Saturday, August 6, 2011
I’ve got to be more particular about which Facebook friendship requests I accept.
I accepted the request of one of Anita’s co-workers, an older woman who likes Peter Frampton and the Detroit Red Wings and therefore can’t be that bad, I thought. I was concerned about the fact that she’s pals with my first ex-wife – who is no longer a good person – but Anita told me she didn’t think they were tight so I accepted.
Everything was just fine until my new friend, whom we’ll call “Lily,” posted the following status update:
Florida is the first state that will require drug testing when applying for welfare! Some people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It's OK to drug test the people who work for their money but not those who don't?
I hate class-based blanket generalizations and I told Lily so. I also told her that I see the drug-testing-for-welfare-recipients thing as just another part of the class warfare being waged by right-wing politicians against the poor and middle class in this country. I added that Lily should be more concerned about her tax dollars being wasted on unnecessary wars and corporate welfare, since most low-income individuals I know want to work and don’t abuse drugs.
I thought I might get a begrudging “all right” or “I take your point” but instead, she followed up with this:
Sorry to say that the ones that I know are on welfare always have the money for beer and smokes and other items, both legal and illegal. I used to believe the system would work but not anymore. Especially when people like my husband and I have to work two jobs to stay afloat and the ones that are on welfare or are low income have the money to blow on luxuries (not necessities).
I pursed my lips and gritted my teeth and played with my moustache for a second, as most serious writers with moustaches do, then posted that I didn’t know which poor people she was talking about but the ones I know struggle to make it on $240/month and no one’s living high on the hog like the bankers and Wall Street executives who stole people’s life savings and pilfered billions and hardly got slapped on their wrists, and then I asked if Lily knew that AIG awarded millions in bonuses to its executives AFTER receiving billions in TARP bailout money – taxpayer dollars – and where was her status update on that, huh?
Lily decided at this point to take our debate off of her public wall and sent me a private message telling me about two family members who abuse the system and neglect their children and hop from man to man and therefore she thinks we should drug test everybody and immediately cut off aid to the ones who test positive.
I decided not to unfriend her – partly because doing so would leave me with an odd number of Facebook friends and I like the number to be even, and partly because I don’t want my circle to consist only of people who believe as I do, mirrors who don’t challenge or make me think.
I hope Lily never runs for office. We’ve got enough heartless, narrow-minded holier-than-thous in Lansing and Washington as it is.