The Real Deal behind Welfare to WorkDecember 4, 2011 1 Comment
I am writing this article in response to an article I posted on Open Salon, Taboo Jive and my own website, The Black Feminista last week named The Harsh Realities of Being on Welfare. I was inundated with comments asking me why individuals are being made to work for basically slave wages in America and this article will explain everything.
Although slavery ended in America back in 1863, its still in full effect if an individual is unfortunate enough to be on welfare. In order to receive TANF benefits in Illinois, which is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the head of household must work for whatever amount he or she is entitled to depending on the amount of children involved. Because I have one child under the age of eighteen, I am eligible receive $318 dollars per month (because I reside in Cook County); in other counties, a parent with one child receives $277 per month.
According to TANF and other names for public assistance, welfare recipients must work for the amount they receive from the government. They are sent to corporations such as Walgreens (I know about this because of ear hustling), banks (learned once again because of ear hustling) and other companies. Corporations are not hiring because these corporations can use a never ending supply of desperate welfare recipients who have to work to get their meager wages.
In the midst of writing this, I received a phone call Friday from a lawyer with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. I was told that working for slave wages is legal in America as long as the individual is receiving welfare benefits and that there is little I can do about it. I was disappointed but not surprised because single mothers, women who have children and no husbands violate the patriarchal dominant sexual norms of American culture. Despite of massive changes in popular culture in the last fifty years concerning the understanding of sexuality, the sexual morality of mothers without husbands is still suspect. When single mothers find themselves in need of financial assistance from the state, the government is in a position to dictate changes in behavior in exchange for financial aid. I am a slave for intents and purposes because of my financial circumstances and this is supposed to be democracy? Bullshit of the highest degree.