By: Bill Fletcher, Jr. (NNPA Newswire Columnist)
I was in the car when I heard the news that President Donald Trump was proposing to provide $12 billion in assistance to farmers, who may be hurt by his tariffs—I almost ran off of the road.
It sounded like ‘welfare’ to me. Republican farmers are getting very upset about the tariffs and so they should. The Trump administration seems to know little about the economy and quite curiously, suggested that trade wars were easily won. I am not quite sure what history books the administration has been reading.
However, the piece that was the most striking for me, was that the administration was providing assistance, that in other circumstances, would be considered welfare.
Yes, that “ugly” word that supposedly suggests that people are getting something for nothing. After all, we have been told, time and again—especially since the Reagan era—that we should put our hopes in the market and let things take care of themselves.
Well, Trump wants to adjust the market. Using the logic that has battered Black America for decades, he should simply let the White, republican farmers, fend for themselves (and yes, White farmers, since only 1.4 percent of USA farmers are Black).
Let the market take care of them. If they fail, well, as the bumper sticker says, “things happen,” right? I mean, that’s what Black America has been told time and again.
We are periodically reminded that when it is politically convenient, circumstances can be arranged such that White people “respectfully” receive assistance from governmental bodies, but that such assistance should not be considered ‘welfare.’
The fact that 43 percent of recipients of Medicaid are White, never seems to be discussed—43 percent! What’s more, 36.2 percent of those receiving food stamps are also White, which again, never appears to be discussed.
Yet, whenever the word ‘welfare’ or the term ‘government assistance’ are raised, a Black, Brown or Native American face is presented to the public and not the millions of White people who are surviving, because the government intervened.
Why is it not ‘welfare?’ Because the (White) recipients are considered by the Establishment to be legitimate citizens, who are entitled to help.
As for the rest of us, well it appears that we should eat cake, or maybe, eat nothing at all.