So when we moved to Cincinnati, we got the cheapest apartment we could find. It was the lowest apartment in the building, and we got hit by a summer storm. So what didn’t get destroyed by water got destroyed by mold. And I was, I think, seven and a half months pregnant, eight months pregnant at the time. So I was calling every charity I could, thinking, I just need a chair. For or whatever reason in my head, if I could just get a chair, then everything else would be fine. But I needed a place to sit. I got in touch with one charity who said, “Yeah, you can come and pick up a chair but you’re gonna need you to go to a resume-writing class.” And I said, “For what?” And they said, “Well, because we need you to be looking for work and trying to better your situation; we don’t just give charity to just anybody. We need to make sure that you’re, you know, invested — you got some skin in the game.” And I said, “Okay, when is the resume-writing class?” And she gave me two different times. And I said, “Well, I have to be at work at both of those times.” And they said, “Well, if you want the charity you have to show up to the class.” And I was like, “If I come to the class I’ll get fired.” And this woman was telling me how I really needed to learn to write my resume so that I could find gainful employment, so that I could get the stupid chair that was probably worth five bucks.
That is what personal responsibility means to somebody on welfare. It means here are these stupid hoops that we’re gonna make you jump through and then we’re going to give you a solution that absolutely won’t work for you. It’s that kind of just over and over beating your head against these ridiculous regulations and these double-binds that don’t make any sense. And the whole thing is set up specifically to humiliate you as much as possible because what we need poor people to do in America more than anything else in the world is know their place.