BY KAREN WEBB
It doesn’t matter whether you are a refugee from a war-torn country or have lost everything thanks to the white-collar crime on Wall Street, the first thing you should do before applying for any kind of aid is get rid of any Nikes you may have.
It does not matter if rich cousin Daphne gave you the Nikes because they are the wrong color for the season, or your rich, great-uncle Mortimer “kicked it” and you are the only family member who could wear his Nikes, or if you bought them at the Goodwill or a four-car garage sale in Nichols Hills, get rid of the Nikes.
In this case it isn’t racial profiling, it is wardrobe profiling or class profiling.
Remember back during the Clinton Administration when there was a war in Bosnia and Kosovo? Well, after swearing to block every presidential nomination because he didn’t like Clinton, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma went to visit refugees from Kosovo.
I’ll bet you thought this idea of voting against or blocking anything Obama suggests was new for the right wing GOP. Inhofe came back claiming that the refugees were not that bad off because some of the children were wearing Nikes.
The proper etiquette is, if you are being bombed out of your house or escorted at gunpoint, the first thing you should do is check to make sure all the kids are wearing refugee footwear. NO Nikes.
I was never a fan of former Rep. Dan Boren, D[sort of]-OK, but the guy they [Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District] have now may be worse. Before Boren there was Tom Coburn, who is now a semi-reasonable senator. However, when he was representing the 2nd District, he declared that lesbianism was running so rampant in southeastern Oklahoma that school girls couldn’t go to the restroom alone.
But Rep. Markwayne Mullin could have them both beat. At a recent Town Hall meeting in Welch, OK, he said this:
“So I’m in the Crystal City [Virginia] and I’m buying my groceries. And I noticed everybody was giving a card. They had these huge, huge baskets and I realized it was the first of the month. But then I am looking over and there is a couple beside me. This guy was built like a brick house. I mean he had muscles all over him. He was in a little tank top, a pair of shorts and really nice Nike shoes. And she was standing there and she was all in shape and she was, uh, and they looked like they had just come from a fitness program. I mean she was in the spandex and they were both physically fit and they go up, in front of me and they paid with that card. Fraud, absolute 100% golden food stamp fraud.”
Again with the Nikes – like you have to get a 20-year loan to pay for a pair.
Let me tell you what Markwayne thinks is appropriate: Maybe you paid a year’s membership fee for a fitness club in January, lost your job, your house or who knows what in June. You need to cancel that membership. And if you have never entered a fitness club and worked out in dead Uncle Mortimer’s rejects, you need to sell those. What if the guy just got off his second, minimum wage job of stocking barbells at Academy?
I once knew a kid who had a perfect body because he had good genes and did push-ups at home.
You cannot look fit and qualify for any kind of assistance. You must appear to be starving and dress like you are sleeping under a bridge. If these people had been overweight, he would have been spouting off about them not buying diet foods.
Oh, and by the way, what is the deal about a basketful? And he gestures with his arms like buying groceries at the first of the month is some sort of “food stamp” phenomenon.
You buy groceries when you have something to buy them with and most of the sales are at the first of the month. You talk like they buy a basketful a day.
Let me tell you, Markwayne, how tired I am of listening to politicians – and I don’t care if you think you aren’t a politician – claim to be Christian and hate the poor and reward the wealthy, even if they don’t create jobs or pay their workers so they can afford healthcare.
I can’t wait until someone researches the four businesses you own to see what you pay and whether you offer benefits. Then I want to hear how you plan to create jobs with a living wage and benefits instead of voting to make sure millions have no healthcare another 40 times.
– Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer
Video from Mullin’s Town Hall meeting: