When You Say, “Welfare Keeps Black People Poor” I Hear, “I’m An Ignorant Jackass”

As far as I can tell, the quickest way to trigger certain conservatives is to speak openly and honestly about our country’s super-racist beginning, middle, and with a little help from the Trump Administration and North Korea, our likely end. I should say that a lot of conservatives seem okay with admitting slavery was still very much a problem when the country was founded, and they even give lip service to how good it is that it has been abolished. So I’m not trying to say every conservative Republican would love to be a slave owning plantation boss.

What I’m saying is that when you point out things like, say, the African American community is largely relegated to the short end of the economic stick, they lose their shit. Here, I’ll give you a case in point. This comes from a post on a right-leaning Facebook page.

First and foremost, note the use of “gibmedat.” I find it really pretty hilarious that people can use phrases like that — dog whistles as subtle as a fart in an elevator — and get angry or defensive when you call them racist. Ever seen someone say “dindu” or “dindunuffin” in response to black people protesting or even rioting after yet another member of their community was killed by a cop? That’s the same thing. It’s making the idiotic assumption that all black people speak in a less educated way, as it a racial dialect somehow connotes lesser intelligence.

Call me crazy, but someone with a dialectical accent doesn’t sound stupid. Someone saying that welfare encourages black people to stay poor? That sure as fuck does. And it’s racist as all get out. In fact, the racism of “welfare keeps black people poor” is easily pointed out.

How? We’d save a lot more kicking every white person off welfare than every black person off it. That’s fucking how.

You see, no matter how you slice it, there are millions more white people on “welfare” than black people. If you wanted to make an argument that you’re in favor of cutting the social safety net to ribbons because of “wasted money,” and if you wanted to argue that we should cut the spending by racial group first…well, that makes you kinda racist  but anyway, wouldn’t it make more fiscal sense to cut the racial group that takes the most amount of welfare before you cut the others?




Otherwise, if you’re going to tell me that we have to kick black people off the dole in order help them improve their situations economically, you’ll have to explain to me what makes white people different from black people? If welfare makes you lazy, as a culture, aren’t the 45% of SNAP recipients who are white getting made just as lazy as the rest? Of course I’ve seen Republicans argue that we should kill welfare regardless of racial group, but we’re focusing on the idiotic suggestion that welfare somehow is more to blame for black poverty than systemic racism.

The reality is that racist policies of the past are a big reason why so many African American communities needed public assistance. If we hadn’t spend a couple centuries treating them literally as inhuman property, where would the black community in general be? Would their ratio of welfare recipients be lower now? Look at white immigrant classes like the Irish. They were shit on pretty heavily at first, but they were never treated as legally without rights, that was reserved for black people and the natives.

Truthfully, as a former Republican and conservative, I think I can explain how so many end up unintentionally fronting racist views. It’s because they buy into the high-minded philosophical argument about someone standing on their own two feet and not becoming dependent on others. They buy into “rugged individualism” not realizing it’s a myth — literally nothing major has been accomplished in the history of humanity by one single, solitary person without any help whatsoever. So they end up not even willing to confront the idea that their ideology has racist results.

Republicans have to square themselves with the fact that they had to make political allies with racists. It’s how Nixon was able to win in ’68, in part. He played up racial animosity and fears in white people and ever since the GOP has had to tiptoe that racist line. But all the while, they’ve posted storied like the one above. They’ve said things that are clearly racist, like implying that only black people become lazier when on welfare than without.

Call me crazy — but I like the idea of my tax dollars helping everyone who needs it. Not just the ones whose skin contains less pigment than others. But then again, I’m not a racist moron, so what do I know?

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About James Schlarmann 1431 Articles
Comedian, writer, founding contributor of The Political Garbage Chute, holder of zero world records or lifetime achievement awards.
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