The New York Times’ Dasani Story is a Scam

wlefare queen

The New York Times spent a lot of time bringing attention to its story about Dasani, a young girl who is “homeless” in that she lives with her parents and family in a homeless shelter.

The article spends a great deal of time describing every aspect of her day, but almost no time talking about her drug addict parents. It does spend a great deal of time blaming Bloomberg and gentrification.

Dasani’s own neighborhood, Fort Greene, is now one of gentrification’s gems. Her family lives in the Auburn Family Residence, a decrepit city-run shelter for the homeless. It is a place where mold creeps up walls and roaches swarm, where feces and vomit plug communal toilets, where sexual predators have roamed and small children stand guard for their single mothers outside filthy showers.

Okay, but who is responsible for this? Is it Bloomberg who is raping women in the showers… or is it the same “poor displaced population” that the New York Times wants us to feel sorry for?

Long before Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio rose to power by denouncing the city’s inequality, children like Dasani were being pushed further into the margins, and not just in New York. Cities across the nation have become flash points of polarization, as one population has bounced back from the recession while another continues to struggle.

Who is doing the pushing?

The New York Times spends a ton of time chronicling every time Dasani blinks. It spends much less time on her parents… for obvious reasons.

Dasani’s circumstances are largely the outcome of parental dysfunction. While nearly one-third of New York’s homeless children are supported by a working adult, her mother and father are unemployed, have a history of arrests and are battling drug addiction.

Wait… but… Bloomberg… gentrification… the 1 percent.

Dasani’s parents are criminals and drug addicts. But it’s Bloomberg’s fault that she lives in a homeless shelter. It’s not that her parents don’t have money… taxpayer money of course.

Suddenly, Supreme leaps into the air. His monthly benefits have arrived, announced by a recording on his prepaid welfare phone. He sets off to reclaim his gold teeth from the pawnshop and buy new boots for the children at Cookie’s, a favored discount store in Fulton Mall. The money will be gone by week’s end.

Supreme and Chanel have been scolded about their lack of financial discipline in countless meetings with the city agencies that monitor the family.

But when that monthly check arrives, Supreme and Chanel do not think about abstractions like “responsibility” and “self-reliance.

Gold teeth. Welfare phone.

Do I even have to go on?

January brings relief, but not because of the new year. It is the start of tax season, when Dasani’s parents — and everyone they seem to know — rush to file for the earned-income tax credit, a kind of bonanza for the poor.

Their tax refunds can bring several thousand dollars, which could be enough to put down a rent deposit and leave the shelter.

But clearly it’s Bloomberg’s fault that they don’t because they aren’t getting an express ticket to a housing project.

Yet Dasani’s trials are not solely of her parents’ making. They are also the result of decisions made a world away, in the marble confines of City Hall. With the economy growing in 2004, the Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant. They would no longer get priority access to public housing and other programs, but would receive short-term help with rent. Poor people would be empowered, the mayor argued, and homelessness would decline.

But the opposite happened. As rents steadily rose and low-income wages stagnated, chronically poor families like Dasani’s found themselves stuck in a shelter system with fewer exits.

Dasani’s family isn’t the working poor that the housing projects were designed for. They are, as most black people would agree, ghetto trash. People who live in housing projects don’t want them there. The New York Times however insists on pushing violent criminals and junkies into housing projects which will once again turn them into hellholes.

Because the New York Times cares so much about black people…

Chanel’s two unemployed brothers, 22-year-old Josh and 39-year-old Lamont, stay in the dark, musty basement…

A few nights later, the children are roused by shouts and a loud crash. Uncle Josh has punched his hand through a window and is threatening to kill Uncle Lamont.

Josh lunges at his brother with a knife.

Oh please, let’s get these people into a housing project. Stat.

Dasani’s family is not the working poor. They’re trash because they choose to be. Maybe Dasani will get out, maybe she won’t. That’s her decision. Maybe taking her away from her family would be a good thing.

But this isn’t Bloomberg’s fault. It’s not the fault of gentrification. The clan would be just as bad in a housing project or a house. They’re violent drug addicts with no sense of personal responsibility.

Much like a certain white privileged New York Times editor

I was lonely, but not alone. The house belonged to Anna, my girlfriend and dope dealer, who had two kids of her own and newborn twins by me. One night, Anna was out somewhere, and I was there with the kids. I had a new pipe, clean screens, a fresh blowtorch and the kids were asleep.

On this night — it was near the end — every hit sent out an alarm along my vibrating synapses. If the cops were coming — Any. Minute. Now. — I should be sitting out in front of the house. That way I could tell them that yes, there were drugs and paraphernalia in the house, but no guns. And there were four blameless children. They could put the bracelets on me, and, head bowed, I would solemnly lead them to the drugs, to the needles, to the pipes, to what was left of the money. And then some sweet-faced matrons would magically appear and scoop up those babies and take them to that safe, happy place. I had it all planned out.

I could type — and sometimes write — as fast as the next guy, and I had an insatiable need to know more. My work got noticed, and some of the more unfortunate aspects of the guy who produced it were overlooked. I got jobs, nailed investigative targets and won a few awards.

I became a dealer for the creative community in Minneapolis, selling coke to colleagues, comedians and club kids. I moved grams, eight balls, ounces, quarter pounds — no one trusted me with a kilo for more than a few minutes.

Was any of this stuff the fault of the city or gentrification? I doubt Carr would make that argument. He takes some measure of responsibility for his bad choices. But the New York Times acts like once a crackhead is black, instead of white, he no longer has to be responsible for anything, including his kids.

It’s all Bloomberg’s fault.

  • DogmaelJones1

    Daniel: All the highlighted link to the Carr piece takes one to is a NYT ad to subscribe to it. No article.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It’s not working too well for me either, but it’s the right link

  • UCSPanther

    Whether the story is real or not, what I took away is that throwing money at the problem and “taxing the rich” aka “wealth redistribution” will not solve social pathologies like single motherhood, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. The only thing that it will do is cause the “poor” to buy xboxes and plasma tvs, and become obese, but the problems that put them in the gutter in the first place will still remain.

    • Stu

      The rich can & will leave.

      Consider you average professional athlete. They got the memo. Think about it. THEY GOT THE MEMO. It did not matter if they took real course in college or sham courses. They figured out through the grapevine, their own intelligence or their accountant that it was cheaper to live in Florida than a place NYC.

      In the internet age financial institutions no longer have to be based in NYC. any bets on Mayor de Blasio, the Jester, chasing them off?

      NYC has a city income tax. You know de Blasio wants to raise it, because he has to fill a budget deficit. Does not matter that he creates the deficit by adding or expanding programs. Income tax rares at the upper level will go up. The rich will relocate their businesses. NYC will implode. It will become Detroit.

      De Blasio he is a funny guy.

  • fistdeyuma

    Liberals refuse to understand that pouring more money into programs to help these people create more children living in misery, not less. They make it easy for others to fall into the same trap. There is an old saying, “you get more of what you pay for.” If you pay the homeless you get more homeless. Trying to distract with these lame excuses just proves they are too ignorant or stupid to understand what the real problem is.
    It is understandable really. Who wants to admit that their entire belief system creates the problems they think it fixes? It takes a great man or women to admit they were wrong. A writer was asked why he changed from a Liberal to a Conservative. His answer, “empirical evidence”.
    Many a great man or women have falling for things that sound good, sound carrying, sound like it is the thing to do. When the evidence shows that all those solutions only make the problem worse they look for a different ideas and find them in conservatism.
    It is not a black heart that comes to these conclusions, it is a sharp mind. When something does to work, no matter how much you believed it should, it is time to dig deeper and find a solution that does work. Sometimes the solution seems heard hearted but sometimes it take tough love to turn a person around.
    Sadly there are a lot more lesser men and women who see the failures of Liberalism and try to find excuses, while demanding more money to force it to work. Never their money of course.

    • Mr. Shadow

      I guess we just leave them to die?

      • fistdeyuma

        You Liberals can never find common ground. It is your way or it is “let them die”. You never think there might be a way to help them without trapping them in the system. Your kind of help never works and only leads to a large mass of people dying at a later date. These people can find jobs and rise up if only the Liberals would leave them alone.

        • Mr. Shadow

          And now we see the real Conservative, misinformed over opinionated blame throwers. Its funny that you think people stuck in poor health/social conditions would just magically make themselves better with no help. That’s the conservative way of thinking, let the fire die out on its own, after it has burned everything to ash.

          • Daniel Greenfield


            How about

            1. Stop getting high

            2. Stop blowing your money

            3. Take care of your family

            It’s magic!

          • Mr. Shadow

            And the only way is alone with no help? Jeez, what is it
            like to live in a glass house? Over 2 million people get successful help from rehab and assistance programs. But according to you, they should just get over it and do things themselves because no one is a victim of circumstances. In fact, let’s not help victims of abuse, because all they have to do is grab a knife and defend them-selves.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            They have a whole bunch of help. They get thousands of dollars, an interim place to live, social services, a free education and a whole bunch of other stuff that hasn’t been fully documented.

            If they had no help at all, they would be dying in the streets.

            They’ve chosen not to do anything with the help that they have. Help that 90 percent of the world would kill for.

          • Mr. Shadow

            What are you trying to say? The story isn’t about her parents and how they are worthless, its about her and how she is living. Are you just throwing around anger because of one scenario that didn’t work, or because people to do what you think they should? So I guess because they didn’t make the most of it everyone else has to suffer.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Actually it’s about how “New York” has failed her because there’s a widening gap between the rich and the poor


          • Mr. Shadow

            Regardless, it isn’t a scam article.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Yes it is.

            Its central assertion is that Dasani’s plight is caused by gentrification and Bloomberg

          • BIGtimSullivan

            The idea that gentrification causes poor to become more poor is absurd. An eight year old could deduce that. Why do Liberals always look at Economics as a zero sum game where for every “winner” there must be a reciprocal “loser”?!? Its simply not accurate. Gentrification actually raises the living standards of most people, not lowers it. It also infuses our city with energetic newcomers eager to add to the community- you know, the people that end up footing the bill for Dasani and her pathetic family.

          • Daniel Greenfield


            Gentrification moves money in which creates jobs, even as it produces a certain amount of displacement.

            The alternative is “jobs” created by the city with no tax base which leads to Detroit.

          • Drakken

            Well liberal/progressive, take the bull by the horns and have those poor disadvantaged folks come live with you.

          • Mr. Shadow

            Tried, but I spend too much time at work to allow for a foster child.

          • Jon

            I’m hearing lots of emotion on this thread. Emotion about something we see as a problem can be used as good motivation to start fixing that problem. So there’s really a good start here, for both sides of this discussion. I’m also hearing that both sides agree it’s not the eleven-year-old girl’s fault – cool. I worry that the girl is on her way to becoming a mother herself, one who may end up creating another eleven-year-old-girl of her own in similar dire straits. So i worry that this seems like an emergency to me. And yet, here we are arguing with one another and the anger reverberates and magnifies, and children like Dasani are still in shelters. From personal experience, I believe it’s rare to solve a problem with a workable long-term solution when in the midst of anger. Better to look at the anger and ask why we’re feeling that way. What needs of our own aren’t being met. What do we want for ourselves here.. reciprocity? shelter? comfort? meaning? Do we feel angry or anxious because we worry this could happen to us, and we would want help if it did? Does it seem like life was hard for us, and nobody came and rescued us; we needed to it on our own and it was painful and sad to do that? Is it that we work hard in our lives, and want to own what we believe we have earned, and sometimes feel like we’re short-changed? I have some opinions about what actions might help children like Dasani, but regardless, i’d like more to find some understanding about the people on this forum here, on both sides, because to be honest, I feel hurt to see people, all of whom agree that we’d like girls like this one to be safer, beating each other up over it.

          • Drakken

            Your either being obtuse, or educated beyond your capability? Which is it?

          • Mr. Shadow

            I was being conspicuous, but I can’t say the same for others.

          • fistdeyuma

            When viewed from the far left the center is far right. You are a classic example. Giving people things never works. Having people earn things always works. Those who are truly helpless need to be helped but those who can work should, for their own good. A man was born without arms used the limbs he did have to be a success. They only need a chance.
            There is no magic solution. There is a proven wrong way, which is to give everyone what they want for nothing. Things given for free are treated as worthless. Someday you might understand that but I’m sure it will be too late for most by then.

          • Mr. Shadow

            You contradicted yourself twice in your own statement.


            “Having people earn things always works.”

            “There is no magic solution”

            I guess there is a magic solution, oh wait people try to earn things all the time and don’t succeed.


            “Giving people things never works.”

            “Those who are truly helpless need to be helped”

            But, they cannot get free help, because you said it never works, oh wait if they are truly helpless they can get free help?

          • fistdeyuma

            Perhaps I should have said “mostly”. I sometimes forget that Liberals will “mostly” find andaldotal evidence so support their policy, even if they have to fake it. I have nothing against helping the truly helpless. However you Liberals are always re-defining words until they mean what you want them to mean, and hide that meaning from those not on the inside of your scam. I really wish Liberals could be honest for once, but I guess if they were they would no longer be Liberals. Or at least no longer be effective as Liberals because no on in their right mind would support what you want if they know what your real goal was.

          • Mr. Shadow

            Oh look, a conservative who can’t handle having what they said thrown back at them, and hides that fact by implying there is a hidden goal to what someone says. And sadly, you used anecdotal incorrectly, but hey who knows what I mean cause I’m a scary liberal with hidden agendas. I’d like to know what you think my anecdote was, and what my real goal is, if not to help people?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Only a liberal would think that work was a magic solution.

          • Mr. Shadow

            Only a conservative would let a child die, because they can’t work.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            No one is talking about Dasani working. They are talking about her parents working.

          • Mr. Shadow

            So you are cool with her getting help then?

  • Sharps Rifle

    Wait…she was named after a brand of bottled water? Was that NY Slimes story real, or fraudulent?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I wonder myself

    • Cat’s Meow

      ‘Dasani’ … out of ‘Chanel’ by ‘Supreme.’

    • a

      I think it’s a cool idea. You wouldn’t be so against it if she was white, I bet.

      • Sharps Rifle

        Hand over a million bucks. You just lost your bet. NO kid–black, white or purple with green polka dots–should EVER be given a weird name, whether pseudoethnic, hip and trendy, or unisex that generally means female. My name is a male name in my family’s native language. Well, DOUCHEBAGS who don’t bother to learn what that name means in English give it to little girls…so, when I was a kid, I had people expecting a girl on class rosters and other documents. Even today, people still look for “Miss, or Ms.” when they read my name. Giving a kid a name that screams “ghetto” or just plain “my parents are dumbasses” is something NO ONE should ever have to go through.
        Now go someplace and extract your leg from your mouth, libtard.

    • Absolute Reality

      Supreme probably isn’t the father’s real name. The father is a five- percenter and that is a five- percenter name.

  • CowboyUp

    Someone was nice enough to let her grown brothers shelter in their basement and her brothers thanked them by waking everyone, busting up the place, and breaking out a window. Anything given to that family is wasted

  • truebearing

    If it wasn’t Bloomberg’s fault, whose was it? The forensic race sleuths will sort through the causal chain and find the white skin to pin it on…or just make something up about white privilege driving blacks to drugs and violence.

    If a black person manages to graduate from high school, the media treats it like Toonces the Cat driving a car. If he ends up in prison for drugs and violence, it’s time to blame people of European descent…who come from the very continent they are constantly trying to emulate.

  • Joe

    The point is that through no fault of her own she’s enduring a life the rest of us can’t imagine. It’s not about whether blame belongs on Bloomberg or her parents or that it can be so simple. Feel some empathy for this girl. No matter what you think of her parents, a child doesn’t deserve to grow up like this.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Actually that is exactly the point that the New York Times is making. It minimizes her family issues and repeatedly bashes Bloomberg and “gentrification”

      • Pabst Blue Moon

        What always puzzles me is that poor people of all races watch TV and movies and see nice homes and successful people all around and most of them, it seems, don’t say to themselves something along the lines of “I want to be like that, I want to live there, how do I do that”? Or if they can’t be exactly like that at least join the chase and see how far you can get.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Some do. Others say, it’s only for white people.


      Right – a child doesn’t deserve to grow up like this. What’s needed is a society that demands, not requests, that parents get jobs and support their children instead of providing those parents lavish welfare benefits. You’d be surprised how many of these failures would straighten up and get jobs if that’s what it took to eat, or even if welfare were conditioned on work.

      • mlr262

        If you read the original story, you would probably wouldn’t use the word “lavish”. They live a dirty, miserable life.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          They live a better life than they would without the huge sums of money being spent to subsidize them.

          • mlr262

            So what do you want? For them to have a worse life than they currently have?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            They are the authors of their own misery.

            I want the people using them to attack others to admit that honestly.

          • Øyvind W.

            We don’t “admit that honestly” because the article doesn’t back this up. It’s your prejudiced assumption.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Yes it does. Extensively.

      • a

        Not everyone is able to get a job all the time.

        • guest

          how about ever?

  • Habbgun

    I hate to say it but its not like Bloomberg did much to bring in midlevel companies or make things hospitable for the middle class. He did however have a theory we needed to bring in the creative class which basically produces stories like these. If they write about Dasani enough it’ll spark the economy. That was the theory.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      No Bloomberg didn’t. But that’s fairly typical.


      True, Bloomberg didn’t do much – but remember, Bloomberg is a man of the far Left, even though for a while he pretended to be a Republican. There’s not much difference between his ideas and those of a typical Democratic big-city mayor except he kept some of Giuliani’s law-enforcement measures in place. His failures are still the failures of the Left/Progressive/Democrat movement.

  • cara b

    You are despicable and heartless. I hope you have a wonderful holiday enjoying things like heat, food, access to good education while you blame an eleven year old girl and her parents who are products of poverty for the hell she lives in.

  • JaneSmith100

    I read the whole thing thinking, how come her mother won’t take any responsibility for this mess but continues to breed? And has never had a job? What point does her responsibility come in? Never?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      You got it.

  • Matt

    “They’re trash because they choose to be.” ?

    Nice. Very nuanced analysis.

  • AF

    How heartless can you get? Issues of why people end up addicted to drugs aside, its everybody’s problem when I kid grows up homeless. The kid didn’t chose that life. You can say “her parents need to be responsible” all you want but the majority of the time thats not going to solve the problem, and in the end you still have a kid growing up in a filthy, dangerous environment. And yes, if the city weren’t so separated into the “haves” and “have-nots”, then people wouldn’t be so out of touch and unsympathetic about this whole situation, because you’d know and see the plight everyday and the realities of the situation.

    • Drakken

      Unless you are willing to get downright draconian and pull these children from the dregs of society by terminating all paternal rights? Throwing money at the problem only makes it worse, so take your pick?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The parents aren’t separated into have-nots by the city. They waste what they do have because they’re junkie criminals.

      There’s no solution to the problem. They’re not going to be responsible which means there’s no real hope here.

      • Martha Stein

        I spent the first 12 years of my life in a NYC housing project. Every family had a Dad who went to work, and our behavior was closely monitored. In the late 60’s the welfare people started moving in and the projects went to slum real fast.
        Dasani is an innocent bystander but her parents are not and as far as I’m concerned, she should be taken away from them and they should have all their benefits taken away and they will have to make their own way. No sympathy for them at all. Remember it’s our tax money that is enabling their behavior.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Exactly right.

          Housing projects don’t have to be hellholes. The NY Times is pushing to make them that again.

  • Kim

    The sad part of this story is that bad decisions and problems with addiction have ruined the lives of 7 children and that if they don’t break the cycle it will affect this family for generations. Bloomberg isn’t to blame. It’s not a Scam. My heart breaks for the children they didn’t pick to be born into this situation.

  • Amanda

    “Dasani’s family is not the working poor. They’re trash because they choose to be. Maybe Dasani will get out, maybe she won’t. That’s her decision. Maybe taking her away from her family would be a good thing.”

    Happy Holidays to you too.

    It’s hard to wrap one’s head around just how incredibly obtuse one must be to claim that Dasani at currently 11 or 12 years old has “choices” in her future after reading that article. Which you claim to have done. Based on that paragraph I’m tempted to call you a liar and say you just skimmed it, maybe lifted the quotes from other articles and just made some assumptions. But then again, who am I to assume you just have to be more bright than you present yourself as in this article?

    And only someone incredibly ignorant, to the point of being cloistered in a cave on the side of a faraway mountain, would casually suggest that maybe the answer here is just taking kids away! Yes, because our foster system is clearly the easy and obvious answer, that’s why there’s waiting lists thousands of kids long in many areas – waiting lists for decent foster homes so long that kids are being put into juvenile detention facilities just so they have a place to sleep. Kids who need to be put into a home asap because they have parents that might kill them or sexually abuse them this night who social workers don’t have the time or ability to get too. But yes, brilliant, just put them all in our overcrowded, understaffed, overwhelmed, abuse filled foster system! Problem solved! Thank God Resident Genius Daniel Greenfield was on the case!

    • Drakken

      Instead of whining like a typical progressive, maybe it would make more sense to think before running that mouth of yours. You want a solution? Here is one, take these children from these less than useless parents and start opening up boarding schools to educate them for the betterment of our republic instead of this foster system which is beyond broken? The last suggestion is really going to make you scream out in self righteous indignation, let the military run it.

      • mlr262

        Good luck getting funding for the orphanages that you want.

        • Drakken

          Ok, good point, so here is another suggestion, start pulling funding from underperforming schools and put it into a boarding school environment instead of a orphanage system and let the military run it.

          • mlr262

            It was just recently reported that our Military has squandered/lost track of close to 10 trillion dollars over the last 15 years.
            We might be better off financially just putting these kids up in the Four Seasons.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Considering what we’re already spending on them, we effectively are.

            The per pupil spending alone is 20K. Multiply that by all the kids, the social workers on their case, their benefits and their encounters with the law and we’re into Four Seasons territory.

          • Drakken

            We have dumped billions and trillions of dollars into school systems that continue to dumb these kids down to the least lowest common denominator. Time to turn off the money tap and demand some progress or your fired.

          • Sandy

            you’re (sounds like you missed the education boat, too)

          • Drakken

            Well gee golly, our military does get things done, and they will educate folks, our education system currently being run into the ground is FUBAR. At least we get something from the military, the current morons in charge of re education these kids, less than bloody useless.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Read the conclusion of the New York Times article again in which Dasani uses racial slurs and is told that she’s turned into her mother.

      Yes, she’s making choices at that age. Those choices are influenced by her terrible family.

      I have no idea how bad her actual circumstances are and whether they justify removing her from her family. Foster care is bad. But nothing is going to get better as long as she’s being raised by junkie criminals.

      There’s no solution to the problem except personal responsibility. And Dasani’s parents and their enablers at the New York Times and Bill de Blasio are not interested in that.

      • Em

        That is not the conclusion of the article. It has five parts, and the use of racial slurs on Dasani’s part is only at the end of the first part. Read the whole article.

      • Amanda

        That was not the conclusion of the article, it was the conclusion of the first of a five part series.

        And you wouldn’t be able to use the vague excuse “I have no idea how bad her actual circumstances are” if you had read the entire thing, the entire accompanying documentation, and hey just in case you still want to pretend to that the “actual circumstances” are kinda hazy – how about doing some actual footwork and followup? The author’s name is on the piece.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          the circumstances are a reference to her parents. Not the endless descriptions of how bad the shelter is.

      • a

        “Yes, she’s making choices at that age.” Sure, in the mind of an 11-year-old. You weren’t mature at that age—she’s influenced by her environment.

        Also, read the other four parts, please.

    • mlr262

      The worst part of that story was reading about how Dasani almost lost her opportunity with the fitness group because her mom was too lazy/tired to take her to the training, and then again by her “dad” when he wouldn’t let her go. After going through all the trouble to get involved, only to have the opportunity almost stolen from her. Very sad.

  • Maria

    I jest felt sorry for the child. Her parents are not being responsible for the children. Just because the NY times wants to blame Bloomberg does not mean we believe that. The child is living in hell. That is no lie.

  • Daniel Greenfield

    I don’t blame an 11 year old girl.

    I do blame her junkie criminal parents who choose to live this way because they refuse to change despite the social workers and the infusions of other people’s money.

    The heat isn’t on here and what I spend on food easily falls within food stamp limits. So spare me the twaddle about privilege.

  • mlr262

    The article pretty clearly blames her parents’ for putting her in a bad situation. It also does a pretty good job of clearing the myth of “The Welfare Queen”. These folks live a terrible, dirty, and sad life. They are not living large.
    You have completely missed the point.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      No the article clearly blames Bloomberg and gentrification and does so numerous times. The parents are hardly mentioned and their blame is minimized.

  • mlr262

    Nowhere is gentrification blamed for this family’s problems. That is something you are projecting into the story. Gentrification is discussed, but only because these projects and poor neighborhoods are essentially surrounded by wealth. Other people’s wealth isn’t the cause of their poverty, and the story never says it is.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Yes it is. Repeatedly.

      In the short span of Dasani’s life, her city has been reborn. The
      skyline soars with luxury towers, beacons of a new gilded age. More than
      200 miles of fresh bike lanes connect commuters to high-tech jobs,
      passing through upgraded parks and avant-garde projects like the High
      Line and Jane’s Carousel. Posh retail has spread from its Manhattan
      roots to the city’s other boroughs. These are the crown jewels of Mayor
      Michael R. Bloomberg’s long reign, which began just seven months after
      Dasani was born.

      In the shadows of this renewal, it is Dasani’s population who
      have been left behind. The ranks of the poor have risen, with almost
      half of New Yorkers living near or below the poverty line. Their
      traditional anchors — affordable housing and jobs that pay a living wage
      — have weakened as the city reorders itself around the whims of the

      Long before Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio rose to power by
      denouncing the city’s inequality, children like Dasani were being pushed
      further into the margins, and not just in New York.”

  • Drakken

    Well put your liberal do gooder money where your mouth is and have them live with you, and then lets see how that works out for your liberal delusions.

  • Concerned

    It is amazing to me that someone has taken the time to write this article, presumably for money. Then others have taken the time to comment, probably over $5 lattes, on the situation presented by the article.
    The writer says why not focus on the parents and their responsibility. Do you not get that it is by design that the parents were not the focus. The point that was clearly driven home is that the HELPLESS CHILDREN have done nothing to earn this set of circumstances. It is urging us, as a society, to come up with a solution.
    You can say it’s the parents’ fault, or the government’s fault. But regardless of whoever is at fault (which is irrelevant), it is EVERYONE’S problem.
    You will not forever have the ability to write articles, or drink $5 lattes while commenting on ill-written articles. You will age and have to pass the baton the next generation. Dasani’s generation. And if we don’t come up with a solution regarding Dasani now (which is a collective responsibility), then her and her generation will not be able to successfully run the society we will have no choice but to entrust to them. Then we’re all up a creek.
    So I ask you: What do YOU think YOU need to do help children like Dasani, so that they can help you when you’re 90?????

    • Daniel Greenfield

      $5 lattes are more of a New York Times reader thing. I wrote it over a bagel from a 6 for $1.50 pack.

      Society has no solution except taking Dasani away from her criminal junkie parents. The New York Times doesn’t advise that. Instead it calls for moving them into housing projects which they will wreck and destroy the way it was under Dinkins.

      There is no solution for Dasani except the one that she makes herself, to either be like her parents or break with their poisonous legacy.

      And no I’m not counting on Dasani to help me when I’m 90. It’s more likely that I’ll still be subsidizing her and her children and her children’s children.

      • Concerned

        You think you will be self-reliant when you’re 90? You won’t need her generation’s help?
        Who will provide your health care?
        Who will deliver your mail?
        Who will run your grocery store?
        Who will stock the shelves with food?
        Who will educate your children? Their children?
        Who will run the television stations?
        Who will make the clothing? Shoes?
        Who will pick up your trash?
        Who will make the diapers you’ll need to wear?
        Who will make your vitamins and medications?
        Shall I go on?…..
        Dasani won’t. She can’t. Because you didn’t help her realize her potential when she was 11.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Dasani isn’t likely to be helping anyone when I’m 90. The odds are good that she’ll either be on a pile of benefits along with her kids or, best case scenario, working some useless government job.

          And by the time I’m 90, I’m sure the death panels that will be necessary for a system that wants to subsidize all the Dasanis will have kicked in

        • Drakken

          As much as I hate to say this for it is cold and cruel but truth usually is. Dasani isn’t going to do anything to help with society except suck everything she can from the system that allows her and her ilk to continue this repeating cycle of liberal utopian stupidity. So liberal, if you want to break this cycle, put your money where your liberal bleeding heart do gooder heart is and take care of it yourself. The taxpayer is tapped out and you useful idiots of the left keep voting for the same folks that are going to make you more poor. Good luck with that, for you and your ilk deserve what you get.

  • S. Ishan

    I’m inclined to disregard this article. The author of this ignores the objective of the article which is to promote personal responsibility not cheap solutions (personal responsibility for Dasani, obviously what her parents have done is not the focus). The larger picture is hope for the younger/future generations through this principle. I would write paragraphs about how hate is inherent in your argument and that it is furthermore overtly racist, blatantly unfair and one-sided as well as abrasive in language but I won’t go down that road.

    PS. No one is concerned with your living situation, Daniel, and it definitely isn’t your justification for writing this. Think.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The objective of the article is to accuse New York of neglecting the family in the story and to project that to a larger state of neglect of the poor.

    • jess

      Well said…this author (or useless writer) is low class and shouldnt even be allowed to practice freedom of speech. Hes probably living out in Malibu somewhere!! I bet your like many other people in this country who sit around entitled doing nothing to help anyone other than yourself and who whine and complain about how horrible your life is when you have a place to lay your head and food in your fridge.. If you are not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem..wake up!!

      • Daniel Greenfield

        I live in New York. And you’re a cartoon of a cartoon of a liberal.

  • disqus_Ohcuwu2f7q

    children should never be held responsible for their parents’ actions. so it is irrelevant that her parents are drug addicts and criminals. she still deserves every opportunity we as a civilized society can give her to succeed and contribute. nobody can control to whom or what circumstance he is born, only what he can do with the opportunities afforded him.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It’s entirely relevant because it’s the family that raises children. Society is a fallback safety net that is never going to fill the gap and certainly should not be blamed for the behavior of the parents.

      • Trump

        Society has everything to do with how parents behave! Your argument here is a contradiction to past comments made by yourself.

        If you pull the child out of her current situation, there needs to be another place for that child to go – another society – which may, or may not have the same standards as the current society, but will nonetheless influence the direction of her life; including her thoughts and opinions. It may seem abnormal to you but drug use is prevalent and acceptable amongst many different classes of people. These people tend to live it as if second nature. It’s the coffee to their morning; but I am in no way condoning the practice, only pointing out that this is a society and in this society it is acceptable. Drug use in society is prevalent in popular culture? Partying, alcohol, drugs, promiscuity are subjects that are paraded in front of children on a daily basis and there is no hiding from it. If this is what children aspire to emulate, then what hope is there for society as a whole? Blaming the parents is not going to solve the issue. Fingerpointing should have started a long time ago, when societal emotions were being developed, leading to this current state of affairs.

        Inspiring children with achievable aspirations is a necessity of society as a whole, through education etc. As it stands now, these children can only hope to aspire to what is tangible, and that is usually what is in front of them.

        In my opinion, welfare eases a burden. It does not improve lives, only the standard living. People who receive welfare benefits have the ability to improve their buying habits, however, telling them that they’re spending their money in the wrong place doesn’t help. Taking control of it and directing them into sustainable financial management with education (this is directed towards the parents) will help.

        So, yes, it is possible for Dasani to change her life, but she can’t do it without societal change. Once people recognise that the problem isn’t the drugs and alcohol and domestic abuse or whatever it may be, they will understand where to begin, and how to change the pattern. Throwing money at them won’t help, but spending money on their education will.

        Don’t be so heartless. This article feels like a racial slur; or elitist commentary coming from someone who has never had to experience the life of these unfortunate beings

  • mhpinkc

    Daniel Greenfield- you are a man filled with hate. Sad for you… Dasani’s story is no sham. And we as a nation are turning our back on people in her position. Imagine what a young girl with such potential could do with the right resources. But wait… never mind… you just DON”T CARE.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      We as a nation are subsidizing Dasani, her siblings and her parents.

  • TailKinker42

    A “scam” is a lie with the intent to get something out of it. Her life is not a lie. They didn’t exaggerate her poor circumstances, or unfortunate parents, or gloss over how the same programs meant to elevate their family into independence would in fact only sustain them, making them dependent for years while the children grow, possibly longer. The only solution I think should be obvious is to at least offer the parents free sterilization, maybe even bribe them so they can raise the kids they have without making any more. It won’t help for a decade or more, but once all the kids are in school, it will be a lot more realistic for them to care for themselves. Unlike most of the commenters here, I read the entire 5 chapters, and it barely ever mentions gentrification and Bloomberg past the first chapter, and mostly as background facts, like the moving diagram of where they live in relation to so much other wealth, while going into way more depth about how the parents ended up with drug problems, in nearly all of chapter 4, but the writer of this article couldn’t be bothered to read that far before bashing what didn’t fit with his wild west notions of personal responsibility; the kind of person that doesn’t mourn a dead baby from bad social services, but rails angrily at a parent who dares to fall on hard times.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Her life is not a lie. The article is.

  • Franks

    It’s not about her family being homeless because of Bloomberg. It’s about her family having to live in a place that is supposed to aide them in getting on their feet (regardless of whether or not her parent’s are addicts and criminals), but has elevators that don’t work, rats coming through the walls, feces covered bathrooms, and serves spoiled food. It’s about the living conditions of a GOVERNMENT run facility. It’s about Bloomberg boasting how great NYC’s shelter conditions are when in reality, we wouldn’t let our pet dogs live in that place. If and when Dasani grows up to be like her parents, will speak the same of her although you’ve acknowledged the hopelessness of the environment she is growing up in? Chanel was once her daughter, it is a vicious cycle and NO living thing should have to live under the conditions they do. You my friend, are an idiot.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Some shelters are high end. The older ones are awful. The state of the shelter has a lot to do with how badly the residents treat it.

      New York is spending huge sums of money on the homeless.

      Dasani’s environment isn’t hopeless. People have made something of themselves from less. but liberals are obsessed with providing excuses for failure.

  • Disgusted

    Wow, you’re just the worst kind of human scum on this earth. Thank god not everybody is as thoughtless, selfish, and obtuse as you are. There are brick walls with more empathy than you have. There’s a special kind of hell reserved for you and people like you.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      That special kind of hell is liberalism.

  • Emilija Stanic

    You, Sir, are a privileged, heartless sicko. Maybe you should get your head out of your entitled ass and open your eyes. These are real people who are suffering (yes, even though they’re addicts! They are human). Perhaps showing a little compassion would make your life better :)

    • Daniel Greenfield

      You sound like you’ve got enough compassion for all of us. And hate appears to be the flip side of compassion.

  • a

    Have some empathy. It’s not about blame. Grow up and stop writing BS like this.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Tell the New York Times it’s not about blame

  • Betterway

    Well, there is so much to say here.
    First, I get the feeling that DG might be using a bit of shock value in his dismissive article about the Times piece. I mean do we all not know that this is occurring on a daily basis in NYC? I get the point that it is rather stupid to believe that Bloomberg, or the gentrification of a neighborhood is to blame. Having read all the series so far I am left with the sense that the main point of the article is how bad life is for Dasani and her siblings. Well I get that, but guess what, the answer is money, but not more money, it is personal responsibility. There are 54000 homeless (as per the article) in NYC and the annual budget for the NYC homeless shelter system is now an incredible $800,000,000. The math works out to spending $14,800 per homeless person per year. Can we really say that money is the answer?
    I like the previous comment from a poster who pointed out that Dasani is not at fault and she needs help which is clearly not going to be provided by her irresponsible parents. Chanel was Dasani some 25 years ago. You need a license and insurance to drive a car, but anybody can have a baby.
    What irks me most about this discussion is the hostile venomous way in which personal attacks are thrown around behind the anonymity of internet postings.
    I see the unfortunate plight of Dasani and I donate to charities as my conscience dictates to help ease her burden.

  • annoyed

    a lot of people have made great comments that you have pretty much nothing to say to. you keep repeating the same thing, you clearly didn’t read all 5 parts, and you’re probably just trolling us all. you’re annoying and completely wrong.

  • Landon Parks

    ‘Are there no prisons?”

    ‘Plenty of prisons,’ said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    ‘And the Union workhouses.’ demanded Scrooge. ‘Are they still in operation?’

    ‘Both very busy, sir.’

    ‘Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,’ said Scrooge. ‘I’m very glad to hear it.’

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Might want to look in on how the real Dickens treated his wife and children.

      • Landon Parks

        I never said Dickens was a bad guy. That’s like Saying George R. R. Martin is a ‘bad guy’ for the evil most of his characters portray in his books. The comparison is the fictional character, Scrooge.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Dickens was a liberal moralist who acted worse than Scrooge. That’s typical.

  • Øyvind W.

    What a warm, caring and understanding text. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.