In a previous post I began discussing the “culture of dependency,” a term used by a CNN writer to discredit social programs and infer that people on these programs are addicted to poverty. This series explores the ignorance of that thought and exposes the truth about America’s culture of dependency: that it is not created because people access (or abuse) these programs, but by the fact that they most have no choice but to utilize these programs at some point in their lives.
So…one evening in class I was subjected to an ignorant rant by several Black students about entitlement programs and how people on “welfare” and unemployment are just “chillin” while the working people take care of them. It might be said that I always take up the case of the underdog. After the passionate debate I inspired with my response, I thought about why it is that a Black person could dare to criticize a social program when it is likely that they wouldn’t be where they are without one (yes, the pell grant counts).
As millions of Americans suffer due to the waning economy, Black people find themselves, yet again, disproportionately affected adversely. Our unemployment rates are higher, our foreclosure numbers are higher, the number of Black people on government assistance programs are higher. And I do mean to say government assistance and not social welfare or entitlement because those terms are used as propaganda to make them sound despicable and disposable. In truth, I’ve heard more Black people speak cynically in favor of the idea that the people receiving this kind of assistance are a living off the system or that working people are “paying” for these people to sit at home and chill. This thought is a reach because the amount of employment tax (that are going to tax us regardless of the programs) that is used to find these programs amounts to pennies per paycheck. I hardly think one persons single contribution can be considered caring for another individual. And furthermore, the amount of assistance given to these people keeps them exactly at the poverty level if they don’t dwindle somewhere just beneath it.
There will always be people who take advantage of the system. If ever those people who are taking advantage become a major issue, don’t trash the program figure out why it doesn’t work and fix it. Uh oh…I forgot in America everything is disposable especially people and kindness. Only a fool would cut off his nose to spite his face.
I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,
An Angry Black Man