Sunday, January 30, 2011

Honestly, I had never seen a food stamp either and you haven't seen a Naira

One of the recent episodes of Basketball Wives (if you don't watch it, good for you. Reality TV is my vice) one of the characters Tami voiced that she had to receive food stamps after divorcing her NBA player husband and another character Jenn, responds that she had never seen a food stamp. This causes quite a stir later as Tami took it as a classist jab. Instead of letting it go, Tami later confronts Jenn. It wasn't a good look.

I attended a gathering yesterday and this episode, among many, was a topic of discussion. I rarely hang with co-workers outside of work... there aren't many I would like to 'hang' with I was very excited to be there. Of course I laughed as we discussed how silly the conflict was, knowing very well I myself, had not seen food stamps either. In a later episode Jenn brings Tami what I thought were pictures of food stamps as a way to make up. So to mask my ignorance I say what I do know, "aren't they EBT cards now?"  So having someone explain to me that food stamps used to be gigantic and then became a book of coupons means that my ignorance was on full display. *shrugs*  Actually, I'm really tickled.

Now Jenn's character on the show attributes her "never seeing a food stamp" to her dad picking her up from middle school in a Porsche and that she grew up middle class. I didn't know Porsche and middle-class went together. I, on the other hand, have immigrant parents and on EVERY step of the immigration process to citizenship the U.S. government wants to know if you or your sponsor has ever been on public assistance. So except for WIC because that was for me, the child, my parents feared trying despite the fact that we were poor. In college I had a roommate that was on food stamps. We ate well that semester, but I never went grocery shopping with her. I also worked for the Dept. of Children and Families at the food stamp office. Yep, that's how I know they are EBT cards now. Somehow I can't recall actually seeing food stamps besides my recent Google searches.

So I know not to speak of things I don't know, especially if its courteous. Unfortunately, one of the ladies at the gathering joked that "Jenn brought those gigantic food stamps looking like African bills. Looking like it came straight from Nigeria." I could have brought out the 200 Naira bill that I keep in my purse that is clearly not gigantic. But since I'd just met these girls I didn't want to make it an issue. Yes, I did mention previously that my parents came from Nigeria, I'm sure you wanted to give her a pass.

So realize that not only am I offended but I might understand how Tami felt (gasp!) I'm trying to hide my ignorance while someone else prides herself in it. As much as I felt Tami should have let the food stamp issue go, I now think I should have spoken up.
Honestly, I had never seen a food stamp either and you haven't seen a NairaSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

1 comment:

  1. Jolie5:50 PM

    Oh goodness I found the comment section!


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