Why the welfare bashing? Kicking people when They’re down, little low isn’t it?

Classism, racism, and sexism all rolled into one neat little Facebook page. The largest social media network allows people to reconnect, share interests and ideas. It also allows people to spread media stereotypes and denigrate people that are not considered part of the norm in sex, race and class. I recently went on a rant over these little cartoons. In one hour, five different people had posted these little “funny” ads. I personally did not find them humorous.  The underlying racism, sexism and classism in these ads did not appear apparent to the individuals promoting them. They believe it’s just a stand against people who abuse the system, however the implication is clear. The people in the ad have cornrows or use terminology associated with poor, black people. The women on welfare are promiscuous and have numerous children who do not know who their “Daddies” are and if a white male is on welfare it’s due to drug abuse or alcoholism. All recipients are capable of working but choose not to because they are “lazy”. The consensus of the people posting these little ditties is that it’s a great life being on welfare and that the hard working middle and upper class are being abused by the welfare recipient. As a person who was on medical assistance, I can tell you it wasn’t great. To have my child receive well baby care exams I waited for 4 hours to have him examined. I worked three part-time jobs and went to school part-time and still was unable to afford medical insurance for my son. I received assistance with child care through a city run program that charged fees according to my wages. I worked hard and when my son turned six years old I was able to afford healthcare through my job. I am thankful that there was something there to help a poor single teenage girl and allow me to get on my financial feet. I didn’t abuse drugs or alcohol. I know who my baby’s “daddy” is. I didn’t run around having random sex with strangers to have more babies for welfare checks. I put my son through catholic school for twelve years and he continued onto college and received a degree in communications. I went on and continued my education and received an Associates degree in Applied Science. I started working at the University of Pennsylvania and am currently working on obtaining my Bachelor’s degree with the tuition benefit available to me. I haven’t been on medical assistance for decades now. It still bothers me that people believe welfare recipients love being on welfare and that we are all lazy, drug abusers, alcoholics, and sluts. I was lucky and most welfare recipients don’t have the opportunities that I had. I worked hard, the same as many welfare recipients, but I was at the right place at the right time. Welfare is abused by a minority not the majority. That’s the thing with stereotypes-you generalize and never allow yourself to see the true potential of people because you choose to be blinded by your prejudice instead of venturing out and letting go of the hate that keeps life from being fulfilling to you.

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