Let’s Talk About Poverty

You may or may not have heard of Linda Walther Tirado. Her essay, “Why I make Terrible Decisions or Poverty Thoughts,” was published by various Internet outlets and gained a lot of attention. Early media pieces focused on Tirado’s piece as giving a voice to the working poor. Tirado had two GoFundMe accounts: one set up by someone who wanted to fund her dental work and another (set up by Tirado herself) to fund her to write a book form of “Poverty Thoughts.” As the donations continued to climb, the conversation shifted from poverty in America to Tirado’s authenticity as a voice of that poverty. Examination of her past, aided by some unclear tense in her essay, turned the momentum of the essay onto her personally. It is deeply troubling but also fascinating to look at some of the accusations aimed at Tirado—she could not be in poverty because she writes well, has access to the Internet, had music lessons as a child, and traveled to Europe. These claims demonstrate the varied and conflicting ways people understand poverty or, more accurately, that many people simply don’t understand poverty. Read More Let’s Talk About Poverty