different kinds of poor.

ta nehisi coates said in an interview on fresh air “different kinds of poor” and i think this is more relevant than ever.

perhaps what is becoming less important is actually the idea popularized during OCCUPY of the 99% versus the top 1%. The 1% are fucking rich apparently, and don’t even know how to spend their money–but enough about them. Perhaps what’s more relevant now is what distinguishes and makes the rest of the 99% so different from each other. Different kinds of rich and poor. different kinds of precarity, different kinds of working. different kinds of choices around what one needs, what one is willing to risk for survival, for personal ethical choices, for the grace of time.

This is where “what one must do” and “what one chooses to do” is such a tricky and slippery place. “what one needs” and “what one desires” is different and intersectional and historical. dynamic. and these things are changing, too, so much with new economies of work we dont necessarily even know what to read what we see in front of us anymore. They are also changing (hopefully) as some of us rethink our own consumerism as we are actually getting fired up by environmental activism (at least I hope we are).

But class is always there, class one is escaping from or wanting to avoid or trying to come into. Money is always there, opportunity or perceived opportunity is always there, rearing its head under the surface of so many of our interactions, micro readings of each other. and its not fixed or confined to generations, it can even come and go in ones lifetime, it can even be slippery and represented in a spectrum within the same day as we code switch our class signals and understandings, in language, in dress, in ways of inter-relating. its something, i think, to notice. to talk about.

 

 

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