Sharon Jasper
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Sharon Jasper, a Resident of Section 8 Housing in New Orleans-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of the eRumor:  
The story is about Sharon Jackson, a welfare recipient in New Orleans who complains about her living conditions.  The story shows a picture of her nicely furnished apartment--complete with a big screen TV.
The Truth:  
There is more than one version of this eRumor circulating about welfare recipient Sharon Jasper in New Orleans.

The city was embroiled in controversy in 2008 over plans to demolish four public housing complexes as part of a redevelopment plan.  The government said that other housing would be available for any of those displaced by the demolitions, some which was private housing rather than public housing, and that government assistance would also be available to help welfare recipients live in private housing. 

Activists complained that some of the private housing was substandard and they brought Sharon Jasper to appear at protest at city hall in New Orleans and to be an example of what they were talking about.  Among other things Jasper said that her subsidized private apartment was a "slum."  She said "I'm tired of the slum landlords, and I'm tired of the slum houses
."

Jasper allowed a photographer from the
Times-Picayun newspaper to photograph her apartment.  The picture showed the welfare recipient sitting on her sofa in a red bath robe in what appeared to be a nice place with hardwood floors.  She was also seated next to her big screen TV.

The text of the eRumor appears to be from a blogger who poked fun at Jasper because of the contrast between the picture and her description of where she lived.  The statements attributed to her in the eRumor are unproven. 

Updated 2/25/08
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:


 Sharon Jasper has been victimized. Sharon Jasper has been rabidly
 wronged. She has become a Section 8 care case "the victim of ever
 changing
 public housing policies.
 Sharon Jasper has spent 57 or her 58 years dedicated to one cause and
 one cause only, and has nothing to show for her dedicated servitude. She
 has
 lived in Section 8 housing all but 1 of her 58 years. It was a legacy
 passed
 down from her parents who moved into Section 8 housing in 1949 when she
 was
 six months old. She has passed the legacy down to her children, but fears
 they may have to get jobs to pay for the utilities and deposits. She
 laments
 about her one year hiatus from the comfort of her Section 8 nirvana, ' I
 tried it for a year..you know, working and all. It's not anything I would
 want to go through again, or wish on anyone in my family, but I am damn
 proud of that year.'

 Sharon was moved out of her St. Bernard housing project after
 hurricane Katrina and into a new, yet albeit, substandard quarterage. As
 can
 be noted from the above photo of her new Section 8 home, it is repugnant
 and
 not suitable for someone of Sharon Jasper's seniority status in the
 system.
 'Don't be fooled by them hardwood floors,' says Sharon. 'They told me they
 were putting in scraped wood floors cause it was more expensive and
 elegant,
 but I am not a fool "that was just a way to make me take scratched up
 wood
 because I am black. The 60 inch HD TV? It may look nice but it is not a
 plasma. It's not a plasma because I'm black. Now they want me to pay a
 deposit and utilities on this dump.' 'Do you know why?'


 She has held her tongue in silence through the years of abuse by the
 system, but it came to a head at the New Orlean's city council meeting
 where
 discussions were under way about the tearing down of the St. Bernard
 projects. When a near riotous exchange between groups opposing the tearing
 down of St. Bernard and groups wanting the dilapidated buildings torn down
 and newer ones built, Sharon unleashed verbal hell with her once silenced
 tongue. The object of her oratory prowess was an acquiescent poor white
 boy
 in attendance. The context of her scathing rebuke was, 'Just because you
 pay
 for my house, my car, my big screen and my food, I will not be treated
 like
 a slave!' and 'Back up and Shut up! Shut up, white boy! Shut up, white
 boy!'


 Recapping from the mental log of the city council minutes in her
 head,
 Sharon repines, 'Our families have been displaced all over the United
 States. They are being forced to commit crimes in cities they are
 unfamiliar
 with. It is a very uncomfortable situation for them. Bring them back, then
 let's talk about redevelopment.'
 Sharon directs the reporter's attention across the street to Duncan
 Plaza where homeless people are living in tents and states that, 'I might
 do
 better out there with one of these tents.' She further lamented her
 sentiments about her situation,' I might be poor, but I don't have to live
 poor.

 


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