On surviving under capitalism
It all starts on a Saturday in June. We are in the middle of Quarantine, and I receive three bills from the hospital totaling over $4,000. This is added to the fact that I was recently scammed, which set me back $7,000. This means that I have am in debt for $11,000, and I have just a tenth of that to my name. For anyone, this would be stress inducing. For someone with no source of income, no health insurance, and a new mental health diagnosis, it feels like rock bottom.
This realization comes just one day after Black people celebrated Juneteenth. While out at a small event, I saw some people wearing shirts that said “Free-ish,” and that made so much sense to me. Really, when have we as Black people ever truly been free?
In this video: The late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unpacks the bootstraps theory and why it's ineffective.
We chase the American dream, but for us, it comes with stipulations. As my old therapist said, going to college as a second-generation student does not stop the cycle of poverty that you come home to once you finish college. Truly, I felt my world shatter when I no longer had a meal plan and my stamps had to stretch four ways.
To top this off, my beloved alma mater was calling about a check, although they were always stingy with theirs. This is the same alma mater who did nothing when I reported my sexual assault to a campus police chief who was accused of sexual harassment himself. What about that screams an American dream? For me, and so many other people, it is a nightmare. Yet, it did not end here.
I thought continuing my education might help too. Yet, again, my therapist’s advice came back to haunt me. Between battling impostor syndrome and perfectionism and battling coded and overt racism, going to a prestigious university changed my perception on many things. Most of all, it made me jaded.
Here I am now with two degrees and no job, no source of income, and no health insurance. I keep repeating that so that it is not lost in what I am saying. For Black Americans coming from poverty, the American dreams feels more like a nightmare where we are trapped in an endless cycle of poverty.
Earlier, I saw someone Black on Twitter say that Black Lives Matter is not just about policing, and I could not agree more. As I acknowledged in my documentary about Chicago, policing is merely one aspect of the horror Black people face in America. Poverty as result of racism is another.
That is why I chose to monetize my website – as a means of cultivating a generation of Black creators who come from nothing but have a hunger to make a difference. Will you help me be a part of the change? ~ ℝ
To help me begin building a community of Rwebels, donate to the PayPal link below.
JAvanna Plummer, Rwebel in Chief
Javanna is the editor of "Rwebel Magazine," the architect behind "Rwebel Radio," and the pioneering force of "Xscape." Through her words, Javanna hopes to inspire creativity, passion and forward-thinking
Thanks for reading! To continue engaging with this topic, be sure to check out these great companion pieces. And don't forget to leave a comment!
Rwebel Mag publishes stories across the journalistic spectrum that give a thoughtful glance at culture and difference.