Georgia NeSmith
4 min readDec 16, 2021


WOW. You REALLY don't know what you are talking about.

1) I am 73 years old, and I've been **downwardly** mobile since 1994 and I spent an entire year unemployed, then worked only part time until two years ago I had to stop working altogether because the stroke I had made it impossible for me to continue with my line of work, which involved free lance editing. I lost about 1/4 or more of my memory cells.

2) The vast majority of my employment other than the 4 years at a teaching job post departure from grad school was part-time. And the equally vast majority of that time I worked for CA state universities post MA part-time, and at the time, CA did not have to pay their share of SS for part time workers.

3) My dad died in 1976, at age 59. I was a junior in HS when he had his first heart attack at age 48, shortly after he'd become employed again after 6 months of unemployment.

Yes, we were middle class THEN, but there were 5 kids in the family. At age 16, due to my father's unemployment & recovery time, the three oldest (I was #2) had to work. Since I was shy beyond reason I earned my keep and bought my clothes off of babysitting money. At 50 cents an hour.

4) Other than my 4 years at that job and 1 year as a FT library clerk, 2nd from bottom on the pay scale, I worked only PT mostly at state colleges. (My then husband, whom I married at age 20, put me thru my MA AFTER I put him thru HIS). CA did not have to take SS out for part time workers. Hence I wasted many years when no additional money was paid into my SS account.

5) After I'd left a 2ndgraduate school for that FT teaching job the 2nd time (after 2 divorces & crap settlements), I was $25K in debt (low for most people, I know, but prior to starting that program I went to CA public universities, which at the time were tuition free).

6) Yes, I have a PhD. Unfortunately that and my work experience according to every hiring manager I dealt with DISQUALIFIED me for other jobs, because of course, according to them, I'd leave as soon as a better job came along.

Alas, because I worked only part time, it didn't take long for me to disqualify from those "better jobs."

7) I finally got my PhD completed in 1994, but the stress of teaching FT, completing a dissertation, AND coping with the 2 autoimmune disabilities that eventually would qualify me for SSDI, sent me to the hospital 3 weeks before the end of the term (that is, my final term of FT teaching).

I lost my house. I had to move into a pretty crappy apartment supported by rental assistance. That was 1998.

And all that BARELY TOUCHES THE SURFACE of what I've had to deal with (including 2 suicide attempts and one NEAR suicide attempt).

Sorry dear, I don't normally compare my hard luck story to anyone else's hard luck story. We all have our crosses to bear.

But you threw out the first volley. I didn't even mention my own story and instead talked about other people's, which are even worse than mine will ever be because in addition to all my own sufferings, they have the "permanent, inescapable social disability" of being black.

Which you, also, have never had. I'd like to see you try to get to the space you are in now while ALSO having the burden of being the "wrong" color. Chances are very small you'd have gotten to your "better place" had you not been white. At the very least it would have taken you substantially longer AND you'd have experienced a hell of a lot more pain than you have, because racism would be ON TOP of everything else.

MY ADVICE FOR PARTICIPATION HERE: don't go ranting about some other person's privileges when you haven't read more of their writing, so you would know that their socio/economic position is actually FAR WORSE than yours. In spite of being white like you and having a PhD.

I will listen empathetically to hardship stories from black people and POC, and to hardship stories coming out of the disability community. Race AND disability? You have my heart and soul.

But stories like yours? You have a long way to fall before I will empathize with YOU.

BTW, I could empathize with your story if you hadn't posted this totally fact-free rant about ME.

I couldn't read about more of your writing on the subject of your experiences because YOU HAVE NOT POSTED ANY.

Enjoy your middle class white life. Remember: it could be pulled out from under you in a flash, and you could end up far below where you were as a child. Especially these days.

But don't go ragging on anyone else until you've paid your dues here.



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.