They found that a year after the event, the women who were turned away from an abortion were more likely to rely on government assistance, more likely to be living beneath the poverty line, and less likely to have a full-time job than the women in the study who had obtained abortions. They also registered more anxiety a week after they were denied an abortion and reported more stress a year out. They were no more or less likely to be depressed. And women who gave birth suffered from more serious health complications—from hemorrhaging to a fractured pelvis—than the women who aborted, even later in their pregnancies.
Happy home lives also failed to materialize. The women who were turned away were more than twice as likely to be a victim of domestic violence as those who were able to abort. The researchers found that “a year after being denied an abortion, 7 percent reported an incident of domestic violence in the last six months,” compared to 3 percent of the women who received abortions. The researchers concluded that this “wasn’t because the turnaways were more likely to get into abusive relationships,” but that “getting abortions allowed women to get out of such relationships more easily.” Carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term helped abusive men stay in these women’s lives, but it didn’t encourage delinquent new dads to stick around: The researchers found that “men were no more likely to live with a turnaway who’d borne their children than they were to live with a woman who had an abortion.”
The abortion debate often focuses on a woman’s health during those first nine months. This study shows that an unwanted pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on a woman’s body and well-being far after she carries it to term.
If my father were alive today, he would be in his 90s. He grew up financially well off in the Depression but his disinheritance by his father and service in WWII opened his eyes to the suffering of most of the world. He did not contribute to charitable religious organizations, preferring to support governmental or secular groups. Here’s why: I vividly remember driving by the Salvation Army store one day, and my father saying he wouldn’t give them a cent. When I asked why, he said, “they make those poor bastards say a prayer before they’ll give them a hot meal.” He believed, rightly or not I cannot say, that religious charities served the poor only to recruit them to their faith. The thought of a man bending his knee to a god he didn’t believe in, in exchange for a hot meal, made my father sick. Government doesn’t make you say a prayer before they give you a hot meal. This has always been a very powerful argument, to me, for supporting public social programs over private charity.
After a recent Romney rally, a woman in the crowd said this to a radio news reporter: “I will not help those people.” She was referring to “welfare” recipients, who, according to Mr. Romney, would no longer be required to work or to look for work to qualify for these public benefits. She uttered the words “those people” with the absolute certainty that she or anyone she cares about would never be one of them. As a social scientist who studies issues directly related to race, I know that in the context of implicit racial bias, she is most likely referring to African Americans, the “racialized other” in her mind, and this is precisely what Mr. Romney and his tea party cohorts want her to do.
Every reputable fact checker, including the New York Times, has said that Romney’s campaign ad about the President’s welfare reform is either grossly distorted or an out-and-out lie. And yet, just yesterday, this ad was aired four times within sixty minutes on one of my local television stations. Romney and his people are keenly aware of the racialized mythology about who gets welfare and why (most welfare recipients are not Black). Heightened reaction to this myth channels cognition away from more fundamental issues like who will pay for tax breaks for the wealthy or who rode shotgun over the bankers who are responsible for the subprime lending crisis or who is sending American jobs overseas to increase profit, shareholder dividends and executive bonuses.
Did Romney play the race card? Yes he did, and he is likely to do it again and again as the election approaches.
He’s not only Pontiac’s first emergency manager appointed under Snyder, a Republican, he’s also Pontiac’s first emergency manager appointed under PA4. Schimmel says critics shouldn’t blame him for his work. “I’m not the one who made the appointment,” he says. “The law is what it is.” But Schimmel himself is being modest, as his work may have helped inspire key aspects of the law. In 2005, Schimmel wrote a piece for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an influential conservative think tank in Michigan, that detailed reform he thought the state should make to its existing emergency management law, which he believed lacked the tools needed to enact a serious municipal turnaround. He recommended that emergency managers be given immunity from lawsuits, the authority to assume powers held by the mayor and city commission, and the ability to cancel labor contracts. All those provisions made it into PA4, and today Schimmel is able to take full advantage of them.
Schimmel’s focus in Pontiac has been on cutting costs. He ripped out the city’s parking meters when he realized it cost more money to collect parking fees than the city was taking in. He consolidated 87 separate city employee health plans into one to save $5 million annually. And he’s launched a major effort to sell city property. But what’s generated the most controversy is an aggressive campaign to outsource as many city services as possible. He can rattle off a list of city services that are no longer performed in-house: building permits, water and sewer operations, income tax collection, payroll, trash pickup, IT and cemetery operations, among others. Indeed, walking through City Hall (which Schimmel might sell, by the way) is an unusual experience. The city’s payroll has been reduced from about 600 to 60 employees. The building is largely empty, and those who remain perform city work but get their paychecks from the private-sector companies that employ them.
Schimmel’s predecessor closed the local police department and outsourced law enforcement to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in a move expected to save $2.2 million annually. Schimmel took a similar step and used his authority to outsource the fire department service to neighboring Waterford Township. The Pontiac firefighters’ contract wasn’t set to expire until June 2013, but Schimmel was set on the move. So when Pontiac firefighters resisted, he essentially gave them an ultimatum: agree to a deal — and get some modicum of job security — or risk getting laid off completely. “Without Public Act 4,” Schimmel says, “I couldn’t do that.” In the end, firefighters reluctantly agreed to a provision in which all but a handful received early retirement or new jobs with Waterford, albeit on a lower pay scale. The changes, Schimmel says, will save Pontiac $3 million annually. While he says these decisions are critical to an effective and quick turnaround of a city, his critics are skeptical. They view his 2005 article and subsequent job at Mackinac as evidence that ideologically driven Republicans are using Pontiac as a testing ground to see if a model based on outsourcing can be reproduced in other cities. “It’s just an experiment to see if privatization works,” says Williams, the city councilman.
A really important article that does an excellent job of contextualizing the Emergency Financial Manager situation in Michigan. It’s rather long, so if you can’t read the entire thing right now, be sure to at very least catch a look at that very telling second picture in the series of pictures at the top of the article.
Also, just in general, pay particular attention to the connection of the Mackinaw Center in all of this. Why does a think tank get to have more influence on our cities than citizens do?
I figured I’d right a small, sort of, piece on white privilege while being a minority in poverty. I see a lot of whites trying to get out of the whole “racism = prejudice + power” thing by claiming “omgz i’m a minority” or “b-b-but i’m so poor!” and i figured that since i’m from THE poorest state in america, not one of, but actually THE poorest state (Jackson, MS), i’d say a bit about why you absolutely can have white privilege while being a minority and living in poverty.
First off, our poverty rate for the state (source) is 20.1%, while the city of Jackson, MS has 23.5% of people below the poverty line, with the median income of a family being only 30k (source). This, of course, is no where near the poorest city in Mississippi. Other cities have a percentages up to 31.2% (source), 26.3% (source), and a whooping 62.6% (source). Now, one would assume “Wow, what a large percentage! Everyone must be poor in those cities!” Almost. I’ll get there in a moment.
Next I want to talk about the racial demographics of Jackson, MS and other poorer cities. For Jackson:
The racial makeup of the city was 79.4% Black or African American, 18.4% White or Euro American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, and 0.9% from two or more races. 1.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. (source)
For other poor cities previously mentioned (since I’m lazy and don’t feel like finding new ones)
The racial makeup of the city was 42.99% White, 55.76% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.23% of the population.
The racial makeup of the city was 29.30% White, 68.59% African American, 0.02% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.59% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.05% of the population.
The racial makeup of the village was 4.56% White, 92.28% African American, 0.70% Native American, and 2.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.16% of the population.
If you haven’t noticed, the pattern is as follows: places with higher number of “African-Americans” have a higher poverty percentage. If “white privilege” didn’t exist in poverty, then how could this be possible? Compare these cities to other cities with extremely high number of white folks:
The racial makeup of the city was 93.23% White, 4.89% African American, 0.07% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.
The number of people below the poverty line is 2.5% (source)
The racial makeup of the city was 86.61% White, 11.89% Black, 0.10% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.
The number of people below the poverty line is 6.0% (source)
I could list more, but I think everyone understands the point by now. Now, back to lil Jackson, MS. The number of Black-owned firms is 41.9% (source). If the population is almost at 80% then why do Blacks only own barely half the number of firms as white people? That means that 18% of Whites own 44.2% (subtracting the 2.0% owned by Asians and the 0.3% owned by Hispanics). Could it be…white privilege…in poverty…I dunno…Let’s keep going!
Another thing I’d like to bring up is the percentage of Whites in higher-paying jobs. For the record, yes, everywhere I go, there are Blacks employed. But that’s the thing. I go in fast food restaurants, shoe stores, book stores. Let me go to a doctor’s office and watch how fast Blacks appear and Whites take their space. In a survey done in 2002, the statistics state “Mississippi has a much higher percentage (90%) of Caucasian doctors than the nation as a whole (75-80%); yet, Mississippi has a much higher percentage (36.3%) of African-American residents than the nation (13%) as a whole.” (source) As the survey states, this is extremely important because we all know White folks ain’t gonna care for Black people as they should. Other studies that you’ve probably seen will show that. Even in another statistics sheet I found, it states that Black babies (under 1) die at a rate of 13.6, almost double the 7.1 compared to Whites. (source) Sounds like white privilege to me.
I also want to relate this to some people that claim that because the majority of cops in Jackson are Black that that means that they can be racist against Whites. To that I’ll refer back to the death rate of their children compared to ours and hope that they’ll understand that that’s not the case at all.
One of the last major issues I’ll address is poverty stemming from slavery. Everyone knows that Mississippi was p much the epitome of slavery. Hell, our state flag has the Confederate Flag in it. The government has long since not given a single shit about Mississippi, and they know it’s because of the large percentage of Blacks. A lot of people say that education is the key to growing out of poverty. It’s easier said than done when your poverty extends far, far behind your time. The schools get shitty funding, so they don’t get taught how to fill out job applications or how to apply for scholarships or how to speak the head white bitch in charge’s english. And why would they have the time to worry about that when they have to help their family pay for bills by getting menial ass minimum wage jobs? And then getting incarcerated at higher rates for finding something that can help to pay their bills better.
Meanwhile White people already known this shit for decades; we made this shit up. We know how it works. And PoC are far, far behind us, especially since segregation only truly ended around 1965. That’s my mother. That’s my classmates’ mothers. Another reason why I don’t understand why Whites complain about shit being fair. Talkin about how you make the same as everyone else ~~ yeah but with way less effort. Don’t give me that bullshit.
And one more minor issue that I’ve thought about a lot since it happened. My dad was recently arrested for assault on 6 police officers. No one really knows what happened, but I do know that he had a gun. And the cops beat the shit out of him while he was handcuffed. He couldn’t open his mouth to eat for a week. And for a really, really long time I was pissed as fuck about this. Until I realized that if he was Black, he would’ve been shot in an instant. There would’ve been no handcuffing or back-up or bail or any of that. He would’ve died. THAT’S white privilege in poverty.
Also, as a signing off note. Dear white girl who always gets beat up by Black people for being the only white girl in her class, I’ve been in that situation tons of times. Don’t think that’s ever happened. Maybe you’re an asshole?
*This is the first time I’ve ever opened my mouth to speak out about stuff like this, but if I’ve made a mistake, please let me know (kindly or not - however you prefer) so that it can be changed.