When I think of the American Dream, I don’t just see images of white picket fences and fathers kissing their children before they leave for work.
I see an African-American mother of two dropping her children off at school and driving to her place of employment with the confidence that she’ll have enough gas to get to work and enough food to cook dinner. I imagine a Latina mother able to save enough money to help her son go to the college of his choice regardless of the rising cost of tuition. I see an America where working 40 hours a week allows women of all backgrounds the opportunity to gain prosperity and success. But how can anyone achieve such a dream on $7.25 an hour? They can’t.
We need to raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10 to help hardworking families who are struggling to scrape by. In tough economic times, there are few policies that could have as immediate, and as dramatic, of a boost for American workers, particularly for women of color. Keep reading »
Earlier this month, police arrested a mother in Scottsdale, Arizona, for leaving her two young children in the car while she went to a job interview.
On March 20, 35-year-old Shanesha Taylor, who is homeless, parked her car containing her two-year-old and six-month-old sons in the sun while she went to her interview. Someone saw the children by themselves in the car, which reportedly had the windows slightly open and was hot inside, and called the police. Police arrived and freed the children; Taylor showed up 45 minutes later and was arrested for two felony counts of child abuse. She said she couldn’t find anyone to take care of her kids, so she left them in the car alone. She was released early this morning from jail; her children are now in custody of Child Protective Services.
“She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job. Obviously not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation,” Scottsdale Police Department told KPHO. Keep reading »
“Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount … I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”
Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky is making it his personal mission to shame moms on welfare for continuing to get pregnant. Sen. Paul, who has a decent shot at the 2016 Republican nomination, wants to put a cap on the government benefits for which low-income mothers are eligible. His aim is to dis-incentivize mothers by economically punishing them for having a number of children that is over his ambiguous personal threshold of what he considers to be “too many.” Basically, he’s fairly certain that the way to save the United States’ future is for women to keep their legs closed. (Oh, you didn’t think he supported reproductive rights, did you? HAHAHAHA. Rand opposes abortion unilaterally, even in the cases of incest or rape.) Keep reading »
Look, this might sound terrible, but I’ve got to say it: this time-lapse video of a homeless U.S. Army veteran’s voluntary aesthetic transformation makes the case for vanity if there ever was one. Jim Wolf has struggled with alcoholism since leaving the service and has found himself, like many others like him, without a home. This is where Dégagé Ministries of Grand Rapids, MI comes in. The church-funded non-profit shelter for the homeless and disadvantaged collaborated with Design 1 Salon & Spa and Rob Bliss Creative to clean Jim up real nice and show people — and most of all, Jim — that beneath the scruff and the patina of rough living, he is still a respectable man deserving of a better life. With a shave, a haircut (and color!), and a sharp new suit, Jim liked what he saw when he looked in the mirror. And you know what he did? Post-makeover, he started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for the first time ever, and he’s now scheduled to move in to his own housing. Looking good isn’t always enough to make you feel good, but sometimes, when you’re at your lowest point, it can be the first step to lifting your spirits and reminding you of your own worth. [Buzzfeed]
I have been a symbol of sex my entire life. As a black woman from a poor, single-parent household, I know the script that is written for me far too well. Black women are always more appealing as strippers or “hoes.” Before I even hit puberty, this script was shoved in my face and I was forced to memorize it.
When I was 11, I lived in a predominantly underprivileged, black neighborhood in Houston, Texas. Everyone knew each other. My mom worked nights at the local hospital, so often I was home alone with my brother, sister and an older cousin. My mom thought the high fences that surrounded our complex kept us safe from what was on the outside. Little did she know, what was on the inside tormented me daily. Keep reading »
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor whose clinic gained attention for his criminal performance of late-term abortions, was found guilty yesterday of three counts of first-degree murder. He had been accused of killing four babies and one woman, but was found guilty of only three of the babies’ deaths.
Gosnell, 72, operated an illegally-run clinic in Philly that provided late-term abortions to low-income women. He was accused of killing live babies after delivery with scissors, as opposed to terminating the pregnancies during standard late-term abortion procedure. Gosnell’s case became a lightening rod for anti-abortion activists who attempted to paint Gosnell as the standard in abortion care. Similarly, abortion rights supporters underscored the reason abortion needs to be safe and legal is to keep patients safe from doctors like him. Keep reading »
“Whether they’re in America or in Africa, people want to work. They want to have purpose. They want to provide for themselves and their families. They don’t want handouts. They don’t want to be completely dependent on their governments — even though there’s usually no opportunity for that anyway. But they want to be self-sufficient and have a sustainable lifestyle.”
–Scarlett Johansson, speaking on global poverty during a recent Oxfam trip to Kenya, to raise awareness about drought and famine in the region. There are currently around 3.7 million people in Somalia and the surrounding areas that are suffering from acute starvation, while an additiona 6 million are suffering from hunger. Johansson has worked with Oxfam–an international anti-poverty coalition–since 2004. [Huffington Post]
I remember when gossip columns devoted space to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Now we’ve got Amber Portwood, the young woman on “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” who Star magazine says is pregnant with her second baby. Amber is already the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, Leah, with ex-fiance Gary Shirley. Star says she’s dating a cage fighter named Clinton Yunker and “is hoping that the child is Shirley’s nonetheless.”
There’s no escaping the “Teen Mom” girls now. Just admit it: it’s dirt cheap for paparazzi to photograph them, so they are claiming tabloid domination. And while Catelynn and Tyler (who gave their kid up for adoption) are the couple who tug our heart strings, you couldn’t avoid Amber if you tried.
And that worries me. Keep reading »