A PEOPLE IN PERIL: HOW WELFARE HURT BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

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“Do we really need it?”

For the past few decades, the African American community have depended upon the welfare system from the United States government. But this welfare has come at the expense of the taxpayers. Now, don’t get me wrong, population wise, more Whites are on welfare than Black people. But the percentage of our group on welfare is problematic. So the percentages relative to the group is much higher for us. My question is how long will it last? How long will America continue to open its hands to giving and giving. And yet, what is coming of all this giving. How many people actually break away and become successful. Better yet, how many people break out of the grips of the welfare system all-together.

For me, growing up in a single parent household, my mother was temporarily on welfare. The moment she made half decent money she was done. I didn’t understand as a child until I became an adult the problem with the system. To a lot of struggling mothers it’s a way to feed your children. But to me it became a systemic construct that your child could almost never break out of in America. Children born into the a welfare household have higher chances of breaking the law and going to jail. Children born into welfare homes also are more likely to repeat the cycle of their mother. Is it something written in the policy? No, it’s the unwritten implications. The unwritten that has to do with rewards for a father not being present.

To a woman, she’s receiving the money because she need to feed her children. But when you really look at it, it’s a check for a father not being present. So now, we will finance your cost of living, but he can’t be present. Which in reality, just because a man is there, does not mean the family is going to live fine. There are plenty of families where two incomes come into the household and they struggle. So the idea that a man, even though on average make more than women, can justify a family not needing help is ridiculous. Welfare should be based around the family, not having more and more children with a financial payment for every kid you have. Now look what it breeds in the long run.

It breeds a few problems in society. Number one, it creates a lack of accountability on behalf of the man and woman. He says why should I contribute, the government will take care of her. And she goes, I don’t need him, the system will give me a check. And the children grow to see there is this quick route. A route that will eventually run out because in the long term the system cannot sustain welfare. Another problem from welfare is that people depend on the benevolence of an ever changing system. Meaning, Black people have spent more time in America without government assistance than with it. Why are we now operating as if a government cares when it has not used capital to build infrastructure so you won’t need their assistance?

Now, you might say, hey we need it. But do we really? The original Africans were brought to America as indentured servants in the 1610’s. Soon after came the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Large scale buying and selling of Black people like commodities, coming from Africa to the Americas. Tribes of people who didn’t speak the language of the person to the left or to the right of them. But we made the journey and survived the next few hundred years. We survived another nearly 100 years of Jim Crow South. Back to back to back drug epidemics, poor education with a lack of educational opportunities and rejection from institutions across the country, police brutality, poor access to healthcare facilities, lack of employment opportunities, and discrimination in housing. So to think that welfare, if stopped will be the death of us, is preposterous. We survived all of that, we can beat this as well.

In the end, the problem is the system, not the people. The system says we are helping, but there will come a time it will stop. And it won’t be gradual, but swift and immediate. Then generations will be left destitute from depending on a systematic policy that had no intentions on helping in the first place. We have to be willing to turn away now. Go through the initial bad days, but it will work itself out in the long run. Because sooner or later, the gravy train of checks for your tots will run its course. And if no progress has been made from a community to prepare ourselves, we’ll be worse off than prior generations of overt racial segregation and societal ostracism.

PRIVATE OR PUBLIC: WHICH IS THE BEST EDUCATION?

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“Who will benefit, who will lose?”

In the past couple of days, Betsy DeVos has been named the United States Secretary of Education. Since being appointed, there has already been backlash over the decision of her to taking the reigns over the role.  Democratic and a few Republican Politicians on Capitol Hill feel her lack of knowledge in the field of education does not make her qualified for the job. This is a tough topic for me because I have never heard of Mrs. DeVos. The only thing I know is what everyone has been saying about her. One of the issues educators have was from an article I read in the New York Times. Contributors wrote the sentiment of educators who feel she will, “Allow students to use vouchers via taxpayer’s dollars as a means to attend private schools, religious institutions, homeschooling, and for-profit schools(article at the bottom of the page).” Now, let’s observe how this may be seen as a good idea.

I grew up in a poor to middle class neighborhood in Racine, Wisconsin. Since childhood, receiving a quality education had always been a priority of my mothers’. So she invested in our education at a young age. Setting us up, making sure we went to the best schools possible. If not the best schools, at least in a learning environment where our minds could grow. As for my dad, he is from Chicago, a city where over the recent years, education has been a topic of discussion. When observing DeVos’s plan, kids could use vouchers to go to better schools in safer learning environments, especially due to the rise in crime and school closures. Because if I’m a parent and my child/children test into a good school, why would I be against a voucher program advocated by DeVos?

Here is where the backlash comes into play. The educators are underfunded and feel that more money should be allocated to the schools. Instead of shipping children elsewhere, why not keep them here and provide them with the tools for a kid’s success. This would mean funding for new up-to-books, free or affordable meals for kids who are poor, pay increases so educators are not forced to leave the school where they teach, and adequate facilities for cultivating the young minds today for an America tomorrow. But is there another reason for outrage.

What about the idea that if parents can start choosing where their kids are going via government vouchers, then it’s see you later to teacher’s jobs. Because if I’m a parent in a poor community and I can use vouchers at the taxpayer’s expense to send my kid to a better school, why not? Why, it’s because the educators at these current schools are out of jobs. They want children to stay, not just because they want to teach, but also because of job preservation as well. My father works in the public schools of Chicago, and they have already forced a lot of them to take furlough days. Days in which they will not be compensated for; which will leave already low paid educators, even further destitute.

As for me, I’m an adult with no children, so I don’t now what is the right solution. For me, kids using taxpayer’s dollars to go to better schools sounds good. But I also understand the plight of an educator who would much rather use taxpayer’s dollars as an expense into existing public schools. One helps the student/s outside the public funded schools they will be attending. The other solution will assist the student/s as well as the teacher’s who don’t fall under the equation of privatized education, charter schools, homeschooled, or for-profit institutions. In the end, we’ll have to sit back and observe what will come of this. Because this is yet another decision, that will add to an already divisive country, brought into the loop by President Donald J. Trump that has the public rallying against him since his presidential victory back in November of 2016.