Thursday, June 7, 2012

This Was Her Second Saddest Hour

By Brittany M. Brooks
Social Services Professional

 For the past year I was on the ground. I fought hard. I protested. I educated many on the importance of this election. Last night, that idiot still won. Last night was the second saddest night of my life.

I am not sure what direction my state or national politics will take, but I know it is scary. For me, this was not about the unions, although they are surely important. For me, the Wisconsin recall was about the effect that Scott Walker's wrongful policies have had on people who live in poverty and on women.  All women, every benighted one of us.

Since Scott Walker has been in office, there are twice as many pregnant teens in Dane County. They are  half my caseload. I am at the Sun Prairie high school every day meeting with them. Why are all these teens pregnant? Because in December of this year, Scott Walker passed legislation that abstinence only education must be taught at high schools. This limits what information teachers and guidance counselors can give to their students.

Forget abortion services because planned parenthood funding was cut. Now only two planned parenthood sites provide abortions services. Many of my clients have to find a way to Milwaukee if they want to terminate their unwanted or unhealthy pregnancies. Even the atmosphere around something as common as birth control has changed into some outlandish conservative v. liberal battle.

 A doctor refused to prescribe birth control for one of the young girls I work with because he does not believe in it! This cowed little  16 year old ended up pregnant, scared and alone because  her mom kicked her out. She couldn't get an abortion because planned parenthood was too backed up with other appointments and now she is too far along.

Scott sure does seem to love little babies -- until they are born. Then he tells their mothers that they can only get a welfare check for six weeks. Then they have to go back to work. This is really laughable because he cut daycare subsidies for poor families and now they struggle to find safe, affordable daycare.

 But perhaps the worst of his crimes is his cuts to Badger Care. Badger Care is WIsconsin's state medical assistance program. With his cuts about half of my client families will have to pay a premium for their health care. I am talking about single moms who work at McDonald's or Taco Bell for minimum wage. Under Scotty's Badger Care,  if you don't pay your obscenely inflated premium by the due date, they cut your children off for six months and any adult in the family  for a year.

One of my clients said to me today that she voted for Scott Walker because she would rather not have insurance then have her partner out of a job. She had been told  that voting for Tom Barrett would somehow create an atmosphere in which a carpenter who works for a private contractor could lose his job. This is just one turd of falsehood in the torrent  of bullshit talking points the Citizens United billionaires dropped on Wisconsin to  save their boy Scotty's political hide.

It is so pathetic that I live in such a rich country, yet the people who have to pay the deficit caused by greedy bankers and blundering politicians are the poorest and least fortunate among us. This is sick. This is criminal.  This is insane.


Blogger's Note

Brittany M. Brooks, who was first on the barricades in Madison and last to leave, is my granddaughter. Her saddest day was the one on which her elder brother, Logan D. Brooks, historian, polemecist and friend to the oppressed, was killed in an auto accident while delivering food to the homeless. The torch has passed to a new generation. May it somehow succeed where ours has failed.


  1. First of all Brittany, thoughts and prayers for your loss as well of that of the Pianist. Secondly, my hat goes off to you as a Social Services worker, which are typically under paid and under staffed. Successes are typically few, while disappointments run abound with some of the futility you deal with.

    Most of us do not totally know what has been going on in Wisconsin other than the bi-partisan media circus. I can tell you do not care for Gov. Walker and while I respect your opinion, he is one of the few governors that has undertaken the inevitable role of cutting state budgets due to a diminished tax base and reduced funds being returned from the federal government. Overspending without accountability for many years as individuals, along with state and federal government have brought us to unfathomable debt. Both parties are responsible and the solutions will be tough and have to be borne by all of us.

    We will have to basically eliminate the ‘Cadillac plans’ enjoyed by the rich, the unions, and the government. We have to eliminate austerity and curtail programs of entitlement. While I do not totally believe in income redistribution, we must work toward an economy that provides a job for all, even if it is not one that the individual may want for the present. We need to eliminate welfare by and large so we can eliminate the leaches that have come to rely on government for support either through not working, multiple pregnancies, or the like.

    As for the 16 year-old you mentioned the 1st question that should be asked is were the biological father and mother involved in raising her and the father of her child? Did they parent her/him to understand the consequences of having sex? Do you in your discussions with persons without malice, judgment, or spite have the same conversations to prevent this or any other client from making similar choices again?

    I will presume you are good at what you do as exhibited in your political passions. As such I hope that state and federal governments realize that the pay level for your profession needs to be elevated for those driven to help others until we re-establish a family based society with the commitment that is endowed with that choice. Family values needs to be re-instated as the foundation of our society and contra issues such as abortion and divorce need to be difficult to attain. Both parents need to be involved in their children’s life without exception even in the case of divorce and they, not society should be responsible for the raising of the child!

    God Bless You, Brittany

  2. Anonymous,

    What you say about parental responsibility is all very well in theory, but in practice we often find that the parents cannot or will not take those responsibilities. If the safety nets that the irresponsible parents may have come to rely on to take their place are taken away, who suffers? The parents perhaps a little, but the child suffers far and away the most. The child does not ask for its circumstances and is rarely capable of rising above them without help. That is where society should step in--to help the child achieve a decent life and break the chain of poverty and dependence that often starts with one set of dysfunctional parents.