Dear Walmart Food Stamp Hater,
I caught the video you starred in this week at your local Walmart and I must say, I’m really disappointed. I wish I could say I am disappointed in your acting skills, but the sad truth is, you weren’t acting. It was clear when you waved to the camera that you meant every last drop of the trash that fell out of your mouth as you berated a man purchasing groceries with food stamps for his family.
It’s really awesome that you put yourself through school, but you know what? So have countless other people who still find themselves in the same situation as this man: working 50+ hours a week, or two jobs to pay for their family’s needs.
I’m 32 years of age, college educated, and I have built, from the ground up, everything that I have, just as I’m assuming you have too. I pay over-the-top health insurance premiums because of my “middle income” status just as I am sure you do too. I pay to put food in my family’s stomach with my hard earned money, again, just as I am sure you do too.
However, that’s where our similarities end.
While I work exceptionally hard to provide for my family, I also have something that you seem to lack: empathy.
I would never, ever, condemn another person for using food stamps, or any form of government assistance. I would never verbally attack another human being for being in a situation where they’re forced to ask the government for assistance. I assumed this was standard practice, but as you so loudly demonstrated- it’s apparently not.
Lady, this man was at Walmart– NOT the strip club using “your tax dollars.” He was buying food for his family.
Are you familiar with how food stamps work? I was an employee in a grocery store for five years and many people came through my check-out line on the SNAP program with EBT cards. Do you know what individuals with EBT cards are allowed to purchase? Wait for it…..FOOD!
Do you know that there are pretty strong restrictions on what a person can purchase with their EBT cards? You cannot buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, laundry detergent, vitamins, medicine, personal hygiene products, nor the more obvious items like tobacco and alcohol.
WHAT YOU CAN BUY IS FOOD.
As a woman who has rung up groceries for hundreds, if not thousands of customers with EBT cards, allow me to let you in on a little secret: Not one person that removes their EBT card from their wallet does so with a smile on their face. In fact, the majority of the time, the customers’ that came through my line with EBT cards asked very discreetly, prior to my ringing up their groceries, if our establishment accepted EBT/SNAP/WIC. Why? I’m going to go ahead and guess because they were embarrassed.
After witnessing your horrendous behavior, I can understand why.
If I’ve learned anything in my 32 years on this planet, it is that NOTHING is ever permanent. Aside from the tattoos on my body, nothing in my life has stayed the same. From relationships, trials and triumphs- nothing is ever permanent. This sentiment also falls true in my profession. I have hit every high and low as a business owner, and make no mistake, while my life happens to be financially stable at certain times, I never once allow myself to become too comfortable in that place- because tides change and storms weather. I’m wise enough to know that at any time, my family could be hit with something catastrophic that might send our finances into a downward tailspin. I’m sage enough to know that at one point, I might need someone’s help.
That man you verbally annihilated with your words at the Walmart check-out, what do you know about him? What do you know about his family; what do you know about that sweet little boy who was sitting innocently in that shopping cart while you loudly, and publicly, put his family on blast?
Don’t answer that, because I already know the answer. Nothing. You know nothing about him, his wife/girlfriend, nor his child.
You don’t know if his child suffers from some illness that costs his family half his pay-check each month in medication. You don’t know how hard he works or doesn’t work, you don’t know how he was raised, you know nothing except the mere fact that he uses something that you seem to feel quite strongly about: food stamps.
While millions of us watched that video and all had that same realization (how awful your behavior was, and that we know nothing about that man and his family), we did, however, learn a lot about you. You showed us how much hate you have in your heart. I don’t use that word lightly, but I really cannot think of another word to describe what you did to that man and his family other than “hateful.”
You reminded millions of us that there are people out there like you who are only capable of thinking about their life choices, their life circumstances, and how the world is doing THEM wrong. You reminded us about the selfishness of man, and that “Love thy neighbor” is clearly a philosophy you either didn’t learn, or don’t care to practice.
I respect the fact that each individual sees flaws in our system; hell, I even do. However, it takes a really low person to box someone into a corner (literally) and berate them in front of others while they purchase food for their family.
I hope you watch that video of yourself and maybe see yourself through the lens of a family who does everything within their power to make ends meet, a family who loves unconditionally, but for one reason or another cannot make it work, no matter how hard they try.
I hope that no one speaks to you in the same manner in which you spoke to that man, because truly- no person deserves to be torn apart in the way you shattered that family with your words. Most of all, I hope the young boy in that video doesn’t grow up to think that the rest of the world is as hateful as you are, because we most certainly are not.
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Thank-you so much for reading. xo- Smash