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The EBT Menu

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Face it, Evangelical White America hates food stamps ’cause the concept of feeding the poor is not one that right-wing Christians are really into. Dawn Elmhorst McKenzie, or as she is now known, the tweeter formerly known as @DawnEMackenzie, a woman who is a proud MAGAt, hater of Joe Biden, and staunch about there only being two genders, tweeted that she “found” a Costco receipt, detailing a purchase of over $600 of high-quality meat, with a $1200 balance left to boot.

Dawn’s tweet stoked the right-wing white fire that someone who gets food stamps is possibly defrauding the government. I don’t think I need to explain to the audience whom most people stereotype a food stamp recipient as. She wrote, “This is seriously what’s wrong with this country!!” Oh, and how right she was. As the story developed, it was later revealed that Dawn did, in fact, find the receipt in her pocket. The sleuths on TikTok found pictures on her Facebook and Instagram showing off meals with the same high-quality meat that she posted, down to the pork bellies and asparagus.

The receipt was Dawn’s the whole time, and while she was attempting to sh-t on poor people’s choices, she was the one who was ultimately making the poor choices. Dawn’s political leanings may be anti-handout, but maybe, just maybe, she had fallen on hard times and needed a leg-up. I guess she must’ve squandered her $3.3. million PPP loan that she didn’t have to pay back. Dawn would’ve probably gotten away with the tweet if it weren’t for those meddling kids, and now the welfare queen, who is what’s wrong with this country, has no social media.

Another tweeter of slightly fewer means, @KMBAussie, a possible Black man living in Australia, was appalled at the quality of food on Dawn’s receipt (of course, he didn’t know it was Dawn’s, though).  Even though he made over six figures, he still was unable to budget lobster tails, steak and shrimp on his own dime, and honestly, my fart goes out to that man. He seemed very distressed that he couldn’t budget properly. With tweets like these, I must ask, what is the acceptable food stamps menu? 

Full disclosure, I have been on food stamps, as an adult, in my 30s. I was poor, I was eligible-ish. I stopped eating beef and pork around the age of 12 and have not knowingly eaten it since. Before I even needed food stamps, my diet became more streamlined to organic high-quality foods. While on food stamps, I lowered my poultry intake and went mostly pescetarian specifically to help with my depression. I was still very poor. I imagine that if I walked up to the counter and asked for salmon and was told that I could not have it because I was on EBT, that might’ve broken me. I guess no matter their struggle or principles, poor people should be relegated to hot dogs and only certain sections of the store. Maybe we should bring back government cheese because Sargento is just a little too delicious for those people.

The next stop will then be complaining that those same poor people are not taking good enough care of their health and being a burden on the healthcare system.

A lot of this feels like policing poor minorities because they obviously don’t know how to make good decisions with their lives. I mean, look at them. They chose this, even though 90% of people are born and die in the same socio-economic bracket. Healthy food is expensive. Unhealthy food is cheaper, but it is still not cheap, and instead of the ire being directed at the systems in power, it is directed at the group with the least power. The same people who demean others for receiving food stamps are the same people who will eagerly barter with someone trying to sell them. The only irritation people had with PPP loans is that they didn’t sign up for one. There was not this giant clamor of injustice when 95% of over $800 billion was forgiven by the government. The PPP loan was a handout given to many businesses that could pay it back. Most food stamp recipients are white. Black people only make up about a quarter, but because our population is smaller, Black people are more likely to be on food stamps than white people. Sh-tting on poor Black people has always been fodder for the masses. Welfare is an eye-roll for single Black mothers (the stereotypical recipient), but a tear shed for poor Appalachian whites (some of the highest recipients). Politicians have always taken a shot at people on welfare while they are dependent upon the handouts from billionaires and corporate oligarchs in order to fund their political careers.

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People want it both ways.

They want to chastise people for having unhealthy diets and then complain when they buy high-quality foods. They want to reach their hands out for any government assistance and then feel better than others because of the type of assistance they receive. Every single solitary day, government officials and companies take advantage of the poor, and no one gives a f-ck. This government owes Black people billions, if not trillions, in reparations but somehow the possibility of a Black woman (’cause let’s be real, that’s what people think of when they think of food stamps) getting just the tiniest lick back and licking her lips to savor the flavor is just too much to bear.

I guess poor people should not have treats.

It is easy to sh-t on the poor. There is little pushback, and it is universally understood that no one wants to be poor, including the poor. I’ve been poor as a grown adult, and I never want to be poor again. I also recognize that I come from a long line of poor Black people, whether they are now or not. I acknowledge the legal systems that were established that made and kept them poor, so if the government ever wants to hand me free food or free money on my or their behalf, you best believe I’m buying shrimp and lobster to celebrate. 

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