Has Class Trumped Race? Part 5 – Discussion Summary

by Latoya Peterson

What I been through ain’t nuthin new under the sun
just lettin’ you know that it’s a new day
still struggle the same
the trouble’s the same
I’ma save every dollar till I make a change
You know I dig through the ashtray to make that change
I give a bum a dollar hope to make a change
Sweat on my blue collar, never see no change
I pay more but my w-2’s still the same

Politicians gonna tax ’till the well runs dry
Shells gon’ fly
death in the East paid by
hard-working, tax paying, non-votin’, unspoken
everday damn people the government can’t notice

You focus on the fact that I can’t do the math
And you call us “underclass” cause we don’t finish class
But we won’t finish last, broke begging for cash
when I make more than you, you can kiss my ass

— Far*East Movement, “Blue Collar Blues”

So, this is technically the end of the Has Class Trumped Race discussion. I still have a couple more posts planned on the subject – a discussion around why people in poverty have to be superhuman (taking their kids to cultural events and the library and other learning enrichment activities on their days off, working two jobs and going to school, practicing excellent spending and credit habits, switching to a vegetarian diet and cooking meat-free meals with a shortage of supermarkets…) and another one about the MTV True Life Special “I’m Dead Broke.”

I’ve learned a few things with this series. One, I need to finish the whole series before I post, so that I don’t have a three month gap between conversations. Secondly, I am not sure if the format worked – I wanted to break down a huge conversation into smaller bits, but people kept skipping ahead, so I am not sure if that is going to work.

So, readers, I open the floor to you. What did we miss? What aspect of poverty should have been discussed? (I have an inkling in the back of my mind about poverty and school but that’s not even an idea yet.) What do you want to hear more about?