Maslow And #BlackLivesMatter

Maslow And #BlackLivesMatter

What do Abraham Maslow and Black Lives Matter have to do with one another?
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During some of my undergraduate social work courses, I learned about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who developed this theory about what people need, and in a particular order, to achieve self-actualization, or fulfillment. A great picture of this is below:

In case this picture is hard to read, the order (from the bottom to the top) is physiological needs, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

Maslow's theory was that self-actualization cannot be achieved if things from the lower levels of the pyramid have not yet been met. So for example, someone who is hungry (think: Someone starving, maybe living in a food desert, and not sure where or when they will eat again) will not find the needs higher up in the pyramid (let's say, confidence and respect) to be a priority.

Now that we understand Maslow's hierarchy of needs, let's talk about some of the oppression Black Americans still face today.

1. There is still a significant pay gap between white families and black families.

According to this Pew Research article, a 2014 study found the white net worth is 13x higher than the black net worth. That comes out to a median white net worth of $144,200 and a median black net worth of $11,200.


2. 27 percent of African Americans (men, women, and children) live below the poverty level.

Just to give some perspective, the poverty level for a family of four is $24,250.

3. Education and poverty.

This is a bit of a chain reaction here, so follow along. Children living in poverty tend to have a higher rate of absenteeism and are 7x more likely to drop out of school altogether in order to work and take care of their families. For those who do drop out of school, it is much more likely they will continue to live in poverty.

4. Drop out rates.

About 8 percent of African American children drop out of school, while only 4 percent of Caucasian children drop out. (All of these education statistics can be found here).

So, what does this have to do with #BlackLivesMatter?

I'm glad you asked. Currently, about 40 percent of white people express support for the Black Lives Matter movement. As exhibited in the statistics above, white people come from a place of privilege. There is nothing wrong with being privileged. The problem is when white people view this world through their privileged-glasses and undermine the reality of black oppression. Black Lives Matter is about black people having opportunities to not only have similar opportunities as white people, but to have their basic needs met on this hierarchy so they can function and contribute to society as a whole.

It's time for white people to acknowledge that yes, all lives matter, but black lives are hurting right now and need support. Please stand with me in solidarity of those who are suffering because of the color of their skin. They deserve for these statistics to be changed for the better.

Cover Image Credit: haggadot.com

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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