It's about our community and our spirituality!

My Family Was At The Welfare Office


The other day I was accused of having family members who were welfare recipients by Stephen Frazier, one of the more recent visitors to my blog who vehemently opposes my opinions.  Mr. Frazier goes by the alias The Black Turncoat and is a staunch supporter of Rush Limbaugh.  He took exception to the fact that I believe he is delusional with his subservient opinions on race relations.  This is a black man who thinks that The Confederacy was a good thing for the black community.  In retaliation for my dismissing his opinion as far less than tripe, he eventually submitted a rather lengthy comment that started with an inaccurate observation about watching my family spending considerable time at the local welfare office.  Of course I deleted the less than pertinent comment.  The fact that he admits hanging out at the welfare office was totally lost on him as he attempted to slam my family for hanging out at the welfare office.

I have no problem admitting that my family and I have had to rely on welfare.  Having to rely on welfare should never be considered a personal failure far too embarrassing to admit.  It is a common occurrence in life to stumble or make a bad decision that puts us in a tight spot.  Some people who are very successful today admit to getting by on welfare at one point or another in their life.  Whoopi Goldberg quickly comes to mind.  Craig T. Nelson is another famous personality that admitted to being on welfare.

Not too long ago I watched a video clip of Mr. Nelson being interviewed by Glenn Beck on the merits of welfare.  Mr. Nelson was livid.  He was angry that it was so obvious that we were turning into a socialistic society.  Mr. Nelson complained that when he was down on his luck and had to go on welfare, nobody was there to help him get back on his feet.  The very idea of the government helping people was against everything Mr. Nelson stood for.  The man’s an idiot and doesn’t want to admit that welfare is a form of help.  But nevertheless, he had help when he needed it.  It is too bad that he is financially secure and he is so fiscally conservative that he now wants to promote the idea that people getting help from their government is somehow wrong.

People on welfare should not be victims of prejudice.  Simply because someone is on welfare doesn’t mean that he or she is a lowlife.  Being on assistance does not automatically mean that someone’s character is ripe for condemnation.  The father of modern conservatives former President Ronald Reagan drilled home the impression that people who apply for social assistance are welfare kings and queens who drive to the welfare office in big luxury sedans and live large off the taxpayer’s tab.  Now, people have this idea that people on welfare live like corporate executives who stand in line for the next no bid government contract worth a few billion dollars.  People are so suspicious of the people who apply for social assistance that we are ready to label them all as welfare cheats of ill reputation and intelligence.  These people might suffer from a reputation of being shiftless and lazy.  But somehow they have the wherewithal to put together a scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

The need to apply for social assistance ranks right up there with people having to call for help from the police or the fire department.  Every now and then, we all find ourselves in situation where we will need some kind of help.  We are constantly promoting the idea that people receiving social assistance are the dregs of humanity unfit for even the most rudimentary form of consideration.  Instead of encouraging the people who might be down on their luck, we want to point a finger of scorn and laugh at their lack of fortitude or resolve.

Mr. Frazier just might have seen a family member of mine at one of the many welfare offices that does a brisk business helping all of the people who are trying to muddle through this mess we call an economy these days.  I’m not even going to pretend that everyone in my family is immune from such hardship.  I actually think it’s better that they realize they need help and decided to see what their government can do for them in these trying times rather than see them take to some kind of criminal enterprise and doing a whole lot more to confirm any assumption of their lack of integrity.  If anything, I need to thank Mr. Frazier for the heads up.  In trying times like these, family should do more to stick together.  I need to make sure my family knows that this hard time will pass and they will get back on their feet.  And lastly I want them to know that we’ve all been there.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a little help.  And when they get back on their feet, I hope they will remember this experience and never bitch about no one helping them when they were on welfare.

Friday, October 16, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts


  1. You know the reason he even bothered to throw out the whole welfare aspect is his deep self hatred and disdain for blacks. He seems to think that ALL blacks are begging for a handout. I remember a comment I got from him where he chided that “he has been paying his premiums for 20 years” or some other bull crap. As if that is news. And why does he feel that only low life’s are on welfare? It’s simple, because he himself and his family were on welfare and we ALL know HE IS a lowlife. So mystery solved.

    Anyhow, my mother and my father worked for the state doing welfare. My mom was a fraud investigator for years until she became an administrator overseeing offices of her own. And she schooled us continuously that there is NOTHING wrong with the people who partake in welfare.

    She always said that a LOT of people specially those who pass judgment on welfare recipients are probably only one paycheck away from being on assistance themselves. They know this and it angers them.

    And instead of seeing that everyone gets help, has gotten help or will need help in the future. Stephen Frazier chooses to blame people instead of helping people. That shows a lot about his character. Shame on him. Let’s all hope that he never ends up needing help and the only folks that are around are just like himself.


    Comment by theblacksentinel | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. Anybody who lives in America and said they “did it all on their own” is either a liar or severely disillusioned. Because if you count welfare as the government handing out money for your benefit, then everyone who drives on a government road is a welfare recipient. Everyone who went to a public school is a welfare recipient. Everyone who caught a bus or plane anywhere is benefiting from government subsidies. I don’t understand this new prejudice against programs. Why now? Before the Hoover Dam was built or money was given to complete those roads we receive all that food we consume (and yes, almost EVERY farm is subsidized by the government) this country had charitable leaders. Did BushII spend any less money than Clinton or Carter building nations or creating new beauracracies like those guys in the airport? I think not. So it’s not spending that’s the problem, is it (or even government control of areas the private sector could profit within)?
    I worked a few years in the welfare biz myself. I met a lot of good people; no more or less than the general population.

    Comment by Carlton | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. As a young, married undergraduate trying to live with my husband on his $185 per month as a half-time teaching assistant at a university, we also went on food stamps. It was sometimes embarrassing, but now I’m happy to pay my taxes for others who need this kind of help.

    Comment by Bettina Hansel | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. I do not think that anyone should get welfare, but I do think that everyone should be able to apply for a loan (a means test) and get an interest free loan from the Government or whoever prints the stuff which should be paid back as a % of earnings. If people could borrow interest free from the treasury there would be no bankruptcies and eventually these loans would get paid off. If creditor dies heir can inherit the debt along with the assets.

    Comment by christopher tidman | Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Reply

  5. The only problem with Christopher Tidman’s suggestion of a loan would be that those who are already at the bottom of the wealth pool i.e. minorities would be gaining MORE debt.

    And therefore putting their descendants farther behind. If I am responsible to pay off my parents, grandparents etc.’s death then I am going to be suffering due to the fact that the majority of minorities are NOT leaving any or very little assets to their heirs. What then?

    Nope! By my family paying their taxes we already have paid into part of the pot that is considered welfare. Therefore I feel that I have paid for any and every bit of help that I would ever get from any government program.

    The whole loan thing would work if you didn’t attach it to the heir. You would have to take the persons assets to pay and if they don’t have any then too bad. Case closed.


    Comment by theblacksentinel | Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Reply

    • If people could borrow interest free money when they needed it they would never default on their credit, and if nobody ever went bankrupt we could retire most of the lawyers, people would never lose a home to a bank or get thrown out of home by a landlord. This would also prevent all the loan sharks from preying on the poor and prevent rich people from forcing others to do things that they have to do now because they need the money. An estate would have to settle up with the bank which may leave nothing to the heir but what is wrong with that? If the estate can not cover the debt we would have to write it off as welfare. The main argument against this is that banks would not be able to make the profits that they now do so rich people will not be able to get richer just by loaning out money. The whole banking industry becomes a non profit business. We would not need insurance because if we have an accident we can borrow the funds interest free to cover the damages. People will become much more careful when it is their money at risk. Insurance claims are too often excessive and/or fraudulent. Some people actually buy insurance then make sure that they collect on it.

      Comment by christopher tidman | Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Reply

      • I see one major problem here. It’s not that the banks don’t make money, or the developers or homebuilders or sellers don’t make money.

        The big problem here is, EVERYONE will take out an interest free loan buy whatever it is they want….and when the bill comes due, if they don’t decide to pay it, then well…all the taxpayers are stuck with a bill, and even larger than the one we’re getting stuck with by congresses every year, already. Essentially noone has to pay for anything, but gets it all?

        WE now eliminate any need for self control in our spending, no risk-reward factors whatsoever, a whole host of concepts we as people should be educated about in theory as well as real life.

        Comment by Mike Lovell | Monday, October 19, 2009

      • Mike. The whole idea of a means test is to eliminate unnecessary borrowing. If a person just wanted to buy a new car with interest free money, the application gets turned down. If it is to pay the rent that can not be paid any other way, the loan gets approved.

        When a whole segment of the population are unable to exploit the poor at the bottom, they too will become dependent on these welfare/interest free loans. Over time people will find other ways to make money other than stealing from poor people.

        Comment by chris tidman | Monday, October 19, 2009

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