“In the cloth mills of Bombay (owned by English traders and managed by their cutthroat local middlemen), wages had been driven to such low levels that the mill workers lived in abject poverty, malnourished and without medical care. When English physicians tested these mill workers in the 1920s to study the effects of this chronic malnutrition, they discovered that many of them, particularly women after childbirth, were severely anemic. (This was yet another colonial fascination: to create the conditions of misery in a population, then subject it to social or medical experimentation.)”—The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
“It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered. If we’re compassionate, we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”—
I don’t trust the wealthy, white class in this country to be compassionate. I think the majority of people, who are poor or middle class, do have to vote people into office who will serve their interests and fund social welfare programs. I think the poor need a hand up now and not when the rich decide to open their pockets. Poverty in this country is visible and widespread and there are people making way way more than they need to survive. And yet.
I believe in the power of government to do more than people can do on their own. With legislation and taxes (or guns, as Jillette puts it). The fact that our government is also made up of mostly white and wealthy people does not make me believe in that principle less. The fact that, as Cornell West puts it “the Obama administration tends to side much more with the rich and wealthy and corporate and oligarchic and plutocratic elite than it does with poor people, than it does with working people” does not make me believe in that principle less.
“50 Cent did not disappoint. He ordered a grapefruit soda. The waiter brings him the grapefruit soda. And then 50 Cent said the greatest thing anyone could ever say when you see a grapefruit soda…He looks at the waiter and says, “Why isn’t this purple?” And it took me a few seconds, and then I realized, “Oh my god, 50 Cent has no idea what a grapefruit is!”… I was like, “Everybody in the restaurant, you need to SHUT UP right now cuz a waiter’s about to explain to a grown man what a grapefruit is.”—Aziz Ansari on Letterman last night, explaining his spotting of 50 Cent at a restaurant in NYC (via bu-girls)