Sarah Silverman torches a guy mocking welfare recipients in a very Sarah Silverman way.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

A senator, author, and comedian walked into a bar — er, signed onto Twitter — but the "joke" that got told failed to impress.

In fact, it was wrong in more ways than one.

It all started on Feb. 5, 2018, when Sen. Tammy Duckworth blasted President Trump online for having suggested it was treasonous for Democrats to not clap for him at the State of the Union. That assertion didn't sit well with the Democrat from Illinois.



"We don't live in a dictatorship or a monarchy," she retorted, refusing to "cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs" by clapping only when he sees fit.

"Cadet Bone Spurs," of course, was a jab at Trump, who infamously avoided the draft as a young man due to apparent bone spurs in his heels.  


Conservative author Jack Posobiec took offense to Duckworth's remarks, insinuating the senator was a hypocrite for using "juvenile language."

That's when Silverman jumped in.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Trevor Project.

"Oh Jack — another misunderstanding!" she tweeted, clearly having interacted with Posobiec before. "The left doesn’t have a problem [with Trump's] choice of words or that he’s crass or some shit — it’s the actual CONTENT — that he’s accusing actual treason [because Democrats] didn’t CLAP for him."

Posobiec answered with a "joke" that didn't really add up — and also pushed a harmful stereotype.

"Are you OK, Sarah?" he wrote. "Your eye is so lazy it’s collecting welfare."

"I’m trying to understand your joke," Silverman responded. "That people on welfare are lazy?"

She continued: "Wait — so people who receive welfare (ie most 40 hr/wk employees who work 4 the Walton family, 1 of the richest families in the world) are lazy? Is that the joke? Sorry! Need help 2 understand ur funny joke!"

Silverman touched on an important point: Why do people think welfare recipients are lazy?

As she noted, many workers at Walmart, one of America's wealthiest companies, are forced to rely on government assistance because their employer — and many other corporations like it — pays them such low wages. A 2014 report, for instance, found Walmart workers cost taxpayers $6.2 billion in public assistance. In other words, instead of Walmart paying their workers higher wages, you — the taxpayer — end up footing the bill.

It's not welfare recipients' "laziness" that's costing Americans — it's corporate greed.

Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images.

Posobiec quipped that "next time" he'd "use more profanity" so that Silverman would be able to "keep up."

And in typical Silverman fashion, the comedian responded in earnest: "No! I really didn't get it! Can [you] explain?"

"Also, I see ur a sci-fi fan," she wrote, assumedly having read a line in Posobiec's Twitter bio. "Next generation or voyager? I loved Next Gen (Data: swoon!) but I was in Voyager! Or no trek? 2001?"

To that, Posobiec didn't reply.

Silverman's seamless segue into nerd culture banter may seem disingenuous, seeing as she and Posobiec appeared to be clawing at each other's throats. But recently, Silverman's made efforts to reach across the aisle in order to build bridges instead of walls. Earlier this month, she befriended an internet troll who'd been belittling her — and later paid for his medical treatment too.

We don't all have the luxury to cover hospital bills for strangers online, of course. But we can fight mischaracterizations about those less fortunate by using facts and a little friendliness (and maybe even pepper in a little nerd culture along the way).

Props, Sarah.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


There are very few people who have had quite as memorable a life as Arnold Schwarzenegger. His adult life has played out in four acts, with each one arguably more consequential than the last.

And now Schwarzenegger wants to play a role in helping America, his adopted home, ensure that our 2020 election is safe, secure and available to everyone willing and able to vote.

Shortly after immigrating to America, Schwarzenegger rose up to become the most famous bodybuilder in history, turning what was largely a sideshow attraction into a legitimate sport. He then pivoted to an acting career, becoming Hollywood's highest paid star in a run that spanned three decades.


Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less