Why This Woman’s Angry Reaction To A Man Using Food Stamps At Walmart Was As Ignorant As It Was Rude

This weekend, a video of a woman shaming a man using food stamps, while in line at Walmart buying groceries with his children, surfaced on Youtube, and has since garnered around 3,036,000 views as of Wednesday evening. Some of the highlights of the heavily explicit dialogue include the woman telling the man utilizing his Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits he ought to be working harder, to which he responds that he “put[s] in 50 to 60 hour weeks” and is simply trying to provide for his family.

At first, it appears the man would really rather not engage (frankly, who the hell would?), but the woman persists and things escalate from there.

After the man patiently explains he’s trying to “provide for his family,” the exchange goes something like this:

Woman: “You’re not providing for it, I am. The government is.”

Man: “You’re not.”

Woman: “They take it out of my check. Bullshit they don’t.”

Man: “OK, then contact your local senator or congressman, and issue a complaint, or vote Republican. I’m sorry, I don’t know what to tell you. … Deal with it, bitch.”

Woman: “Oh trust me, I am not a bleeding heart fucking liberal.”

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the condescending term “bleeding heart liberal,” but I am a liberal, and I can tell you that watching this footage did indeed make my heart bleed.

And from there, it escalates once again, when the man finally tells her to “shut the fuck up” (same) and “mind [her] own fucking business,” to which she responds by citing her free speech rights (classic!). She goes on to call him a “Bernie supporter,” as if being one is somehow worse than being the type of person who publicly shames low-income individuals in front of their kids.

Income inequality, welfare, and specifically, even SNAP benefits, have become fairly contentious issues over the course of this election season, so I’m not at all surprised the woman referenced Bernie Sanders in her tirade. Earlier this year, former Florida Governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, back when he still mattered (a little bit), revealed his plan to cut food stamps altogether. “We have spent trillions of dollars on the ‘war on poverty,’ but there are now still more than 46 million Americans living in poverty,” Bush said, at the time.

Jeb Bush food stamps walmart
CREDIT: Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Meanwhile, those who haven’t been feeling the Bern often criticize Sanders, who has made demanding that the rich pay their fair share, and uplifting lower-income Americans, the focal points of his campaign, on the grounds that the government shouldn’t punish rich people by “stealing” their money and giving it to the poor, whom they consistently generalize as lazy and living on “free stuff.” Not only is this perspective grossly condescending, it’s also incredibly ignorant.

Here’s a quick run-through of what you need to know about welfare, food stamps, and the people on them (thank you, Coalition Against Hunger, for pointing out quite a few of these):

So, just a few things to think about should you ever hit up your local Walmart and see someone using food stamps.