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Trump’s War on the Poor, Working-Class and …

When explaining why his cabinet is filled with billionaires, President Donald Trump uttered what might just earn him Class Action’s 2017 Most Classist Comment of the Year Award. Mr. Trump said, “Somebody said why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? No, it’s true. And … I said: ‘Because that’s the kind of thinking we want.’ “And I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?” This makes perfect sense – if you assign value to people based on their... Read More

Trump’s Presidency: What We Deserve

Type “Trump voters deserve” into your search bar, and the two suggestions that pop up are “Trump voters deserve what they get” and “Trump voters deserve to lose healthcare.” To me, and I’d guess probably to you, this logic is completely unsurprising. In the Northeastern city where I live, we hear it every day – in casual conversations and bad jokes and rage-fueled op-ed pieces. Earlier this month, a Huffington Post contributor titled his analysis of Trump’s likelihood to get us all killed in a nuclear war, “Trump Supporters Deserve to Die More Than I Do.” The site took down... Read More

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Assimilation and the First Generation College Student

Going to college as a first generation student of color is more than just getting the money and applying for the right scholarships. It’s also about fitting in, trying to relate to your peers and constantly assimilating to a new culture. Money is only the first hill we must climb before hurtling over various mountains that consist of doubt and class-based shame. This leads me to thinking over and over that maybe college is not made for people like me. Living deep in the South, then moving up to the Pacific Northwest was a big change for me. And when... Read More

Living “Relatively Visible”

I am born to a Tamil, working class, OBC (Other Backward Caste) couple who immigrated to North India to earn their livelihood in the mid-1980s. My father had begun working with an American cultural agency, a full-time job that he would continue to do for the next three decades. My mother, by default, stayed at home, raising her two children, and managing the household with the skills and knowledge that she had learned. My sister and I, for the first two years of schooling, went to a low-budget private school, which had rooms covered with tin sheets and no doors.... Read More

The Poverty Catch-22

The High Costs of Destitution Cause a Vicious Cycle Nothing is more infuriating than the ill-informed critique that “the haves” like to lob at “the have-nots.” Here’s a classic: “If you’re so poor and can’t afford to eat, then why are you overweight?” If you have ever been poor, you know the answer to that question is, of course, that you cannot afford to eat healthy food. You are stuck living on beans, rice and ramen (and you are lucky if you get that). And that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of nutrition – and packs on a... Read More

Class in Crisis

Usually when I sit down to write out my thoughts on a political event, I write because I want to express an idea to resolve an issue. In fact, I would venture to say that most political writing is a reaction to some current event, with an idea of how this event can/will/should be handled. Today that is not why I am writing, though. Today I am writing because I am looking for answers. And I am hoping if I put my questions out there, other people will start looking for answers, as well Recently, I did something that I often try to avoid doing.... Read More

Funding Relationships: What’s Our Part as Donors?

Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to how donors can take more initiative in the fundraising/funding process. I have noticed that in our culture we seem to expect fundraisers to do all the work of initiating conversations and contact. This seems quite one-sided, when I think of the commonly held purpose donors have with their grantees to achieve a particular end. Donors and fundraisers truly are partners and perhaps there are ways we could step up to act that way more effectively. What Do I Mean? Let me suggest nine things that we might consider. Take the... Read More