Foodbanks Today, Dehumanization Tomorrow: Lessons From America

A Republican Senate candidate has posted a viral image comparing food stamp recipients to wild animals on her public Facebook page. The image text reads:

foodstampbollocks

 

The food stamp program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They proudly report that they distribute free meals and food stamps to over 46 million people on an annual basis,Meanwhile, the National Park Service, run by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us ‘please do not feed the animals.’ Their stated reason for this policy being that … “The animals will grow dependent on the handouts, and then they will never learn to take care of themselves,This concludes today’s lesson. Any questions?”

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that people, even hungry people who are down on their luck, are in no way analogous to wild animals. However, the further away we move as a country from treating poor, hungry people with dignity and respect, the easier it will become for politicians, think tanks and the press to establish a narrative that very heavily insinuates that poor people are mindless idiots, incapable of foresight and of responsibly spending emergency food money.

This narrative, if established, will lead to further unnecessary expansion of the state, especially in health and social services, as poor people – instead of being given emergency cash grants or interest-free crisis loans – will instead be herded through multiple taxpayer-funded or subsidised agencies and forced to jump through degrading and humiliating hoops all for a bag of heavily processed simple carbohydrates, tinned fruit swimming in syrup and cheap meat of often unverifiable origin.

Make no mistake, the current public face of foodbank assistance is one of cheery goodwill (Big Society bollocks) but if the public accepts this poor substitute for actual emergency food money, a substitute that denies the recipient the right to make their own choices – and instead forces food that middle and upper class people would rather die than eat themselves onto struggling members of the working class – it’s only a matter of time before this sort of mindless yet absolutely poisonous rhetoric makes its way across to our shores and is espoused by supposedly respectable political commentators and media outlets.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Foodbanks Today, Dehumanization Tomorrow: Lessons From America

  1. JohnnyThunder

    Disjointed thoughts:

    Pro:
    * I resemble that remark and I don’t have a problem with the analogy. That viral image could have been written by Tolstoy himself, if Tolstoy had a Facebook account, Aspergers and OCD.
    * If her candidacy web site is to be believed, the doctor running for Senate was pretty poor herself at some point since she and her family wound up living in an RV due to an extended legal battle with the government. Throw in her mission work in third world countries and I highly doubt dehumanizing the poor is her intention. I sure as fuck won’t be caught dead wandering around Africa unless I was a biologically enhanced metahuman with a cyborg ninja commando squad in tow.
    * Government dependancy is real and crippling to people who could otherwise make something of themselves.

    Con:
    * Overzealous government anti-fraud programs that are designed to pretty much just make it look like the government is preventing fraud by harassing people is also real.
    * She greatly overestimates the average low income individual’s ability and will to operate at peak efficiency. I’m guessing she hasn’t really had to deal much with mental issues and probably had a lot of community support when she was going through hard times.
    * In the wild, a lot of animals who can’t take care of themselves die. Sometimes they die because the National Park Service shoots them to maintain ecological equilibrium. Unless she plans on handing out hunting licenses for the poor, solutions may require more than a bumper sticker.

    In conclusion, eat the rich. I mean it.

    Reply
  2. Gary Aster

    Only a matter of time? It’s already happening! Katie Fucking Hopkins… (yes it’s an unusual surname isn’t it? – actually I’m not sure if I’ve remembered that correctly – I’ve never heard of her but I gather she’s some celebrity bitch who made a name for herself by stepping all over people and being a callous sociopath, or so I’m told by people whose opinions I respect)… apparently wants the unemployed to be compelled to wear an identifying uniform.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/help-to-work-is-really-punishment-unemployed-people

    Reply

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