Is Grandma a Minority?

Who pulls out the SNAP card at the checkout line? Rick Santorum has the profile.

TROY, Mich. — Rick Santorum on Saturday resuscitated one of his more controversial remarks from the past few months of campaigning for president, connecting food stamps with “minority communities.”

Speaking to a large crowd at the conservative Americans for Prosperity Presidential forum here, Santorum said he planned to “talk to minority communities, not about giving them food stamps and government dependency, but about creating jobs so that they can participate in the rise of this country.”

Okay. I’m not a brilliant politician/preacher/patriarch. I’m just one of the women you see walking around in scrubs. I see the people who use food stamps. The elderly widows whose late husbands worked in factories and fed their children–failing to consolidate their capital gains. I see the parents of children with disabilities, and the kids cut off at legal adulthood with the burden of mental illness they will carry through life.

Rick Santorum has claimed that the Affordable Care Act passed in President Obama’s administration will make life harder for people with disabilities, like his daughter, Bella.

But here on the ground, it looks like shaming people for using food stamps and other government assistance is bullying some of the people who have been hit by adversity, by circumstances that none of us can control.

The mother of a disabled child who has to devote 24/7 to care may depend on food stamps. Should she apologize to the taxpayers? I want specifics on Rick Santorum’s health care proposal that will protect the least among us. While ensuring tax cuts for the rich and dismantling big government. Let’s see it.

Meanwhile, don’t assume the food stamp users are a minority. Grandma’s demographic is on the increase, and she votes.

I hope candidate Santorum keeps his promise to talk to minority communities. It will be an eye-opener for him. He’ll meet parents, workers, service members and community organizers, clergy and congregations, students and teachers. Kind of like the rest of America. Which a real leader should unite, not divide.

FRONT LINES: Ethecofem writes a firsthand account of getting food assistance after losing her job…

I’ve been there, in that place where I don’t make enough money to shop at fancy healthy food stores, but I still don’t qualify for food support. And it sucks, because you want to be able to eat decent food, but you only have your own income to use, and you just flat-out can’t afford what you would eat if you had more money. You know what else I had when I was in that position? A job; a place to live that, at the very least, I could afford to maintain because of said job; a vehicle that was both insured and working; a MetroTransit pass that I had as a benefit from my job that allowed me unlimited use of any public transit in the metro area for a payroll deduction that was so small I didn’t even notice it was gone; the occasional ability to go out with friends and socialize at concerts, bars, wherever; f—-g money. The only thing that I, as a freshly-on-the-dole person have that you don’t have is taxpayer-subsidized, designated money for groceries. If I don’t have a job by April, I’ll be evicted.

Read the rest here, because we don’t hear enough from the percent of the 99% who are hit hardest by this recession.