Celebrities are having a rough couple days of sticking their foot in their mouths.
"Imagine if your EBT card could only work on healthy items," the Brotherly Love actress wrote.
Palmer was having a longer conversation on Twitter about eating healthy and the scarcity of healthy foods before tweeting out the post which many deemed classist, offensive and patently ignorant of the struggles of people who use EBT cards.
People who currently use the cards slammed the wealthy actress for implying that people who are forced to use it were choosing not to buy healthy foods. Many noted that most of the people using EBT lived in food deserts, where healthy food options are non-existent or too costly.
Dozens of others said it was appalling for someone as wealthy as Palmer to be tweeting about what low-income people should and should not buy with their money, especially during a pandemic that has left millions unemployed, according to The Washington Post.
The gag is this is a lie.
The gag is many ppl don’t have the resources or access to eat healthy, Keke.
The gag is they’re gentrifying our communities and replacing local ethnic markets with high-end supermarkets with things ppl can’t afford, Keke. https://t.co/yzuIP9gDHE
— Mom (@CoachPSays) November 9, 2020
One Twitter user went on to list the many problems with what Palmer said, noting that the leading cause of people eating unhealthy is stress, something low-income people are likely to experience more than others due to concerns about covering expenses.
".@KekePalmer you know what the government do? They give a single mom with 3 kids $100 a month on her ebt card & tell her to make it work. Don’t even tell her how because they know that shit is impossible. They( the government) don’t care. Use your platform to fuss at them, KeKe," she wrote.
"This hurts so much, y’all. I am a nutritionist and offer a free program helping ppl stretch their snap benefits. I remember FUCKING hysterically crying because one of my recipients had a food budget of $75 a month in cash and $50 in ebt. Ppl are fucking desolate and poor. During a pandemic, you get your rich ass on here, essentially lecturing poor ppl for being poor. How callous and irresponsible?!" she added.
.@KekePalmer, you can still address food deserts in America without policing the very vulnerable people impacted by it.
Let's start with why so many have to be on EBT in such areas to begin with, or why you felt the need to assume they weren't getting "healthy items" already. https://t.co/Uu7XpEoQUw
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) November 9, 2020
Perhaps you meant well, but you have to take into consideration that many people do not have access to healthy/ fresh foods and live in food desserts. There are also many rules and regulations placed on the use of EBT cards, making it harder to obtain such foods. In essence… https://t.co/GNpqeAJrg9
— mmeri (@ashtoria_) November 9, 2020
Akeelah and the EBT
— Ya’ll Use Lose & Loose Incorrectly! (@ShuttlesWerth) November 9, 2020
delete it bby ilysm.
— RK Jackson | Atlanta ???? (@theerkj) November 9, 2020
— Baltimore Food Blogger (@CharmCityTable) November 9, 2020
But Palmer would not back down after getting slammed for her comment and instead decided to purposefully misread the complaints about her statement. Right after she tweeted about EBT cards, Palmer then quickly tweeted: "Hey @KamalaHarris I know you just started but me and my friends were talking about it and we think EBT cards should swipe free on all items considered HEALTHY. Xoxo."
Palmer then used this tweet to defend herself, criticizing those bashing her for "not wanting people to get free healthy food."
To clarify my tweet was pertaining to issues w/ healthy foods being 2 expensive & thinking it should be free for those w/ EBT cards.
This was not a suggestion for solving all low income issues. Solely a hopeful solution 4 those with EBT that want to run it up w/ meat & produce.
— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) November 9, 2020
She then went on to criticize people for not wanting to eat healthy.
She spent all Monday morning tweeting endlessly about how she was misunderstood and lauded herself for "starting a conversation."
But hundreds of people noted how unfortunate it was for her to talk like this while millions are still struggling to survive due to the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Washington Post. According to The New York Times, millions of people have been forced to survive off of unemployment benefits and the one-time $1,200 payment given out by the federal government in April.
In addition to the economic troubles many are facing, millions of low income people live in areas that have been intentionally denied access to healthy food. Dozens of studies have illustrated the difficulties people on EBT, WIC or SNAP face when trying to buy fresh produce.