Where We Stand: Class Matters
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Drawing on both her roots in Kentucky and her adventures with Manhattan Coop boards, Where We Stand is a successful black woman's reflection--personal, straight forward, and rigorously honest--on how our dilemmas of class and race are intertwined, and how we can find ways to think beyond them.
having enough money, I decided to look for a serious job, and that meant I needed serious clothing.With a credit card given me when I was a student, I swiftly amassed a clothing debt I could not afford to pay. In the household of my growing up, getting into debt had always spelled the beginning of financial ruin. When the creditors and bill collectors started calling, I felt more stressed about money than I had ever felt in my life and more ashamed. My partner had no sense of shame. Time and
bills for basic necessities like water, electricity, or credit cards where the envelopes are now designed to push products. This makes it practically impossible to ignore mass media images that push the fiction that there are unlimited resources and unlimited access. Teenagers are the largest growth population. Studies already show that their favorite activity is shopping and that they spend on the average more than twenty dollars a day consuming. Greater economic success for privileged parents
have come easily develop a privileged passivity. Someone with privilege can conveniently think that it’s not necessary to fight or discipline herself to get anything. Everything will work out. Because she has made it by following nice middle class rules of life, she doesn’t like for people to be pushy, dogmatic, hostile or intolerant.” Within radical feminist movement, women from privileged-class backgrounds learned the concrete politics of class struggle confronting challenges made by
astute individuals with class privilege have to remain aware that we are working with inadequate models for communalism and social change so that there will necessarily be occasions when the best efforts fail to get the desired outcome. When I have experienced a breakdown of communication and misuse, I use it as an occasion to invent methods of intervention that will work. When sharing resources does not work, it would be simple to refuse to identify with the class-based suffering of those in
color of one’s skin. Everyone held on to the belief that race was the factor that meant all black people shared the same fate no matter how much their worth in dollars. While class was never talked about in our household, the importance of work—of working hard—was praised. Our father worked hard at his job and mama worked hard in the home. Hard work was a virtue. As children we heard again and again that idleness was dangerous. At church we were told to “work while it is day for the night cometh