Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

1Mar/140

For people who associate welfare with “poor people”

Welfare is not just a loaded word… but a loaded concept and idea. What you understand 'welfare" to be depends on what you have seen, read, or heard. In essence, it depends on what you have learned. The video below is intended to help people think more broadly about what welfare is, and who gets it. Ideally, it should also push us to think more critically about why we've been conditioned to think of it otherwise.

Be open, and be honest about the stereotypes you have come to accept, even unintentionally, about the recipients of welfare. And please keep in mind that just because you have experienced something, or seen something directly, doesn't mean that it applies to everyone, and to all situations. It simply means that you observed it and/or had the experience.

Many public policy folks want you to accept welfare as a concept describing 'handouts' to people who are somehow undeserving. We can't be so simplistic in our thinking about what 'welfare' is, and who gets it.

Hungry people need food. Homeless people need housing. Naked people need clothing. Sick people need wellness. People seeking employment need meaningful jobs that pay a living wage and humane benefits. And the race we assign a person doesn't change the implication of not having one's basic needs met.

Insanely rich companies don't need greater profits, and certainly not at the expense of people who truly have some more basic needs.

This is not an intellectual exercise. If you believe it is, go into the nearby homeless shelters, the food kitchens, the mental health clinics and really see the humanity of people you would otherwise stereotype and make assumptions about.

For many of us, we really don't even have to go that far. We can just reach out to the people in our own families, schools, churches, and even our own places of employment. We can look right next door. WE are the very people we continue to stereotype. It's not an invisible "other" group.

Wake up people. It's really not as complex as you think it is.

 

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