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Wed May 13, 2015, 10:36 AM

Richsplaining

Richsplaining: "to explain something, typically from the wealthy to the poor, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing."

I’m tired of it. I hear it from politicians. I hear it from churches. I hear it from our universities, news media, and entertainment outlets. The wealthy explaining to the poor what they need to do, how to behave, how to protest and riot. Now we get lectured about eating choices? So many families are “uniquely American” and working 2-3-4 jobs between two adults – and a lot of times just one adult. The overwhelming feeling of being behind that the poor live with day in and day out is exhausting. Even with access to healthy food – even with access to a healthy work/life balance – my own household would take months to adjust to the point of regular home cooking. Access to healthy food is only a tiny slice of the challenges faced every day and every year by the poor.

What about access to not worrying about your electricity being cut off because you are juggling bills?
What about access to a dignified, well-funded mass transit system?
What about access to education and opportunity?

Those are much more difficult problems that do not lend themselves to quick, simple solutions and laudatory back pats with the morning mimosa.

It’s not right for white people to explain the black experience. It’s not right for men to explain the experience of other genders and sexes. And it’s not right for the wealthy to explain the experience of the poor. The powerful and privileged cannot know the experience of the disenfranchised.

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Richsplaining (Original post)
RadiationTherapy May 2015 OP
Cheese Sandwich May 2015 #1
Autumn May 2015 #2
jwirr May 2015 #18
daredtowork May 2015 #36
jwirr May 2015 #37
RadiationTherapy May 2015 #39
jwirr May 2015 #41
riderinthestorm May 2015 #3
Dragonfli May 2015 #4
RadiationTherapy May 2015 #5
historylovr May 2015 #17
Punx May 2015 #20
jwirr May 2015 #22
vive la commune May 2015 #44
awoke_in_2003 May 2015 #45
clarice May 2015 #6
RadiationTherapy May 2015 #7
clarice May 2015 #8
RadiationTherapy May 2015 #11
clarice May 2015 #12
Dragonfli May 2015 #9
clarice May 2015 #10
dgibby May 2015 #16
Dragonfli May 2015 #24
clarice May 2015 #30
Dragonfli May 2015 #32
clarice May 2015 #33
LanternWaste May 2015 #26
clarice May 2015 #31
JaneyVee May 2015 #27
Dragonfli May 2015 #29
Dragonfli May 2015 #35
abelenkpe May 2015 #28
gollygee May 2015 #48
Oneironaut May 2015 #13
jwirr May 2015 #23
RadiationTherapy May 2015 #40
SoapBox May 2015 #14
RadiationTherapy May 2015 #19
historylovr May 2015 #15
bullwinkle428 May 2015 #21
d_legendary1 May 2015 #25
Jamastiene May 2015 #34
HughBeaumont May 2015 #38
arely staircase May 2015 #42
vive la commune May 2015 #43
Dem_in_Nebr. May 2015 #46
Android3.14 May 2015 #47
Dont call me Shirley May 2015 #49

Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 11:02 AM

1. richsplaining: "You're poor because you need to get educated."

 

Really? I thought it was because my job pays shitty.



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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 11:10 AM

2. Don't even get started on what you should and should not buy.

What you should eat and should not eat. It's poverty shaming plain and simple. Even by members of our own Democratic party.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #2)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:16 PM

18. I know what you are saying. Been poor all my life and never as poor as I am now. But I got

diabetes and had to work with a diabetes educator on food issues. Now I try to teach my children and great grandchildren what I learned before they are in the same boat I am in. That diabetes educator was not poor - but she understood why I did not think I could afford to eat healthy. She showed me how. And it has worked.

I do somewhat agree with the OP but I am not quite as rigid in my ideas as he/she is. There is such a thing a empathy = the ability to understand other situations than your own.

That said I agree with the OP in that without input from the group (black, Native American, poor, etc.) the solutions are not likely to help anyone. Years ago LBJ created the CAP programs that worked on local levels to help solve problems. The boards for these programs were mostly from the populations they wanted to help. Sometimes people like me actually got to lead these programs. Out of LBJ's efforts on behalf of the poor came programs like energy assistance, weatherization, local rural transportation programs, senior meals, meals on wheels and CETA (works) programs. This is only a short list of what these CAPS helped to do in the community.

Unfortunately today most ideas do not allow for the input from the people involved. Now the board is more likely to be made up of corporation reps and the rich.

As to food - I read the article about how the access stores in the poorer areas are not changing anything. I thought that the most telling statement in the article was the one where people walked into the store and said "There is nothing to eat here". That tells me that whoever owned that store did not even bother to ask the people what they wanted. The store was breaking their own rules: no business ever stocks a store without finding out what their customers are likely to buy.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #18)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:44 PM

36. Yes - need a way to give input!

Elsewhere I commented about a local medical clinic who was attempting to do good deeds by giving away bags of fresh veggies. But they were only giving away the veggies in the morning - that meant poor people with stacks of appointments couldn't take the bags of veggies because they would have to lug them around all day from appointment to appointment.

I tried to poorsplain this to the person in charge, but I think they are going to sit there wasting lots of bags of veggies week after week before they understand why all the poor people are just passing them by - even though they could really use them. Unfortunately since the clinic is right there, it will look like they are "ignoring the doctor's advice".

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #36)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:54 PM

37. Another good point. They really need to listen to us if they want something to work. Unfortunately

I am not sure they want this to work. All too often they really need a scapegoat.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #18)

Wed May 13, 2015, 04:40 PM

39. thank you for your work and sharing your experiences here.

My own education in contemporary American history was limited. This was new to me, but I want to learn more:

"Years ago LBJ created the CAP programs that worked on local levels to help solve problems. The boards for these programs were mostly from the populations they wanted to help. Sometimes people like me actually got to lead these programs. Out of LBJ's efforts on behalf of the poor came programs like energy assistance, weatherization, local rural transportation programs, senior meals, meals on wheels and CETA (works) programs. This is only a short list of what these CAPS helped to do in the community."

Thanks for sharing and good luck to you.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #39)

Wed May 13, 2015, 06:41 PM

41. fyi CAP stands for Community Action Programs. Ours still exists.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 11:40 AM

3. +1 agree completely. K&R nt

 

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:20 PM

4. It appears I am not the ony one deeply pissed off and irritated by "rich 'splainin'"

I often resist the urge to poorsplain to the obviously financially secure posters here that keep telling us how well we are all doing, how we are in recovery, how we are on the right track.

What about access to not worrying about your electricity being cut off because you are juggling bills?
What about access to a dignified, well-funded mass transit system?
What about access to education and opportunity?


Are questions I ask on a daily basis, and what might shock some of the cheerleaders here is that those are the most common thoughts to enter the minds of the average American in this day and age, yes, I said average, but it really is more like the majority of Americans. The majority of us have been left behind in an economy where we lose more each day as the well to do gain more each day, what makes matters worse is that we no longer appear to have much in the way of representation no matter how we vote.

I would give what little remains of my life for a party of the people, a labor party, a party that is concerned about the rising and rampant poverty all around the insulated bubbles of the few remaining middle class members that love to tell me how great we are doing, how progressive our party is, how our leaders "feel our pain".

I would poorsplain to them what the true reality is as a party that once represented the people has for the past thirty years abandoned us to decay as a people as completely as they have abandoned the crumbling bridges roads and empty factories that once were the life blood of a people first marginalized, then ignored, and now completely invisible. - it is as if the majority of Americans do not exist.

I would do this splainin' but such is condescension and anger does not translate well as condescension but rather rage repressed becomes expressed, and this insulated bubble of cheerleading "sports team" enthusiasts that do not have the worries of the common man are quite fragile and easily offended, they would ban me from this site were I to attempt to poorsplain to them the nature of the reality of the suffering all around them they are blind to as my condescension would turn to rage before the first paragraph were completed.

You see, it is not just the rich that keep 'splainin to us "how we need to be" to not be struggling and losing, but also those that carry their water from the insulated middle class that are the only ones spoken to by our representatives, the house servants to the rich that exist within our party that are skeeved out by a class they fear they will one day join if they don't ally themselves to the rich splaining servants of the upper crust that call themselves representatives to the people.

If any of them truly cared about anyone but themselves, if any of them cared about most of their fellow citizens, they would not cheer on and idolize those that have shaped a party that once served the people into a golem fit only to further enrich the already rich using nothing more than soft rhetoric and broken promises to the middle class that carry their water while ignoring the rest, the majority, the struggling .... the invisible that are losing or have lost everything to policies chosen by those that they swoon over and adore as if they were teenagers smitten by a heart throb.

There are exceptions within these insulated bubbles of middleclassdom that do see us and do see with deeper insight how their class too shall fall to the greed of the wealthy that own our representatives, there are exceptions as well within our representative bodies that can see the invisible majority, they are the ones that have my respect as advocates that show true empathy and disgust at the indefensible state we find ourselves in and who would, like statesmen of a time now past, attempt to effect change that will perhaps not make the majority wealthy, but at least comfortable enough to survive without the constant dread of becoming homeless and dead. But alas, they need no one to explain to them because they already have eyes to see.

To the rest, you are cowards or complicit idiots that perhaps feel you will one day rise above your middle class status to trample us beneath your feet like the heroes you idolize that have brought this country to a state where an economic recovery is now defined as the rich gaining much more of the monetary resources they will never need or likely spend while the majority fall further into poverty. House servants are what they are, and could only maybe learn from working in the fields for a bowl of gruel and a hope that the next day they will be able to break their backs yet again for yet one more bowl, one more day alive. I do not respect such individuals and attempts to 'poorsplain to them would more likely result in a lynch mob directed towards me than a change of mind or heart.

This is a bad day today (as perhaps evidenced by my lengthy rambling response), one more acquaintance went homeless today and we are all of us trying to help around here but with little success save temporary floor accommodations and calls to the mostly ineffective representatives that work within a tattered and barely existent safety net apparatus ravaged a few decades ago with bi-partisan support and a well adored sports team favorite named Clinton.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #4)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:27 PM

5. Yours is a beautifully written, frustrating post.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #4)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:13 PM

17. + 1,000,000

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #4)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:27 PM

20. Thank you

For your thoughts. They come across as very sincere and make good points.

I know I am fortunate to be in the position I am at this point in my life despite the economic challenges since 2008, but what's coming looks really ugly to me. I understand the frustration of trying to get positive change and get people informed.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #4)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:30 PM

22. Wow. That says it all.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #4)

Wed May 13, 2015, 06:49 PM

44. Thanks for this

I wish I could say it as eloquently as you.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #4)

Wed May 13, 2015, 08:06 PM

45. Great post

 

Unless you've been there (I have) many just don't get it.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:31 PM

6. I hear ya but....I'm also getting tired of "poor-scuzing"nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:32 PM

7. Haaahahahaha. Please clarify. hahahahaha

I want to hear more - HAAAAAhahahahaha! Seriously. hahahaha

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #7)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:34 PM

8. You have a very infectious laugh. nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #8)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:39 PM

11. And an insatiable curiosity to go with it! hahaha

I hope you are well. Good luck!

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #11)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:45 PM

12. Curiosity is the indicator of an active mind. be well.nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:36 PM

9. I just wrote about you above clarice, I hope you find my comments flattering /nt

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #9)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:39 PM

10. OK, thanks. nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:13 PM

16. This has got to be one of the most

digusting posts I have ever had the misfortune to read on DU. Please excuse me while I go bleach my eyeballs.

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Response to dgibby (Reply #16)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:45 PM

24. obvious troll is obvious

I imagine a search of that users posts might reveal a love of guns, a disdain for environmentalists and perhaps even a dash of poorly veiled racism.

It is just a guess, but one educated by seeing countless others that post such sentiments without clarification and that often reply with simple one liners seemingly designed to avoid hides and undue attention.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #24)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:06 PM

30. I lOVE undue attention. Thanks.

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #30)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:18 PM

32. Would you love valid attention that may be gained by explaining your poor-scuzing comment?

It does not appear to be clear to anyone in this thread what you are talking about.
Actual discussion may be something to consider if you wish to participate on a discussion board. To do so, all you would have to do is answer any one of the many requests for clarification and example.

Without anything to go by, I am led to assume you are parroting in a very cryptic way a sentiment similar to this:
http://patriotupdate.com/articles/making-excuses-poverty-keeps-people-poor/

As only in such circles have I ever head anything similar to your one-liner sentiment.

I would prefer to know rather than to assume, please do discuss, it would get you some more attention, if that is the goal.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #32)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:24 PM

33. EXACTLY !!! Thank you. (wheww). nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:47 PM

26. Of course you are. And it's adorable.

Of course you are. And it's adorable. Bless your little, tired heart...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #26)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:08 PM

31. Aren't you the sweetest thing....thanks...made my day. nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:51 PM

27. Does this exist? Please provide examples.

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #27)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:00 PM

29. It exists in the minds of the birchers, the poster probably is parroting this

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #29)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:38 PM

35. The poster just confirmed where he gets his ideas from, just as I had suspected.

Patriot update, a member of Liberty Alliance. Not much more needs be said.

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:58 PM

28. Wow


What an ugly thing to post. Shameful really.

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Response to clarice (Reply #6)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:40 AM

48. It sounds like you're the kind of person the OP is written about.

With the kind of income disparity we have, people living in poverty can only do so much. Our economic system is designed to keep poor people poor.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:49 PM

13. The funniest are these silver spoon douchebags telling others to work harder.

It's sad and comical at the same time. I don't think someone whose daddy or mommy bought him an education at Harvard has the right or knowledge to judge anyone who is poor.

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Response to Oneironaut (Reply #13)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:36 PM

23. Work harder - 1-2-3 jobs to a family. Long hours. And when they come home there is no nana to

take care of the house and kids for them. O yeah, work harder.

When I was raising my children alone I still had time to do things with them. Today young families regardless of how many parents are in the home do not have that luxury. And today we no longer talk about leisure time.

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Response to Oneironaut (Reply #13)

Wed May 13, 2015, 04:43 PM

40. I believe the vernacular surrounding the "work harder" myth is rooted in agrarian living.

You work harder, you get more potatoes or whatever. It still is naive because of weather, or course, but it literally means nothing in today's "service economy."

Thanks for sharing and good luck to you.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:06 PM

14. ...great post and I so agree.

(As an off topic note...another beef I have in life is when straight folks lecture all about gay folks.)

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #14)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:17 PM

19. Yes! Of course! I edited it out for the sake of a particular rhetorical rhythm.

It isn't right for straight people to explain LGBTQ experiences.

Good luck to you!

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:08 PM

15. K & R

And telling everyone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, all the while stomping on their hands so they can't. Excellent post!

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:30 PM

21. David Brooks is a great example of this, but he is literally only one of thousands

when it comes to this subject.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 01:46 PM

25. Richsplaining:

The wealthy telling the poor how it's their fault for being poor.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:29 PM

34. I keep hearing it on DU.

It is sickening to see it here, but there are a few around and they never miss a chance to kick someone when they are down.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 02:55 PM

38. You can work as hard as a bastard and it still doesn't keep the target off your back.

That's what the wealthy and upper middle don't seem to get. The problem is inadequate pay that isn't keeping up with the cost of living, not education. If there are no living wage jobs to offset every student loan debt-laden graduating class, all this means is that you'll have the most educated shelf-stockers and baristas in the world.

Of course, they'll continue to richsplain . . .. because they're already successful.

"It's Never Too Late To Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps" - Everyone who never had to.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 06:45 PM

42. hear hear nt

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 06:46 PM

43. +100000

Yes, well said.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2015, 08:36 AM

46. It's expensive to be poor.

Your expenses are greater in proportion to your income. In addition, you don't have any equity to tide you over any financial crises.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:39 AM

47. There you go

 

I find it annoying as well, and I love the term "richsplaining".

However, we should avoid willful ignorance of valuable guidance from experts simply because those experts are wealthy or come from wealthy families.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:57 AM

49. To feed a family healthy is a FULL-TIME JOB!

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