Seeing the Classism in Racism

vegankid has an excellent post over at Ally Work debunking the myth of lazy “welfare queens”. The post traces the history of welfare, brings up statistics, cites sources… all you could want from a topic like this and more.

Here’s an excerpt:

Martin Gilens, in Why Americans Hate Welfare, finds that “the belief that blacks are lazy is the strongest predictor of the perception that welfare recipients are undeserving.” In a mid-90s study titled “White’s Stereotypes of Blacks: Sources and Political Consequences,” researchers Hurwitz and Peffley found that White people agree that most Black people are lazy (31 percent), not determined to succeed (22 percent), and lacking in discipline (60 percent). It was these stereotypes that fueled the racist attacks on welfare despite the fact that at the time, the majority of welfare recipients were White wimmin. By catering to racism through imagery and rhetoric, those with the agenda of wiping out welfare could convince the largest recipients of welfare (economically-poor White people) that it was a good idea.

All to often, people (white people especially) seem to conflate issues of race with class. But, really, they aren’t the same. At all. Anyway, vegankid says it better than I ever could, so go read the post.

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