Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card against America's Poor

Synopsis

The continuing reality of racism in the United States is exposed in this ground-breaking new work Welfare Racism . Taking issue with those who claim the significance of racism is declining, the authors provide evidence that suggests otherwise. Welfare Racism remains the definitive account for the understanding of this pernicious topic. What is welfare racism? It is the images that politicians evoke when they speak of "welfare queens" or "deadbeat dads." It is the disproportionate representation of people of color who are in the US poverty population. It is the view that welfare is a black problem. In Welfare Racism , sociologists Neubeck and Cazenave analyze the impact of racism on U.S. welfare policy. For decades, they argue, Americans have been bombarded with racist comments and stereotypes about those who receive welfare, allowing politicians to exploit racial cliches for their own political gains. Even liberal politicians have now joined in playing the "race card" by supporting the ill-conceived welfare reforms of 1996 which abolished Air to Families with Dependent Children. Such recent reforms are anti-welfare not anti-poverty. In a hard-hitting and eloquently written investigation of historical and current attitudes toward welfare, Welfare Racism shows how racist motives, policies, and administrative policies have long undermined public assistance programs. Challenging the current contention that racism is of decreasing importance in our society, Neubeck and Cazenave warn that avoidance of the race issue will lead to unprecedented racial conflict in the 21st century. A powerful expose of a deeply-rooted but woefully ignored form of racial blindness, Welfare Racism is an important first step toward more humane and rational policies for the men, women, and children who have been ravaged by the current system.