job; but because they’re poor, they don’t get opportunities to do jobs they might excel at; they’re brushed over and ignored. Or there’s people who are poor because they suddenly found themselves laid off after a merger or their employer went under or their workplace replaced workers with robots, and now they can’t find a job in that same field because other employers have done the same and jobs are much more scares, meanwhile other lower paying jobs tun them down for being “overqualified.”

This idiot kid is essentially saying that poor people just need to “appreciate life and be happy with what they have” but he doesn’t have a fucking clue; he doesn’t understand the strain and stress of worrying how you’re going to get food or keep a roof over your head, doesn’t understand the abuse of people judging you as not a worthwhile person just because you’re poor, doesn’t fathom the pain and depression of struggling day after day after day for decades barely able to survive or having to sleep outside on the pavement for months at a time. He has never had to beg just for clothes to go do job interview after job interview after job interview just to be turned down over and over and over.

He is blaming poverty on the poor; this is no different than blaming rape on the victim. I don’t know whether this is white privilege, male privilege, or simply wealth privilege, but this kid is not schooling anyone.

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