Let Them Eat Steak

The Missouri legislator1 who wants to keep EBT recipients from buying steak and seafood can go fuck a metaphorical duck.2 There are douchenuggets who think that restricting coverage on those things is awesome. Some want it expanded further because3 it should only cover nutritious items necessary for survival. They even want to ban chocolate. Fuck that shit. 

First of all, the steak and seafood are nutritious foods. Seafood, especially. I sometimes buy frozen tilapia filets. They’re very nutritious. They’re also safe for my mom, with her kidney failure that restricts a lot of meal options, to eat. Between my card and the occasional sale by the store, I can sometimes get a few filets.

Secondly, the ones who want to block the buying of other items kinda suck. Chocolate is nutritious. It’s also a good treat when you are eating mainly healthy foods. A doctor actually told me that a piece of chocolate everyday is fine if you’re careful to keep from overeating otherwise.

Third, who the fuck cares what a recipient eats or drinks? You don’t live their life, so you don’t get to decide the food they can and can’t eat. I don’t walk up to wealthy people and say, “Ew. Caviar? You do realize you’re eating potentially adorable mammals. Gross.” But people want to turn it around and say, “You can’t eat that because you’re poor.” Nope. Not your life. Not your call.

Also, when this sort of thing comes up, it reminds me why I have anxiety issues at grocery stores. I always worry that people are looking at the junk food in the cart, but ignoring the fruit, the yogurt, and other healthy items. I had to get a proxy card so that my family can get the food for me. Part of that is from the anxiety related to the cart-judging. I basically hide because I know that there’s a chance that some stranger is going to see my chocolate bars and say, “That lazy fatass is using my hard earned money to make that ass bigger.” The judgment that people have toward the poor can be overwhelming for some of us.

  1. Rick Brattin 

  2. Bestiality is gross, y’all. 

  3. paraphrasing 

I HAVE Student Loans and I Feel Bad For Others Who Do

I read that lovely little piece on xoJane/Time about the girl who was so awesome because she didn’t have student loans. She talked about her parents and grandparents helping her pay for her education. She talked about going to a local school and living at home. She talked about all of this with the attitude that she is somehow smarter or more resourceful than those of us stuck with crushing debt. My feelings can be summed up in two words: Fuck her.

That’s not very eloquent, is it?

So let’s travel back to August 2001, when I started at a community college. I had to fill out FAFSA paperwork like other students. That semester (and the next) I qualified for a Pell grant. Those go to students from lower incomes to enable them to go to college. It didn’t cover enough and my parents couldn’t contribute more. I didn’t have a job. I tried multiple times to get one. On campus and off.

I was 17 and I had started to college a year before I was supposed to because my mental health had made going back to high school impossible. I’d been out of a psych unit for almost four months when I signed my first signatory note. I understood what that meant: I’d need to pay it off one day.

In 2001, I thought my health would improve or I’d learn to cope. In 2001, before 9/11, the economy was good. I expected to be able to pay it off. In 2001, my dad had a job.

Life changed.

The next year was the first time I qualified for a SEOG in addition to a Pell and a subsidized loan. Each year, I got in more debt. Each year, my personal finances were getting worse. I was living at home, but I needed all the help to get the education I deserved. My dad ended up losing his job around the time that I was planning to go to a college around two hours from home. (An out of state public university.)

I was going to live in an apartment on campus, which was pretty much the only campus housing they had. I had picked out my room for the apartment and started talking to my prospective roommates. But I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t go to that school.

I went to A&M, an in-state public university. I qualified for a diversity scholarship. It was supposed to cover everything, including room, board, books, etc. It didn’t. And funnily, A&M would send my grants back, so I could only pay for things with the help of loans. When I had the issue with the professors and had to take time out, I had to accrue more debt because A&M rebated my loans (including the one for the previous semester). This put a lock on my transcript.

I had five years of debt and couldn’t even go to another school until I came up with thousands of dollars to pay this debt back.

I needed the loans, but they made my life more difficult. They still do. I know this girl would say that that I didn’t have to get a loan or that I wouldn’t have had the rebating issue if I had managed my money better. When you’re trying to figure out how to pay fees for parking (when you don’t drive) or a nonexistent athletic complex, or you need a book that’s not at the campus bookstore so your stipend doesn’t cover it, or you’re trying to cover gas to get to school or buy food, you do what you have to do.1 My loan money had gone toward buying our groceries, along with the EBT benefits my mom qualified for at that point and my disability money. That loan money had covered hundreds of hours for classes and for food so we didn’t starve. Loans were necessary.

Seeing this girl act like they’re not needed is just annoying. It stinks of a privilege level that I’ve never known personally. I applaud her ability to pay for her education, but she’s just being shortsighted in her apathy toward those who couldn’t do that. So, like I said earlier, fuck her.

  1. I considered things like selling essays, which would have been grounds for me to lose my scholarship. I also considered sex work. I was desperate. 

That Awkward Moment When: I Was Basically Asked to Pay a Poll Tax

forms of identification that are acceptable to vote with I can’t drive a car. No, let me rephrase that. I am not legally allowed to drive a car. I don’t have a valid license. My permit expired in January of 2013. I quit trying to drive over four years prior to that. I was having dizzy spells when I would drive, so I decided that driving was not going to be something that I could do.1 After I quit driving, I continued to use my permit at banks and medical offices to prove that I was indeed the person that I claimed to be. I probably would have continued to do so for a long time, but last fall, I had a bank teller tell me that she wasn’t technically supposed to accept my ID because it was no longer valid. After swearing to her that I didn’t drive on an expired license, she suggested I get a non-Driver ID from the Department of Public Safety. This would have cost me $23.50, which was something that I couldn’t afford.

When I found out that a valid Photo ID was required to vote in the state of Alabama, I started looking for a way to get an ID that I could use. Then, the State started running an ad about free photo IDs provided by Alabama’s Secretary of State through each county’s Board of Registrars to people needing them to vote. Well, that sounded like EXACTLY what I needed. I checked online to see what the requirements for me to get one were. There really weren’t any. Everything that they needed was stuff that they could get without me bringing in anything or paying anything.

You know that old saying of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? Guess what?! That applied here.

First, we had to track down the actual office. The first place that my dad and I tried was the county courthouse, which used to be where it was located. I’d never been to the registrar’s office before because I used a mail-in form to register to vote when I was eighteen. My dad had taken my mom to the old office to do absentee voting, so he thought it was still there. Oddly enough, absentee voting is still done there. According to a sign at the courthouse and an employee2 there, the office had moved to 816 Cook Avenue, so my father and I traveled over there. What the sign and the employee didn’t seem to know is that 816 Cook Avenue simply doesn’t exist. It was not at 8-1-6, but 8-1-9. And the building it’s located in? There’s no sign on the outside that says that this registrar office is there. There’s a small part of the sign that says there is a Madison County office there, but nothing about what kind of office for the County is there. We didn’t know until we were inside the agriculture building looking at the signs on the doors where the office we were looking for actually was.

That’s where the real fun began.

information that was needed for the card I walked in and told a worker, D, what I was in need of. She asked if I had any of the other ID cards that could be used. I told her no. She asked again. I told her no again. She asked me to look at the list, which was on the back of the form I had to fill out, and if I was absolutely sure that I didn’t have a valid photo ID then I should fill out the form. I checked the list again three more times.3 I filled out the form. She then asked if I had the copy of my birth certificate with me. I said no. She started going into a spiel of how I needed to go home and get the birth certificate and come back. This was about the point when my indignant attitude kicked in.

I had read what was needed. I had read what I needed to provide and what they could get without me bringing in. My birth certificate was one of those things that the County could get. I knew this. I also knew that I had no earthly clue of where my birth certificate might be. It has been over a decade since the last time I even needed a copy of it. I told D that I had no idea where a copy was. This was when J came around the corner. She asked him what they should do. He said to send me to get a copy of my birth certificate. She turned back around. Apparently D & J didn’t realize that their voices could carry. They also didn’t realize that I had already heard them talking about the price involved in getting a birth certificate.

J came over to me and told me that I needed to go to the Health Department. He then said that he had just gotten one for his daughter for some special thing she needed to do and that they were only $15. Oh, goodness! Fifteen dollars. Well, that’s only 3% of what I get overall from disability each month. Basically, a birth certificate is 1 day’s worth of benefits. I don’t know how much J or D makes in a year and I really don’t care, but I have a feeling that if they were looking at having to pay 1-day’s worth of what they make in a month so they could receive something they were entitled to for free by law, then their indignant sides might have kicked in.

what J suggested was ridiculous since there was an agreement in place for them to get free copies of the certificateI was calm. I just sat there while they went to an actual member of the Board. S came in and was talking about what else they could use, but most of it wasn’t something I could provide without paying some fee. She wasn’t actually talking to me yet, just D and J. She decided to call Montgomery and this was where things started changing with how they treated me. When she brought up the idea of sending me to the county’s Health Department for a copy of the birth certificate that would be used by them, they apparently pointed out something else that I already knew; requiring someone to pay to be allowed to vote is a poll tax. Poll taxes are, say it with me, illegal. They’re unconstitutional according to the 24th Amendment, which specifically prohibits them. They’re also considered unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.4 Forcing me to pay $15 to get documentation for an ID used just for voting would be violating my Constitutional rights.5 They couldn’t do it. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t do it. If they tried, the State could (and would) get sued.6

S came out around this time to talk to me specifically. S told me what they were going to have to do. They were having to get a copy of a form for me to fill out so I could request a copy of my birth record from the Department of Public Health. She apologized for my having to wait. She had to print out the forms and the protocol that they were supposed to be following for these cards. D and J tried to suggest that it wasn’t their fault because I was only the thirteenth person to request an ID and I was the only one that hadn’t had what they “needed” to get the card.7

I filled out the forms and signed them and was told by S that I needed to wait another five to ten minutes to see if they heard back. Meanwhile, I heard D joking that the Department of Public Health was never going to send it. D, who probably still didn’t realize I could hear her voice from the other room, came out and asked me if I needed the card soon. I told her that I needed it by the June primaries. She asked if I needed it for anything else. I almost pointed out that she had already told me that they could only be used for voting, but I didn’t. I just shook my head and said that I only needed it to vote.

When S finally decided they were going to take too long to send it, she suggested I go home. She ended up using my EBT card as a non-photo ID that had my name on it.8 She said that after the certificate came in that she and the 2 other members of the board would decide if that was enough. She felt it probably would be, so she said I could expect to receive a copy of the ID in the mail soon.

Anyway, while I was there, S also put together a folder filled with the protocols and forms where the employees could easily get to it. She pointed it out to each of them. She also pointed out the fax number of the DPH. Basically, she was cleaning the shit off the fan while I was there. Hopefully, the next time someone like me goes in, they won’t end up going through this kind of drama. Until then, I have to agree with anyone who argues that laws like this one are the new way of doing poll taxes. They seem to exist to, on some level, disenfranchise the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and minorities. The writers of the law may not have intended this kind of requirement to be treated like a poll tax, but that’s pretty much what is happening. If I had agreed to do what they suggested, then that’s what would have happened today. I have a feeling that it probably is happening across the state. I have a feeling that this is what is going on and I have a feeling that some of the people either don’t realize that what is going on is illegal or that they realize it, but are afraid to talk about it publicly. I’m not. It is okay to call the state on the bullshit that is this requirement. It is okay to suggest that what is going on may violate the rights of law-abiding people. It is okay to suggest that this kind of law doesn’t need to exist in the world because it really shouldn’t exist.

  1. It was weird because my previous anxiety-induced refusals to drive were ignored, despite my bad reactions to even being in a car. When I ended up being able to drive rather well and had learned to like driving, but had an actual physiological reason that I could not drive, it quit being a point of contention in the family. 

  2. The employee also said that it was right behind the Krispy Kreme. 

  3. This probably was my OCD kicking in because I was starting to get annoyed. It comes out more in stressful situations. 

  4. If the 14th Amendment sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the one the Tea Party members always want to get rid of. 

  5. Interestingly, the $1 to $2 required in the 1960s is equivalent to about $15 now. 

  6. If you think that would be a frivolous lawsuit, then you might consider going elsewhere quickly because I probably would want nothing to do with you. 

  7. Oddly enough, an elderly couple came in while I was waiting for the same cards. The 84 year old woman who couldn’t hear and could barely walk was originally told to use her expired license. Her indignance flared up. The man was told he couldn’t apply for one since he still has a valid license. He suggested that he probably shouldn’t be driving, but had to keep the license to get them around. It didn’t matter because, according to the law, he still had a valid license. 

  8. It was also one that had been provided by the state and tied to a record that includes proof of my name, address, birthday, and Social Security numbers. The EBT office had the ability to not only have all those pieces of information without me bringing verification, but to have the amounts I receive from the SSA and the cost of things like utilities without my bringing them proof. Also, they’re within a mile of the registrar’s office. 

That Awkward Moment When: I Apparently Owned Slaves

I always thought that in order to be accused of being a slave master that a person had to actually own slaves. If they didn’t do that, they would at least need to do something like be a pimp or help human trafficking in some other way. Apparently not. Apparently, I am a slave master. That’s right. Me.

In what was perhaps the most unusual experience that I have ever had on Twitter, I found out that I am apparently promoting the slave trade. I guess I do that on the same days that the world spins backward. You know, the ones where I support the policies of Hitler, kill as many babies as a mythological troll, have sex with anything that moves because I can’t figure out how to close my legs, and prostitute myself for all those Big Macs that I eat. Yeah, to be the most unusual experience on Twitter, you have to really be saying something truly wackadoodle in nature, and this guy was doing it.

As these incidents seem to always begin, someone brought up welfare and another person brought up abortion. I saw a tweet that I found strange, where a guy (I’m using male as a gender default here) said, “Think of how many millions of minority kids would be alive, if Liberals [sic] didn’t exist!!”1 Aside from the grammar issues2 and the blatantly racist idea that abortions are something that happen only with minorities3, this particular idea seems to suggest that liberals are actively trying to kill minority children or promote a service that is designed to kill minority children. I know that some people like to bring up the whole Margaret Sanger inspired Hitler thing that some RWNJs like to harp on, but that’s just promoting propaganda that has been debunked many, many times. Anyway, to this particular wackadoodle I said, “Liberals support social programs providing food, shelter, & education to underprivileged kids. I’m not sure how that would kill any minority kids.” This led to his first claim of my being a slave master by saying, “No, Liberal policies support voting certain segments of citizens into slavery & forcing them to pay YOU benefits, in name of poor!” Now, aside from the fact that this didn’t make a lick of sense to me, I took a bit of offense to being accused of being a party to slavery. Before his second question was received, I was responding with the question of “Which groups are liberals forcing into slavery?”

His second question came through right as I sent off my first response, “You believe someone owes you free healthcare?” Now, let’s a take a second to remember that I am on disability for physical and mental health problems. I actively seek and receive treatment for these issues. I am trying to improve my life and my situation so that one day I might be able to get off disability, but I understand that this could be something that will keep me on disability permanently. I know that these issues are not going away. My answer to that was, “Yes, I do.” This triggered a secondary “battle” between our accounts.

He felt that the people who are paying for benefits like free healthcare are slaves, which I felt was absurd as these people are not owned and are not being dominated in any way by me. As I was trying to help him understand it is ludicrous to consider oneself a slave when one is also calling himself a member of the 53%, he fired off another tweet: “Then the money that provides it to U, must be earned by another citizen, which enslaves them! U steal f/their families! #Sicko” Now, I almost made a quip about how it was nice that he was actually acknowledging my disability with the term “Sicko” but I didn’t. As I was trying to respond without glibness to his claims that I was stealing4 he sent another tweet, “They do or U wouldn’t be getting benefits they paid 4! U are the slave master stealing their earnings! U noble by leaving them some $?”

I’m a slave master. I guess you can blame all those BDSM books I’ve read. Oh, wait. That’s a different kind of Master/slave dynamic.

Anyway, as I tried to determine whether or not I should just laugh or go into full-on bitch mode, I decided that maybe I should invoke a folk-hero for the Right. No, I didn’t go with Won-Won. I went with Jesus. JC represented what could still be considered an extremely liberal social and fiscal policy. Also, bringing up the big J can lead to a bit of an implosion in the argument of wackadoodles. My full comment to him, cut up by his “slave master” tweet, was, “You know, I’ve heard that before so many time it’s ridiculous. It’s one of the funny reactions that so-called Christians have toward taking care of the sick and the poor, or as Jesus called them: the meek.” This is where the butthurt got even worse on his part because his response was:

Christians?? Jesus said “Don’t Steal”
He did not say, “Don’t steal unless u 1st vote 4 a Senator to steal on your behalf”!!
Jesus was telling YOU to provide for the poor, Derp! Your wealth, not stealing someone else’s wealth for your personal benefit!

Suggesting that my Senator ever does anything on my behalf was laughable. I pointed this out. His response, “Doesn’t matter, U low life! It’s your intent to steal benefits for yourself, at other citizens expense! #Fact” Now, here is where I had to get snarky. You see there’s this book called a dictionary and there are words in this book that are followed by what they mean. When you purposefully use a word wrong, don’t expect me to take it lightly. When the word you choose is fact, then you might actually want to use it to refer to something that can be proven. I told him this, in less than 140 characters. (Yay, me, for being all succinct.) He tried to argue the idea that I had already admitted that I wanted to steal someone’s money. It was all quite lovely. It left me feeling all warm and fuzzy like all those sermons I’ve heard growing up about embracing God’s love while shaming anyone who that particular preacher finds unworthy of God’s love.

Anyway, I gave him some facts about welfare and other social programs, ones that he probably should have paid attention to as there is a test5 in November. He claimed that starvation and food insecurity wasn’t a problem prior to the invention of welfare. Apparently someone was asleep when these things were covered in history class. Colonists regularly faced starvation crises in the early days. Part of the way poor people would feed themselves prior to the American Revolution, oddly enough, was to put themselves into indentured servitude, which is basically where a white person sells themselves or their family members into slavery until a debt is paid off. After the war, things got better for a while (if you were white), but eventually things got hard again for the poor. Much like during the “Great Recession” of 2008, charities ended up getting maxed out with demand and didn’t have enough in the way of supply. Children were dying. People were losing their jobs left and right. Things were bad and hunger was still an issue long before programs like food stamps existed. It has continued to be an issue because people don’t want to admit that sometimes really bad things like starvation actually do happen in America.

As the argument continued, the dude kept calling me a slave master. I went back to trying to be more civilized, but he just kept at it; continuing to claim that I was justifying the “theft of fellow citizens money! As if it’s owed you!” and stating that I had “been justifying your existence through slavery of your fellow man!” I almost would want to award him with a cookie or a gold star for his persistence if I didn’t despise him so much for calling me a slave master or dense or thief or anything like that. When I requested he refrain from the criminal accusations, he really earned my ire by stating: “I will speak truth whether it makes you uncomfortable or not. You have ZERO conscience about violating other people’s freedom!”

Here’s the deal. There are red lines with me in arguments. If you call me stupid, I will attempt to argue with you until you beg for mercy. And if you accuse me of lacking a conscience, then I tend to get über-pissed because of the whole many-of-my-family-members-have-been-sociopaths-and-I’m-not-really-anything-like-them thing that has been a big issue in my life. I tried to explain to him that slavery and tyranny and theft were not words that we just throw around, but, of course, that only strengthened his belief that I’m a repugnant slave master. At this point, I told him that if he continued his comments, I would block him. He did, so I did.

I know that not everyone likes the current government. I didn’t like the last one, so I understand what that is like. I know that people sometimes like to claim that they are being oppressed by their taxes. I know that they like to claim that paying these taxes are akin to living under a tyrannical rule. I also know that when they make these claims that they are being the very definition of histrionic.

There are people in this world who live under tyranny. There are people now who are slaves. If you’re able to complain about your government or your “slave master” without fear of reprisal, then there’s a pretty good chance that you are not living in a tyrannical society nor are you an actual slave. I know the world isn’t perfect. I know that America isn’t perfect. I also know that when people make claims like that that they are misusing these terms. They are, essentially, watering down some very serious issues so that they can use them for their own good. They are dismissing the terms and the fact that, even in 2014, people still live in these kinds of conditions. Using these terms so lightly is not a good thing.

Gallery of Tweets between us under the cut. [50+ images]
Continue reading That Awkward Moment When: I Apparently Owned Slaves

  1. Doesn’t this sound like he is advocating killing off all liberals by saying that if we didn’t exist then the world would be better? Or is that just me? 

  2. Liberal isn’t a proper noun, dude. 

  3. Yes, a majority of women polled were non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women, but for a single racial group, white women actually make up the largest chunk. 

  4. I’ve heard that accusation by many RWNJs before. 

  5. election 

Be Gone Stress — Please?

When it comes to being a friend, I really suck. I have this tendency to expect others to reach out to me, while I almost never try to reach out to them. If you’re going through a tough time, you can almost rest assured that I probably have no idea about it. It isn’t because I don’t care about you. It’s just that I truly suck at being a friend. It may have to do with being raised by not one, but two misanthropic and agoraphobic parents. Socialization wasn’t exactly something that they were good at, though both are better than I am. Anyway, I don’t want to blame it on them by saying that because the truth is that I could try, and sometimes I do, to do better.

So the tendency to keep others at a distance is only one of the stresses going on in my life. Another is that money troubles, but that’s really old news for me. I think the big thing is still that I see and hear my parents bicker so frequently. I think that they’re trying not to get so upset with one another, but they still manage to snipe at one another until it feels like they’re each halfway into a homicidal rage. And, as the money troubles worsen, my dad gets more anxious, which then makes him more agitated.

Cooking last week helped some, though he still managed to find things to get overly pissed about. And when I mentioned this past week that he went into a rage about dirty utensils being left in the sink, I was serious. He got upset because there were too many dirty spoons in the sink to be washed. According to him, we had used too many in too short of a time. He has these standards that he’s set where he thinks we should only use so much of a product, only spend so much money on things we actually need, etc. His anxieties end up making him into a serious control freak. And when we point out that he’s being unreasonable, he’ll generally say that he just does what he does or says what he does because he’s worried that we’ll go too far with things and that that will lead us to having even less money and being on the streets and all of these other things. He brings up the condemnation every once in a while to back up his behavior, but he was controlling of certain things long before that ever happened.

Anyway, there are other things that are going on and I keep meaning to blog about them, because I know that that will help with my stress levels, but I don’t. I need to make myself do the entries, even when I feel like crap, because I need to have some level of psychological release with this stuff. I don’t want to be even more of a wackadoodle than I already am.

Oh, and I’ve kept on working on writing things. I have yet to actually write part of the story. I’m still trying to plot everything out completely. I’ve got the basics of an outline done and the character profiles, but that’s about it. Still, that’s more than I had done a month ago. So I really am working on it. Maybe I’ll get it done and one day get it published because I would really like to not be on disability and food stamps and stuff anymore. I would like to not feel like shit every time “welfare” is brought up because, even if I say otherwise, it does upset me quite a bit when I see or hear those things.

Come-to-Jesus Moment

A few months ago, I decided to quit eating potato chips. I decided that any help they were giving me in certain departments was being negated by the high fat. Well, I’ve learned that my sandwiches that I’ve been eating every day are also not so great for me. Even with very little mayonnaise on them, they were eating up a lot of my daily calorie amount. Also, the meals that my family had been eating were ranging anywhere from 650 calories to around 1100 calories.

Tonight I decided to try cooking again, because I had quit actually cooking a while ago. We had Crispy Fish and Peppers and French Fries. I’d never cooked fish from scratch. This time I did. (Well, from scratch as in it had already been turned into individual fillets.) Tonight’s calorie total for dinner? 391.

There were a few technical issues. The fish fell apart and the batter decided that it wanted to stay in the pan when it was done. But it tasted good. My parents even said it was good, which really shocked me because my mom hates tilapia, which was the type of fish I used. I could have used catfish, but I hate everything about that. (That makes me weird for a southerner, you know.)

Tomorrow, I’m planning on making Beef and Black Bean Chili. In the meantime, I am trying to get across to my parents that I want this to be more of a family effort. I didn’t particularly enjoy that, when they went shopping, they came home with ice cream and donuts. I told them this and explained why.

Anyway, I hope that MyFitnessPal will help me keep myself on track. Hopefully, I’ll start losing weight. I’m also planning on trying Pilates or just doing some stretching and walking. Eventually, I hope to actually start using my membership at the Wellness Center that is a part of my Humana Medicare plan.

Quote: “Unwed white girls who became pregnant in the postwar years…”

“Unwed white girls who became pregnant in the postwar years were considered psychologically disturbed but treatable, whereas their black counterparts were presumed to be biologically hypersexual and deviant. Historian Rickie Solinger demonstrates that in the 1950s an unwed white girl who became pregnant could go to a maternity home before her pregnancy showed, deliver the baby and give it up for adoption, and return home to her community with no one the wiser. (White parents concocted stories of their daughters being given the opportunity to study for a semester with relatives.) She could then resume the role of the “nice” girl.

Unwed pregnant black girls, on the other hand, were barred from maternity homes; they were threatened with jail or termination of welfare; and they were accused of using their sexuality in order to be eligible for larger welfare checks. Politicians regarded unwed pregnant black girls as a societal problem, declaring—as they continue to declare today—that they did not want taxpayers to support black illegitimate babies, and sought to control black female sexuality through sterilization legislation.”

Leora Tanenbaum, Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation
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