While protests engulfed Baltimore after a young Black man suffered fatal injuries in police custody in April, a Maryland lawmaker suggested that the state should ban public assistance to those participating in the uprising, which he dubbed “thug nation.”
Montana lawmakers held a committee hearing on a bill that would require some low-income residents to be drug tested to qualify for welfare assistance.
When the North Carolina legislature in 2007 introduced a resolution expressing its “profound regret for the institution and lasting effects of slavery,” current Republican Senate nominee Thom Tillis, then a state representative, issued a statement in support of the resolution.
California’s Maximum Family Grant rule denies financial support to babies born while their families are receiving grants from the state’s welfare program. An effort is underway to repeal the rule and to deconstruct the narrative that poor women have babies for money.
In the same week, Rand Paul praised his sister for having six kids but denounced a hypothetical woman on assistance who has only five. The contrast lays bare the hypocrisy and prejudice of the anti-choice movement, and shows how conservatives use children as weapons against women.
Welfare reform family caps punish the poor for having children. Repealing such laws sometimes creates common ground for pro-choice and “pro-life” groups.
Advancing policies for the benefit of the rich, whilst kicking the poor among us in the teeth, is a mainstay of the Republican Party.
The prosecution of drug use in pregnant women does nothing to fulfill a legitimate policy goal and in fact seems to be racially motivated—at least in the implementation—rather than spurred by a concern for children.
Since household income has been declining over time (and proportionally fewer individuals earn more than twice the poverty level), the silver lining of the 2008 economic crisis might be that more Americans start seeing poverty for what it is: not something anyone “deserves.”
I’m left to wonder, when did Americans become so hateful and vindictive towards poor people? Are we now a country that operates via Schadenfreude? Something doesn’t sit right with kicking people when they’re down.