Saturday, September 21, 2013

Supermarket Stink Eye At The Checkout

"I do apologize for burdening you on the checkout line with real-life images of American-style poverty. I know you probably believe the only true starving people in the world have flies buzzing around their eyes while they wallow away, near-lifeless in gutters. (...) But I've known people recently -- soldiers in the Army -- who were in the first and third. They were off fighting in Afghanistan while their wives were at home, buying food at the on-post commissary with food stamps. And nobody bats an eye there, because it's not uncommon in the military.It's not uncommon -- nor is it shameful." (Kirell)

"But even Mama Bears can get caught off-guard. A couple of weeks ago, I was out with my running group, and we got to talking about Romney’s now infamous 47 percent. A heated back and forth ensued about federal assistance and those who abuse it, with a few anecdotes tossed in for good measure. “Abby, you know you’ve seen the woman at Safeway using her food stamps and then hopping in her Mercedes,” one woman said.
Well, no, I actually had not seen that particular woman before. At least not until last month. But I do know that a man — my husband — was using food assistance at a Wegman’s and then driving away in our 13-year-old Subaru with 170,000 miles on it. Does that change the story? Should we sell our car and get a make and model more befitting of someone receiving federal assistance? Or maybe there is a grocery store designated solely for food assistance users? This is all new to me." (Henson)

The people with the “evil eye” at the checkout counter are those who walk into a public place with so much prejudice and misconception so as to judge everyone's book by what they perceive to be its cover. Painting everyone with just such a broad brush is what taints your ability to think rationally although they consider this method of observation to be valid.
What is known is that human behavior is complex, thus making prediction especially at the individual level difficult to impossible. These critics have no idea what the circumstances are for those whom the need arose which raises huge transference issues grounded in the new RW pseudoscience. That Mercedes at the welfare office, supermarket or commissary or Walmart or PX that they may consider to be a social artifact may have been a borrowed vehicle or just a well off relative lending a helping hand, and those people using EBT cards may be descending upon the store in question in relation to recent issuance of benefits, something they may have been waiting all month to do. Actually these people should be lauded for attempting to achieve the most savings they can by shopping at this very same store that the better off feel so privileged to patronize while appearing to feel that those more fortunate should be in a more exclusive category that should receive some preferential treatment or opportunity to shop without these "takers" becoming an obstacle in their path.
Although it appears that person-centered ethnographers would have a field day with RW's particular brand of social evaluations drawn from direct obervations they might begin by at least perusing Weber's standards for sociologists. Qualitative research is not considered an appropriate means of coming to accurate statistical descriptions of large groups of people either.

You know very well who should be giving the stink eye and whom it needs to be directed towards: the voters against the Tea Party Taliban driven Republicans who are up for reelection in 2014. Because their treatment of the less fortunate among us stinks to high heaven. 


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