A lot of people believe we live in a country devoid of racism. A country where capitalism is the main driver of health and wealth, and social policies are both a drain on enterprise and designed solely to benefit racial minorities. The truth of the matter is that racism is as alive today as it’s ever been, and that over the centuries the United States government has enacted far-reaching social programs designed to benefit the dominant racial group, while excluding racial minorities. This book tells the story of welfare in just such a context.
Welfare originated in the early 20th century in the US as “Mothers Pensions,” a program designed to allow white widows to tend to their children without having to work. Welfare Racism painstakingly traces the course of welfare as it morphed from Mothers Pensions to ADC to ADFC and beyond, noting time after time as politicians capitalize on the opportunity to boost their profiles by spouting baseless rhetoric against ‘lazy’ or ‘promiscuous’ persons of color.
This book is a little academic, but is definitely a “must read.”