Ah yes, this bullshit again.
The clip below is two years old, and I missed it the first time, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
MAGA whiteness never sleeps.
It spreads stupidity 24/7, never missing an opportunity to simultaneously demonstrate its bigotry and incapacity for research.
And so, behold a white woman so bigoted that she proudly proclaims Black lives don’t matter and so marinated in right-wing asshattery that she honestly seems to believe Black people get “free college” and “free everything.”
Unlike whites, who presumably earned all that we have through hard work.
You know, like the Trumps.
And without any violence, theft of land, genocide, or a system of kidnapped labor at all.
Give it a look. You owe it to yourself to see what the master race hath wrought, even in Vermont — that “liberal” state.
Sadly, her spittle-inflected fuckery is nothing if not common.
Two clips from my 2013 film White Like Me demonstrate a similar belief among white folks.
In the first, a Tea Party protester rails against Black people who, he insists, get a “free house, free car, free gasoline,” and all kinds of other benefits as some form of payback for slavery.
All this, he explains, right before admitting to the person interviewing him that he doesn’t work but lives on disability and veteran’s benefits.
In the second, a white woman calls into C-SPAN to say that “colored” people should spend less time talking about slavery and all the things whites did to them and focus more on what we did for them.
As she explained, this would include “welfare, free medicine, and free everything.”
You can see this mind-numbingly ignorant pile of colonic effluent here:
So, in case you’re keeping track, Black people get:
- Free college education;
- Free housing;
- Free cars;
- Free gas;
- Free health care;
- Something called “welfare,” and,
- Free “everything,” just in case one was inclined to think a Black person had ever been required to pay for a single item with their own money.
It’s hard to know where to begin.
But begin somewhere we must, so let’s start by noting that there is no such program as “welfare.”
Let me repeat this for the white people in the cheap seats — which, despite being cheap, they still had to pay for, unlike the Black folks who got all the comfy seats up front for free.
There is no program called welfare…
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A PROGRAM CALLED WELFARE.
As for the program most white people are talking about when they mention welfare? That would be cash assistance to the poor.
It’s a program called TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), which used to be called AFDC (Aid to Families With Dependent Children).
And it was used by 1.8 million people a month in 2021. Total.
Not Black people, all people.
According to the most recent comprehensive breakdown of recipients by race (from 2020), fewer than 29 percent of these would be Black.
So, about 520,000 Black people in the entire nation receive cash assistance from the government in a given month.
This, out of 42 million Black people in all.
That’s a whopping 1.2 percent of Black people on so-called “welfare.”
(And of those 520,000 Black recipients, only about 160,000 are adults. With 30 million Black adults in the U.S., only about one-half of one percent of them receive what the white folks call “welfare.” Meaning 99.5 percent don’t).
Free Housing? Uh, no…
As for “free housing,” one supposes Tea Party guy is talking about Black people living in public housing or receiving rental vouchers, but:
- People who live in public housing or receive vouchers for private apartments don’t live for free. They have to pay about a third of their income towards rent; and,
- Only about 5 million Black folks receive any housing assistance — about 12 percent of all African Americans. This means nearly 9 in 10 Black people receive no such aid.
Free Medicine? Still no…
As for free medicine, one supposes the C-SPAN caller meant Medicaid.
One supposes this because 45.5 million white people get that other “free” health care, Medicare — including, probably, the caller herself, who didn’t exactly sound like a millennial.
That’s one in four white people, by the way.
As for Medicaid — bad government health care, as opposed to the good kind — 27.4 million whites are on the program, but no one’s concerned about them.
They’re focused on the 13.6 million Black folks who are.
And yes, that’s about a third of Black people. But that still means that two out of three Black people don’t receive Medicaid benefits.
Oh, and what’s wrong with free medicine?
The idea that health care should be guaranteed and provided without co-pays and premiums is endorsed by several mostly-white nations, which provide care to millions of white people.
But in the U.S., we’ll forego such protection just to ensure Black people don’t also benefit from such a thing.
But what about free college? Yeah, that’s also a no…
Moving on to “free college,” presumably, this is a reference to race-based scholarships for Black students.
But no matter how we calculate college scholarships and grants by race, whites are the biggest beneficiaries.
So, for instance, among scholarships funded by organizations outside the particular college:
- Only 4.4 percent of Black students receive private scholarships of any kind, let alone those targeted to them because of race.
- 6.2 percent of white students receive private scholarships, making them 40 percent more likely to win such scholarships than Black students.
- 69 percent of all private scholarships are received by white students while Black students receive only 11 percent; and,
- Even when comparing only students with an A-minus GPA or better, whites are 25 percent more likely than high-achieving Blacks to receive a private scholarship.
Among institutional grants and scholarships from colleges themselves:
- Whites are about a fifth more likely than Blacks to receive such grants or scholarships; and,
- Even when only comparing students with high SAT and ACT scores, whites are 3.5 times more likely than comparable Black students to receive an institutional scholarship.
Finally, the value of aid is hardly sufficient to make college free for Blacks.
Indeed, Black students are more likely to carry college loan debt than whites and have a higher median amount of debt than their white counterparts.
- On average, Black college graduates have $25,000 more in student loan debt than White graduates; and,
- Two-thirds of Black students borrow $40,000 or more for their educations, compared to only 40 percent of whites who need to borrow this much.
Needless to say, if college were free for them, Black students wouldn’t have to take out all these loans to afford it.
Free cars? Free gas? And what about all the free everything?
One would think it unnecessary to say this, but contrary to what the disabled veteran trucker who lives on government benefits claimed in the video above, there is no free car and gas program for Black people.
Let alone that all-encompassing “free everything” program.
No, really, feel free to look it up. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
All this nonsense about Black people living on handouts is the product of an ignorant and racist imagination.
It’s racist because it starts from the premise that Black people are lazy and just take, take, take, while white folks do all the hard labor.
It’s ignorant because history demonstrates that if it weren’t for the hard labor of Black people, there would be no country for white people to either celebrate or, alternately, to complain about for not being great anymore.
And psychologically, it’s projection because, if anything, it has always been white people who got free shit.
- Free labor from Black people whom our ancestors stole and forced to work so we could sit around drinking mint juleps on the back porch.
- Free land under the headright system, which offered 50 acres of land to any male head of household from England who came to the colonies.
- More free or nearly free land under the Homestead Act, which gave out over 240 million acres to white families.
- Nearly free housing with low cost, government-guaranteed loans under the FHA and VA loan programs which, for 30 years, were basically restricted to white homebuyers.
The history of America has been the history of government doing for white people:
- Confiscating other people’s land and labor by force.
- Subsidizing our own economic activity; and,
- Suppressing competition from non-white others while we whine and moan about how easy they have it.
By now, this whining has become a genuine character flaw. A nearly congenital condition passed down no less so than eye color.
Our only hope is that with white birth rates declining rapidly, it will eventually spin out as a matter of evolution.
Or that we finally decide to reject the politics of racist stupidity and crush these people the way they deserve to be crushed and have deserved it for generations.
This post was previously published on Tim Wise’s blog.
You may also like these posts on The Good Men Project:
|White Fragility: Talking to White People About Racism||Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box||Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Race||What We Talk About When We Talk About Men|
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