Reagan’s Welfare Queen was black, decked out in furs, and driving her Cadillac to the welfare office to pick up her check.
None of these stereotypes even came close to reflecting reality, particularly in regard to race.
It was true that as of the late 1960s and beyond, a disproportionate percentage of blacks participated in AFDC.
But there was never a point at which blacks accounted for a majority of recipients. The typical AFDC recipient, even in Reagan’s day, was white.
“The Republican Congress killed Obama’s proposals for larger tax credits for child care; investing in community colleges; helping make retirement plans portable; and giving tax relief to manufacturing communities.
The same fate met programs to retrain workers; help them relocate when their jobs went overseas; or temporarily supplement their wages if they were compelled to take a lesser job. Ditto for payroll tax cuts and creating an infrastructure bank to fund thousands of construction jobs. The coup de grâce was cutting back on food stamps. In sum, the GOP establishment — epitomized by Ryan — waged a class war against its base.
The base noticed. Donald Trump is the expression of their anger, not the cause.
There wasn’t a war or a famine or plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America...
The truth about these dysfunctional downscale communities is that they
deserved to die.
Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs…
The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means they need real change, which means that they need U-haul.
If you want to live, get out of Garbutt.”
White racism is no longer useful.
White trash deserves to die.
It takes more than a U-Haul to get out of poverty, Kevin.
It takes, faith, hope and access to resources.
It takes vision.
I feel so sad for my country.
WE had so much promise.
I feel poisoned.
Rob Goldstein 2016