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'Invisible Child' (NYT series on impoverished child/family)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I read the first part of what appears to be a five-part series in the Kindle edition this morning:


    Awesome reporting, and it's tough to imagine anyone else will challenge for the Pulitzer feature this year. Online, it looks like all five parts are up, with photos and so forth.

    I'm always impressed by deep, meaningful reporting on children, ever since the book, "There Are No Children Here." I'm also impressed that the Times included, at least online, reporting/source notes, which journalists often feel they are exempt from doing.

    We've talked a lot about SNAP, education, and poverty on here lately, and my point is frequently that it's unfair to punish children because their parents can't or won't work. I think this series, at least the first part, will kind of drive that home.

    Passages like this make you wonder if people in perpetual poverty would even know what to do with money from a steady job:

    Suddenly, Supreme leaps into the air. His monthly benefits have arrived, announced by a recording on his prepaid welfare phone. He sets off to reclaim his gold teeth from the pawnshop and buy new boots for the children at Cookie’s, a favored discount store in Fulton Mall. The money will be gone by week’s end.

    Supreme and Chanel have been scolded about their lack of financial discipline in countless meetings with the city agencies that monitor the family.

    But when that monthly check arrives, Supreme and Chanel do not think about abstractions like “responsibility” and “self-reliance.” They lose themselves in the delirium that a round of ice creams brings. They feel the sudden, exquisite release born of wearing those gold fronts again — of appearing like a person who has rather than a person who lacks.

    And imagine being the kid who has to live with this (Chanel is the mother):

    When they reach Myrtle Avenue, Chanel goes searching for a beer at her favorite corner store. Dasani trails her.

    Inside, the short-order cook, a Mexican girl, stares at Chanel suspiciously.

    “Don’t look at me,” Chanel says.

    “You so nice, that’s why I see you,” the girl responds cockily.

    “You better watch that grill,” Chanel says. “I don’t want to scare you.”

    “You think you scare me?” the girl yells.

    “Let’s fight right now!” Chanel shouts.

    “Wait for me outside!” the girl calls back.

    Chanel moves toward her, reaching for a mop.

    “Mommy!” Dasani screams.

    The owner, Salim, races toward Chanel.

    “I’ll crack her with a stick!” Chanel yells as Salim holds her back.

    Dasani is frozen.

    “I’ma wait for your ass when you come out,” Chanel says. “What time she get off?”

    “You run your mouth,” Salim says, gently leading Chanel away, as he has done before.

    As they leave, Dasani turns to the cook.

    “She gonna knock you stupid, Chinese lady,” Dasani says.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This story honestly makes me think back to YF and Old_Tony's government orphanages idea that we like to mock here. Would it be expensive? Yes. Would it pay for itself 1,000 times over in the long run when the nine children of idiots don't have to be raised by idiots any more, thus having a chance to become contributing adult members of society eventually? I bet it would.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    One of the Times reporters tweeted out a tease that they were going to have a big story out in the morning. This led to rampant speculation about what it would be.

    Even before the subject was revealed, I was going to start a thread with the title, "What Dick Whitman will be talking about in the morning," but SportsJournalists.com was down.

    Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I guess it's part one of a four part series.

    But, even from the headlines, mentions on twitter, and discussion on Morning Joe, I couldn't help but to think of orphanages.

    The government is housing kids. We're just housing them in terrible conditions, surrounded by predators, often with parents who do not have the means, nor interest, in raising them.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The parents don't know how to raise them. They have no idea. They don't even know how to start.

    My wife and I are both educated, healthy 36-year-olds who have been gainfully employed since the day we stepped off our college campus. And it's still hard as fuck, almost impossible some days. I can't even fathom how an uneducated, unemployed, pair of drug addicts living in a homeless shelter raises eight kids. Just being in the situation is child abuse.
  5. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    How many Pulitzers has Dick given out this year on SportsJournalists.com?
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Just two, but in close proximity:


    We'll see. I bet they'll both at least be finalists. Today's for feature writing and the police cover-up one for either investigative reporting or public service.
  7. Greenhorn

    Greenhorn Active Member

    Does this family deserve a sympathetic NY Times profile?
  8. H.L. Mencken

    H.L. Mencken Member

    As long as they don't have pretty writing, it appears Whitman is all in.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I was pissed when that paper retracted its one-star review of the Gettysburg Address.
  10. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    The Times is racist if it doesn't also profile poor white trash.
  11. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Why don't they just get jobs?
  12. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    It could be worse.

    They could have named her Dowser.
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