Turtleboy Investigates

Turtleboy Interviews White Panhandlers About White Privilege

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So last night we went down to City Hall to check out the protesters, who were protesting that the City Council drop the charges against the Kelley Square Four, which they had already agreed to drop. Anyway, there wasn’t much to see that we haven’t written about five million times before. Been there blogged that.

RBG did another hot poetry slam, the ACLU and Deb Powers held signs and alleviated their white guilt. Old Man Gordon Davis (AKA bizarro Santa) held his usual sign about racism and jobs:

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This is it folks. This is the face of the Worcester protester movement. A senile old man whose tools include a sign he’s been using since 1994 and a fluorescent winter hat so his wife can find him if he gets lost. The funny part is, according to yesterday’s organizer Michael Jerry – the guy who said he thought he’d be happy when he heard two NYPD cops were killed – the public supports these geniuses:

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It’s official folks. They are completely delusional. It’s like we’ve said all along – these people are on a different planet from everyone else living in normal civilized society. Hey Mikey Boy – there’s a reason our numbers grow by the day while you have Old Man Gordon and his hand-me-down sign. It’s because no one likes you. We’ve never liked you, but every day that goes by more people who previously had no opinion about you come over to our side. You make it too easy.

I mean, what are you supposed to say when you see signs like this:

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An Aryan kid holding a sign saying “end white supremacy.” Classic. This is why the Justice Department coming here for a “conversation” is bullshit. Because there’s literally no point conversing with some asshat lilly white boy who is holding a sign that says, “End white supremacy.” Because everyone knows white supremacy doesn’t exist in 2015 America. FYI, this is the same kid from the Mosaic Cultural Koom-Ba-Ya video, who awkwardly tried to dance next to Urkel glasses but completely lacks the rhythm:


White supremacy isn’t working out too well for this guy on the dance floor. His name is Nicholas Choquette and he’s a riser in the social justice warrior rankings. And he’s well-versed in urban dynamics as well. Guess where he’s from?

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Princeton and Concord. Only two of the richest and whitest towns in the Commonwealth. I’m sure this kid knows all about the struggle.

Anyway he got me thinking. He’s basically the face of “white privilege” right? Well, I watched this whole thing from a bench across Front Street. I was minding my own business when all of a sudden I heard, “Hey someone’s on our bench.” I thought it was hippies. But low and behold it was another pair of people whose profession has been a hot topic of our blogs – panhandlers. And let me tell ya, it was an eye opening experience.

There names are Chris


and Arriane


And I fell for them as soon as I saw their signs.

Now they didn’t make me get off the bench or anything and were quite cordial about it. But Turtelboy writers are men and women of integrity, and we respect downtown the Worcester dibs hierarchy. So I gave them the bench, since they were tired from a long day of panhandling. All they really wanted to do was talk, and all I wanted to do was listen, so it was the beginning of a nice little downtown friendship.

I talked to these good folks for over half an hour and I feel like I know them better than I do my own father and mother. But that’s probably because they died in the 1917 influenza epidemic. Nevertheless they opened up to me since this was a topic Turtleboy writers have taken a lot of heat for (because of our perceived insensitivity).

The first thing they wanted to tell me was how much money they’d made that afternoon – $65. According to them this was a “slow day” and on other days you can “make bank.” The most they’ve ever made is $200. But today they were apparently working a slow corner, and had only been out for about four hours.

The problem of course was the location. They were standing somewhere on Main Street, I’m not quite sure where because Chris is a man who goes off on many tangents and yells quite loudly when he speaks. I asked them why they don’t hold signs at the Kelley Square or Route 9 exits on the highway. They nearly spit out their Subway sandwiches.

You don’t hold signs on the ramps.” 

When I informed them there was a guy holding one a half an hour ago, they got pissed and told me he’d be picked up by the cops in no time. After all, everyone knows that panhandlers have to respect the panhandler’s code.

Although neither of them are homeless, their stories are nonetheless sad. At the same time though, they basically exposed to me that all of our preconceived notions about panhandlers were true. They live in an apartment on Belmont Street that charges $900 a month for rent. They pay for it with money they collect and Social Security.


Naturally I asked them why they don’t work. That’s when the shouting began, starting with my girl Arriane:

I’m fucking tapped. I’ve had a lot of shit happen to me in my life, and if a boss speaks out against me, I’ll lose it. Plus my leg has this thing so I limp.”

What about Chris? He seemed healthy enough?

I can make more money panhandling and collecting SSI than if I was working, so what’s the point? I only wanna get a job where I work less than 10 hours a week so I can keep collecting SSI, cuz you can’t if you work full time.”

But clearly this could not go on forever I told them. She is 24 and he is 25. So what were their long term plans?

Arriane: “We’re going to California and he’s gonna sign a big record deal cuz he knows people out there. He can fucking sing. Sing something Chris.”

At this point “Alexander Morgan” started singing Creed. Because when he sings, he’s no longer Chris – he becomes Alexander Morgan. He wanted to make that clear to me so that when I saw their album in Best Buy I’d know it was him. When I informed Alexander Morgan that Creed does in fact suck, I thought he was gonna poke my eyes out with his crucifix. I’m just kidding, I told them. I’m really more of a Nickelback guy.

So how did two people so young get themselves into this situation? Where did the system fail them? Arriane has lived everywhere she says, and is one of nine siblings, none of which share the same set of parents. She also has two children – a five and two year old. She can’t remember the last time she saw her oldest son. She estimates it was over three years ago.

She is working on that though, and told me about her big plans to sue DCF. Since DCF has plenty of problems, this, along with Alexander Morgan’s record deal cash, should give them enough to live off of for the rest of time.

Apparently she’s got something big in the works because she’s not allowed near her kids. We mostly talked about the older one, but were interrupted frequently by Alexander Morgan’s Christian rock renditions. From what I gathered he lived in New Hampshire with his father and she’s not allowed anywhere near the place. I genuinely felt bad for her. I figured this would upset her to talk about, but she didn’t really seem to give a fuck.

So why can’t she see her kids? Well, I guess this “asshole” was one of many of her ex’s who she accidentally assaulted. Repeatedly. With and without weapons. I didn’t press for details, because at points none of it really made any sense. But I do know this – if the Mom doesn’t get custody of the kids, something went very, very wrong. Hell, Meryl Streep got to keep her kid in Kramer vs. Kramer and she abandoned him for two years!!

How’d these love birds meet you ask? Panhandling – the Tinder of the streets. But their relationship is a lot more work than just holding signs, claiming a bench, and eating subway. Ya see, on top of being an aspiring singer, Morgan Alexander is also a trained MMA fighter. Thus the courts have ruled his fists to be weapons. And he has used these weapons many, many times. Mainly to people who talk shit. And it’s landed him in and out of jail.

During his most recent stint a couple years back Arriane was unable to visit him in the Worcester House of Corrections as she was living in Connecticut. That’s when an old “friend” started showing up at the House. According to him she helped him get through this tough time, and when he got out of the slammer, “somehow she ended up pregnant.”


This doesn’t go over well with Arriane to this day. She recognizes that he has a child with this “slut,” but she still wants to smash her face in. Things got awkward and so I wanted to change the subject.

Right on cue an African-American teenager came up to us. He didn’t look pleased. Am I going to be outed as a Turtleboy blogger?? Did they finally figure out who I am?

Y’all got weed for six bucks?”

Wait…..what? Oh, Worcester. I let Morgan Alexander do the talking.

No man, we don’t do drugs man. WE DON’T DO DRUGS!!!” 

The kid didn’t look very pleased, but when someone starts shouting “We don’t do drugs” in downtown Worcester, generally it’s a good idea to get the hell out of there.

Do you guys know what’s going on across the street at that rally?” I asked them.

No fucking clue,” said Alexander Morgan.


So I told him it was a rally for the black lives matter people. They’d never heard of it. So I asked them if they’d heard of Michael Brown and Ferguson. Nope. I told them they were protesting police brutality. Their response was to go off on a tangent about this one time they saw the cops beat the shit out of some assholes in an alley. This conversation was clearly going nowhere.

I thought about the situation they were in. Life sucks for these two, but they’re trying to get by and they actually have a positive outlook on life. Obviously their obstacles are many, and not likely to be surmountable. I’m 99% sure there’s a lot of mental disease going on here, and their future is entirely planned around Alexander Morgan’s singing career. How can they POSSIBLY make it? They have no families around to support them. No realistic plans. No savings. No desire to get a job. No guidance. Nothing.

That’s when I told them about their ticket out of poverty – white privilege. Ever heard of it? Of course there answer was no, but they were nonetheless intrigued. They wanted to hear more about it. So I told them that “white privilege” means that because they’re born white they’re going to have it easier in life than people of color.

That’s when they both started bursting out in uncontrollable laughter. Here they are holding signs that say, “I bet you can’t hit me with your change,” and Turtleboy is trying to tell them that everything is handed to them in life because they’re white. What else could they do besides laugh? It’s just such a stupid, stupid concept.

There are definitely “privileged” people in our society, but it has nothing to do with race. Alexander Morgan and Arriane don’t have the privilege of having someone tell them as kids growing up that they should go to college. They don’t have the privilege of having loved ones close by to act as a support circle. The government enables them to keep this cycle of poverty going. They are white, yet they are the exact opposite of privileged.

That’s because “privilege” is a term used to describe your influences rather than your race or level of poverty. Tons of immigrants come here impoverished nations and demand the best from their kids so that they can have opportunities that only exist in America. Their future is determined largely by their parents and themselves, not race or poverty.

Others are born here to parents who don’t give a shit and thus they end up stuck in the system. Their privilege isn’t determined by their parent’s skin color or level of poverty. It’s determined by their parent’s level of apathy. Arriane and Alexander Morgan are wiser than all of us.

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29 Comment(s)
  • J Springer
    April 16, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    What a loving family. This guy is homeless and pan handling and his family doesn’t care all they are worried about is his ssi.

    • Margery F.
      April 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Nor do they seem to care if harm comes to him as he chases quarters down the street

    • Susan
      April 16, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Not trying to start a fight here but having a family member with mental illness isn’t as easy as you think. If these people are truly his family my heart goes out to them. They probably have stopped trying to help because he has refused it. Like one said he signs himself out of mental health hospitals and refuses to take his medication. I have a severely Bipolar aunt who is in the same boat. If the authorities don’t believe he is unstable when talking to him his family can only get 72 hr hold before he is able to sign himself out. As painful as it is they probably do worry about him but all they can do right now is make sure his SSI doesn’t get cut off. How are they to stop him from panhandling?

  • Gabe Newmann
    April 16, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Its funny that Chris doesn’t know what white privilege is about. He has been to college. You should ask him about his culinary schooling he got. He only needs 2 more credits to graduate.

  • Rena
    April 16, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I didn’t perceive this blog as “news” and I don’t believe it was intended to be “news”. This is simply about what went on when TB happened to speak with two individuals he ran into on Main Street and their daily struggle with their situation…. two people that most of us would probably just ignore if we drove by or passed them on the street. It doesn’t matter whether or not the guy is really an MMA fighter or on his way to obtain a record deal (I mean, really??). It was refreshing to hear their story and perspective, with the irony of the jackasses rallying across the street. Jackasses who are too caught up in their “movement”; I doubt we’d see any of therm protesting other issues plaguing our society like mental health treatment and poverty.

  • Liz A.
    April 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Hey turtle boy, “Morgan Alexander” is my SON. And you should probably know a few things. First, the reason he is on SSI is because he has SCHIZOPHRENIA. His condition causes him to be a pathological liar, so all that stuff about the MMA is bull. The point is that my son, like many other panhandlers, can’t get work because they’re too mentally unstable to keep a job. And whenever we have tried to get the state to help get him into a permanent facility, we’re denied because, like you, the authorities make the mistake of believing what he tells them and assume he’s fine on his own. And sadly, his family doesn’t have the financial resources to help him ourselves.

  • aunt
    April 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    It’s amazing how assumptions can make someone look like a complete ass when the truth is known. Chris may not have had the best of lives, but it certainly wasn’t what he told you it was. He is a compulsive liar, with a myriad of mental health problems that partially stem from the cord being wrapped around his neck at birth. He has plenty of support if he wants it but he chooses to lead this life, as most schizophrenics do when not properly medicated. Spreading rumors and assumptions disguised as news is the reason for societal downfall.

  • Elsa
    April 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

    So…. chris is my brother. He doesn’t work because he’s schizo-effective, with autism, and he signed himself out of state care, and can’t seem to stay on his medication. Without his medication he is a danger to himself and possibly others….

  • Joe
    April 16, 2015 at 9:23 am

    “That being said”
    Biggest red flag identifier that you are more impressed with yourself than anyone else is.

    That being said, you are a douchbag.

  • Devils Mouthpiece
    April 16, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Great blog! Very informative based on facts straight from the horses mouth. Jive Clive should be using TB as a mentor!

  • Finnish Goalie
    April 16, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Very much enjoyed this entry. More interviews on the streets going forward, please.

    • Finnish Goalie
      April 16, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Politics aside, the street interviews are good, I should say.

  • Maggie the Cat
    April 16, 2015 at 6:33 am

    These two are a waste of taxpayers’ money (and I mean taxpayers of all races). Sadly, there are hundreds more like them.

    • Brianna
      April 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Mental illness is not a waste of taxpayer money. There are many, many things that are, but I gladly pay my taxes to help make sure people with mental illness do not become homeless or unable to receive proper care for their conditions.

    • Elsa
      April 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      My brother can not work, he’s very mentally unstable. He’s not a waste of money, but compulsive lying is a part of his condition….. it’s really not difficult to tell he’s disabled when talking to him, so the fact that this interview was continued with the intent of judging the things he says and does is pretty disappointing.

    • Mom
      April 16, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      My son is NOT a waste of taxpayer money….he is SCHIZOPHRENIC and that is why he is receiving SSI. His condition also makes him a pathological liar. If anything, this stupid “news” article will probably cause judgmental c**ts like you take away his benefits, and then he will have NOTHING….because the rest of us in his family are all struggling financially as well, and can’t afford to support him. And the state will do nothing to help him either, because he is a single, male adult. I would much rather my tax dollars go to support him than to pay six-figure salaries to the useless government employees who refuse to help people in his situation.

      • Amy
        April 16, 2015 at 6:29 pm

        I also have family members with mental health issues and I am sure many readers do as well; it takes a family to stabilize an individual with issues, that is for sure! This article was more about the life of 2 people who panhandle…what lead them to collecting change on the sidewalks of Worcester and their day to day. More of a single case study on 2 individuals. I must say, they are on to something. I have a master’s degree and don’t take home what these 2 do in a day!

  • Amy
    April 16, 2015 at 6:24 am

    My parents are divorced. They are both alcoholics. Both have mental health issues. Neither went to college. Neither ever had a decent paying job. I knew they were not going to be able to help me when I was older. I was basically on my own. I am where I am because I have been working since I was 14. I paid my own way through college. None of this happened because I am white – it happened because I worked my ass off .

  • Bravo
    April 15, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    You have literally privileged the anecdotes of two white people over evidence gathered from decades of statistics, historical records, and the testimonies of hundreds and thousands

    • RJ
      April 16, 2015 at 6:05 am

      Don’t confuse sociological studies with actual information. Basically, those “studies” are all an exercise in confirmation bias. They’ve constructed “theories” (like white privilege) that conclude that a difference in outcomes must be due to racism when there are dozens, if not hundreds, of factors that would influence such outcomes. Any time someone tells you that there’s evidence to back up this garbage, feel free to tell them that there actually isn’t.

      • Bravo
        April 16, 2015 at 6:41 am


        • RJ
          April 16, 2015 at 7:37 am

          I’m sorry you’ve bought into fabrications. It must be hard for your worldview to be challenged and have no response. That said, if you can explain to me how measuring outcomes in studies that can’t possibly control for the necessary variables produces usable data on causation, I’m all ears.

          • Bravo
            April 16, 2015 at 8:12 am

            You don’t actually know what my worldview is. I troll this blog not because I always disagree with its author, but because the author seems incapable of making a sound argument. In this post he resorts to all sorts of logical fallacies, as usual, including most obviously selection and confirmation bias. Honestly, if you wanted a clear example of those two effects at work you couldn’t do better than this post. That’s why I laughed at you.

            Now, again, you don’t know my worldview. (If you’d like to get something close to the gist of it you could maybe look up John McWhorter on this topic.) But “white privilege” theory doesn’t say what you think it does. It is less about economic outcomes than about social conditions that sometimes seem silly (at the time of the original essay there was no such thing as a “black” Band-Aid and the “flesh” colored one was the shade of the median white person) but which point to the idea of being white being the default or “normal.” Sometimes these things are more consequential, such as discrimination in banking, or racial profiling. I’m not going to go into my views on the subject, but *that* is the accurate representation of the theory, not that “a difference in outcomes must be due to racism.”

            That being said, if you don’t think a difference in aggregate outcomes over time can be significantly attributed to policies that were explicitly racist, then that’s a debate we can have.

        • Finnish Goalie
          April 16, 2015 at 7:58 am

          Did High School Debate team teach you nothing?

          Great response.

          • Bravo
            April 16, 2015 at 8:14 am

            What else did you want me to say? Turtleboy’s original post was a textbook example of confirmation bias. It was like it was designed to be a flawless representation of the idea.

        • Finnish Goalie
          April 16, 2015 at 8:22 am

          Your second response to RJ is just fine, that’s what I like to see.

          Can’t reply directly to you it looks like, no option to reply.

    • Elsa
      April 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      And both of them have very extreme mental health issues…..

  • RSoxGuy
    April 15, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Great blog. It really shows the strange place downtown is.

    As for this dwindling “movement”, its embarrassing at this point. Your girl Sonya claims she wasnt even there according to the TnG! You have video proof? Wat video? I dont see any video.

    Maybe all those people here and TnG did call WS”U” and now shes feeling the pressure.

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