Substantial Cruelty Sanctioned by US Government

I read a New York Times article titled “Medicaid Wants Citizenship Proof for Infant Care.” It bothers me…a lot.

The Bush Administration announced that as part of a “new federal policy,…children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants with low incomes will no longer be automatically entitled to health insurance through Medicaid.”

When an undocumented woman has a baby in the US, the baby is automatically a US citizen. The socio-economic status of most undocumented folks means that the babies qualify for Medicaid coverage. “Under the new policy, an application must be filed for the child, and the parents must provide documents to prove the child’s citizenship.”

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Hierarchy of Oppressions Redux

Once again, oppressions are all bad. Classism, racism, sexism, ableism are all oppressions. A new book by a University of Illinois at Chicago scholar: “The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality” attempts to place classism as the worst of the worst oppressions.

It makes me nervous when a white professor says that class trumps race:

“We must shift our focus from cultural diversity to economic equality to help alter the political terrain of contemporary American life.”

Why can’t “we” focus on both cultural diversity and economic equality?

Oppressions are interconnected. The “isms” feed off of each other. Eliminating class inequality would be great, but what about all forms of inequality? Fixing one problem (classism) while furthering marginalization (in this case, racism) just creates more injustice.

Professor Michaels, diversity is not troublesome.