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« The Fort Hood Massacre | Main | Bow Wow! »

November 17, 2009


Sad, isn't it that it takes economic adversity for people to realize that in the end, everyone is striving for the same things?

These last few lines are interesting.

The idea that the recession is an equalizer has become accepted in Henry County. Both black and white residents were hesitant to say that either race had taken a greater hit. But Ms. Taylor, the black woman who dispensed advice at the county food stamp office, said there were some notable distinctions between blacks and whites.

“They’re a little weaker than we are at handling things like this,” she said, adding without rancor, “but I know they get more sympathy than we do.”

The woman seems to be saying that it is easier for society to accept that a black person might seek assistance (because that is what is expected?) whereas a poor white person feels more shame and gets more sympathy when receiving public handouts because they are then behaving like "the minorities." This is a bit like single fathers getting more sympathy, even from women, when straddled with child care and housekeeping, than single mothers, because those are "women's work" after all.

So if the recession is the equalizer, does it mean that when things turn around again, the races will go back to their insular lives, never crossing paths in food pantries, public health facilities or in the neighborhood washeterias?

Those closing lines are rich. For one thing, there is the fair assumption that "notable distinctions" do not compromise equality, even if the gist of the story conveys the sense that as a result of the economy everybody acquires a homespun community-wide sameness. Secondly, your reading of poor whites being reduced to acting like minorities seems right, but I also think Ms. Taylor means a whole range of behaviors when she refers to "handling things like this." We handle adversity not only through seeking assistance, official or otherwise, but by pulling together, sacrificing, reorienting ourselves, and so forth. Despite their former wealth, the white Duncans are perhaps weaker, less able to handle (financially? cognitively? emotionally?) their plight than the black families envisioned by Ms. Taylor.

Yes, I too read the same additional meaning in Ms Taylor's statement - not just that society accepts the reality of a black person needing help but also that a black person in America can draw from a greater reservoire of equanimity and resilience when faced with the sudden down turn of life's circumstances.

it's just a local story due to local particular dynamics, the reality of black internal migration to parts of the "new south." overall, lower SES people are getting torn apart by the recession. granted, inequality is declining because the rich and super-rich are losing their "paper wealth," but it doesn't have a quality of life impact on these people that unemployment or foreclosure does further down the SES scale.

The recession or its remnants are going to be with us for many years as far as job creation is concerned. Many employers lost their job due to economic slowdown. But now recession and crisis has been slow down. The job industry is back in recruiting candidates. I came to known one job portal which is totally dedicated to female job seekers According to me it's a good step towards women empowerment.

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