” I think the idea that giant profitable corporations should pay their workers enough so that they don’t need food stamps – since when is that left-wing? How did that become ‘leftie?’ That doesn’t seem leftie to me. That seems like common sense.” Nick Hanauer
After a herculean campaign that saw him rise to power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Barack Obama became the First Black President of the United State of America. On his ascension to office, his detractor began waging vitriolic attacks in racially coded language meant to convey their disgust at his presence in the White House. These attacks contained a subtle, and at times, not so subtle implication that his presidency sullied of Oval Office. Of all the insults and epithets hurled at Obama, the label that was the most impudent was Newt Gingrich’s statement calling him the “Food Stamp President.”
As fate would have it, it would be Donald Trump, not Barack Obama who would be the real “Food Stamp President.” Donald Trump has proposed measures that would cut benefits for over 1 million food stamp recipients. Food Stamps are issued under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The program requires adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without children to work 20 hrs a week to maintain their benefits. If they fail to meet the 20 hr work requirement, then their benefits are reduced to only 90 days for every 3-year period. However, in the event of 10% unemployment, any state can waive the 20 hr requirement and extend benefits to persons receiving food stamps.
Additionally, states are also allowed to extend those benefits for 15% of that population without the waiver. If the state does not use those waivers, they are allowed to stockpile them for later, to be used in the event of epidemic levels of unemployment. Under Trump’s USDA Program, the states would be stripped of the ability to issue those waivers unless the unemployment rate is 7% or higher. The waivers would be good for 1 year but would be subject to the discretionary approval of the Governor. Trump’s USDA plan also eliminates the state’s ability to stockpile the benefits and restricts the benefits to a limited area.
It is a common mis-perception that the face of food stamps is a black one. Since the 70’s, it has been a staple of conservative ideology that programs like SNAP foster a sense of dependency in black Americans, thereby robbing them of the ability to achieve a measure of independence and self worth. It also paints a picture of a community as useless bottom feeders existing off of an underground economy that hustles food stamps like drugs. While this maybe true in minimal instances, it does not sufficiently explain problematic sectors of the American economy that produce the need for food stamps in the first place.
According to studies conducted by the Pew Research Institute, in spite of record low unemployment and a strong labor market, wages have not substantially increased since the 70’s. And those increases that have occurred have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers. This leaves the majority of the working class in a situation where their wages require supplemental income from government programs. And while the unspoken narrative is that these cuts will effect those lazy black single mothers and bottom feeding niggas, the truth is that the most significant effect of the cuts will be felt by rural white voters————— In other words, Donald Trump’s own constituency.
What is their reaction to these cuts? Are they so irrevocably wed to the narrative of the shiftless, lazy, tax-payer draining nigga that they will sacrifice their own welfare for a pyrrhic victory of black subjugation? OH HELL YEAH! Black scapegoating is a time honored practice in Republican Politics. It guarantees the support of resentful whites afraid of any hint that blacks will somehow secretly benefit without proper white scrutiny and participation. Thus, if predominantly white rural communities have to be sacrificed for the purpose of black capitulation, then damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.
But the end game will not only be the sight of black suffering, it will be the traumatic casualty of decades of white hallucination. The white poor will come face to face with the frightening reality of a mutual destiny.
Perhaps they will come the conclusion that the true culprit of their misery is a systemic economic inequality that is not perpetrated by someone who receives 240 dollars in food stamps, but by someone who receives 240 million dollars in government subsidies to employ them while not giving them a living wage.
It is sadly regrettable that this epiphany will come at the expense of millions of hungry bellies, which in the end, have no real discernible difference other than the superficial color of their owners. ANYWAY! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
TONY MACEO is a senior blogger at the Negromanosphere and the Chief Blogger at Power and Strategy.com. Like and share the articles. Also subscribe to the website. Or support by paypal @ firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become a Patron @powerofstrategies on Patreon. TILL NEXT TIME, ILL HOLLA!