As a book and a movie and a social phenomenon, "The Help" functions as a kind of Rorschach test that measures how you feel about the history of racial inequality in America.
[. . .]
Stockett herself was not born until 1969, and drew on her own experiences being raised by African-American women who worked for her parents in the '70s and '80s. Her book is set in the dramatic context of the early '60s, when the civil rights movement was just beginning to capture national attention, but as she has said in interviews, relations between affluent white Mississippians and their black hired help really hadn't altered much between that time and her own childhood. And for all the cultural shifts America has experienced since then, the fundamental economic disparity between whites and people of color has hardly improved, if indeed it hasn't gotten worse. A recent study by the Pew Research Center suggested that the current recession -- and can we stop pretending it ever ended? -- has slashed the median net worth of black households by 53 percent (and Hispanic households by 66 percent), while white wealth fell by just 16 percent. The raw numbers are even more astonishing: The median household net worth for white Americans is $113,149, and for blacks it's $5,677. That's not a misprint or a misunderstanding; the median white household is 20 times richer than the median black household. (Andrew O’Hehir, ‘“The Help: A tale of not-so-ancient American history,” Salon, 9 August 2011)
Hate the South.
Southern white people suck.
"Maid sues Queens exec over bad pay, abuse"
An immigrant domestic worker charges she was "treated like a slave" by a Merrill Lynch executive, who kept her prisoner in his Queens home where she suffered constant verbal abuse and was fed table scraps.
Filipino-born Elma Manliguez says she was paid the equivalent of 6 cents an hour over the two years she worked for Martin Joseph and his wife, Somanti.
In a lawsuit filed against the couple, Manliguez also complained she was forced to take meals on the kitchen floor, was often told she was "stupid" and was denied basic necessities like sanitary napkins.
"I can't forget how I suffered," Manliguez, 41, told the Daily News yesterday.
"[Walnut Creek] Woman indicted for allegedly exploiting nanny]"
A Walnut Creek real-estate agent will appear in federal court today on charges that she lured a Peruvian nanny to the East Bay with promises of a better life but instead kept her as an indentured servant for nearly two years.
Mabelle de la Rosa Dann, 45, also known as Mabelle Crabbe, was indicted by a federal grand jury in June. She has pleaded not guilty to a charge of harboring an illegal alien for the purpose of private financial gain.
Dann and others brought Zoraida Pena-Canal, 30, of Peru into the United States on a three-month visitor's visa in July 2006, authorities said. Pena-Canal had worked for Dann's sister and Dann as a housekeeper and nanny in Peru several years earlier, investigators said.
"Ooops! She Did It Again: Susan Tabas Tepper is Serial Nanny Beater?"
Dahhhlings, how are we? I have been silent for too long...been contemplating new summer fashions (Lily is definately out, but strappy sandals and espadrilles? Sooo In!)
So there I am minding my own business running errands and what comes over the radio? Main Line Social LIGHTweight, Susan Tabas Tepper, has oops done it again! "Alleged serial Nanny abuse" - look out our own Naomi is back in action...
Susan is beating the help...again? In a sick way I can't help but mention that it was almost a year to the day since the last incident...then she was wielding carrots (organic, natch!)...today she might need a mani/pedi as she is accused of doing it the old fashioned way - hands, fists, nails, whatever.
"Annette John-Hall | The quiet anger felt by 'the help'
By Annette John-Hall
The news that Main Line socialite Susan Tabas Tepper had allegedly gone all Naomi Campbell on a nanny again didn't sit too well with the sisterhood of nannies gathered at Rittenhouse Square yesterday.
That's where most of Center City's babysitters congregate. You know, down on 18th and Walnut, by the fountain. Especially on perfect mornings, nannies on the Square are as predictable as perennials in the springtime.
Yesterday, they were out in force - black, white, Asian, Latino, almost all foreigners - a virtual bouquet of caregivers, their caravan of strollers parked, their eagle eyes focused on their preschool charges, almost all of them white.
You better believe they had an opinion about Tepper, the 44-year-old Villanova villainess who stands accused of assaulting her most recent nanny, Urszula Kordzior, only months after landing in community service for smacking down another valued employee. The nanny's 9-year-old daughter allegedly got pushed when she tried to help her mom.
It appears the hits just keep on coming.
The Rittenhouse nannies agreed to talk only if I didn't use their names. After all, they like the families they work for. Oh, and they want to keep their jobs.
"If she did that to me? I would fight back, yes I would," says a Jamaican nanny....The problem with privileged folk, she continued as the children clung closely to her, is that they often view "the help" as nothing more than another child, to be seen and not heard.
Course, while they're at the wine sip, "the help" has the all-consuming responsibility of raising their kids.
It seems that Tepper, the daughter of the late Main Line financier Daniel Tabas, treats animals with more dignity than her employees. She's been known to tame a tiger, but can turn on humans - especially those she considers beneath her - with the ferocity of a wild beast.
...."They think we're inferior, that we're not educated," says the Jamaican babysitter, a teacher for 11 years in her homeland before coming to Philadelphia last year. "A lot of nannies around here are educated people. But you would only know that if you spoke to the nannies."
I followed her suggestion and spoke to other nannies. Some were college-educated, others weren't. Many are doing child care as a temporary job until they can find something better.
And while all of the women said they had yet to experience the Mommy Dearest wrath of a Tepper, they complained that certain families had a tendency to take them for granted.
"They think they can do with you whatever they want," says a ponytailed native of Spain.
So, we have Queens, New York; Walnut creek, California; and Philadelphia, PA. All in the North, all wealthy, all in the past ten years. Damn those Southerners! Won't they ever learn!? (Grand Duchess Anastasiya Nikolayevna’s paregoric bottle)
_ _ _ _ _
OK, you insufferable troll
Quit hijacking the thread, seriously. I said nothing about the South in this review, except that it's where the movie is set. If you had actually read the review, you'd have noticed that most of what you're posting actually supports the point that prodigious inequality persists in America, and may even be worse now overall than it was in the Jim Crow South.
Sane readers: We really will have a way to get rid of these people. I keep saying that, but it's getting closer. (Andrew O’Hehir)
Trolls for the working man
Laurel defends put-upon Southerners, those in regions which didn't thrive when domestic manufacturing lost its impetus, but hates gay marriage and spoiled teachers for, according to her, ruining the foundations of society and making it near impossible to build a better one. Duchess entrenchedly defends put-upon working classers, but hates most Jews for, according to him, enslaving and depriving everyone else into a society with no further forward momentum.
The problem for those who haven't yet put together their troll-kill program is that time is rapidly running out when it is easy and safe to target their trolls as TROLLS. For during depressions eventually EVERYONE, including coastal urban elites, becomes for the struggling working classes, people of the South, places like Pittsburgh; the very worst villain becomes the person who'd spit upon them, something most urbanites ACTUALLY WERE even a couple years into the depression -- "goober on, Tea Bagger / mad internet commenter!" -- before instantly transmogrifying themselves; AND THE WORST VILLAINS become those "leeches" without the moral fibre still existing in those real Americans bearing through a wasted republic -- usually the likes of Jews, gays, too-long-tolerated spoiled public servants, and other vulnerables.
Looking at where Joan W. is heading now (firmly into an Obama camp that will destroy her as soon as she's no longer useful, for her in-truth being far too good to be anything at all actually like them), it is indeed possible that by the time you guys get this thing going, the trolls you end up dispatching might actually include some of those calling for this current lot to get the heave-ho. (Soon, for feeling so impossibly isolated and excluded, no one is going to scream more lunacy than the few true progressives out there.) Laurel, you'll note, is beginning to seem comfortably settled -- maybe she senses it's near her time. Indeed, the difference between her and Ehrenreich, defender-of-the-noble-but-ever-put-upon working classer, didn't seem so legion to me.