Al Sharpton often walks a fine line between being a political activist and a political caricature, but his most recent critiques of the GOPs welfare reform legislation have been very much on point.

In his commentary for The Huffington Post, Sharpton blasts House Republicans for their attempts to push through H.R. 1135. While most of the legislation seeks to ensure that those on government welfare programs are meeting the proper criteria, buried in its language is a provision that would actually cut off all food stamp benefits to any family where one adult member is engaging in a strike against an employer.

The legislation is an egregious use of politician’s lawmaking authority. As Sharpton rightfully argues:

It is the highest form of intimidation by those that already yield immense power over the nation’s working-class and poor… We all know that politics can and often is a dirty game, but when did our children — innocent boys and girls — become targets for self-aggrandizing individuals willing to do practically anything to advance their own (or their party’s own) agenda?

The GOP has managed to burry into their legislation this offense, mainly due to the support within their ranks for welfare reform. Many Republicans believe tightening the criteria for government assistance is part of a strategy for responsible national spending. And even outside of the right, there are many who feel government assistance is routinely used as a crutch not a lifeboat.

Many of these negative connotations of welfare play out well beyond Capitol Hill. Who can forget Basketball Wives cast members Tami and Jennifer going at it over who had or hadn’t seen a food stamp before? There seems to certainly be a stigma attached to receiving government assistance but could this perception be aiding the GOP’s push to pass their unjust legislation through?

Tell us what you think Clutchettes- is welfare a dirty word?

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  • Sam

    “Many Republicans believe tightening the criteria for government assistance is part of a strategy for responsible national spending.”

    Yes because when the nation needs more money we should take more from the poor and leave the wealthy be? Oh but that’s because the wealthy are supposed to be creating jobs for the rest of us. So we give the wealthy tax breaks so they can continue to…not create American jobs but instead take advantage of overseas labour. Meanwhile, the American economy fails to provide for needs of its people but they can always fall back on the old stereotypes:

    A black person without a job is not a victim of a society that does not provide for the needs of its people; we blacks are just so darn lazy. Clearly those of Welfare, especially us blacks, are actually driving around in Cadillacs and living the dream life of the Welfare King and Queens.

    I see your game GOP.

  • Dorsey

    “I see your game GOP.”

    And I LOVE them for it. If the Republicans hadn’t FORCED Bill Clinton to revise welfare for workfare programs and other reform black women would of been sitting on welfare and those projects for another 2 generation hiding their laziness behind poverty. those people ended up being so proud of themselves once they became productive citizens. It’s become obvious, a large portion of black people (liberals) love their people unproductive as it fits the meme of them being attacked by white people. I applaud the Republicans as their actions in the 90’s started draining the swamp of these god awful section 8s and projects of career criminals raised in subsidied households where women couldn’t have fathers in the households. No wonder a generation or two after those policies the black community was full of criminals. That took a steep decline after welfare reform and unintelligent black people were hollering their asses off then too. Now crime is down dramatically AND we’re in worst economic times now not seen since the 70’s. I was there then. Where’s all the crime at? What’s different now is the reform of those lazy slave-ass/criminal teen social programs. I remember the people on these programs-STUCK, the self-reliance sapped from their souls bringing the whole community down into their morass and depression.

    That’s what Democrats and operative Al Sharpton is trying to protect. He riffed about the same issue in the 90s and was proven wrong again, by the Republicans. He’s needs to go take his poverty-pimpin ass the barber and STFU. But he’s addicted to making an ass of himself.

    Just FORCE it through Republicans. Be like Democrats!

    • Dorsey

      “Yes because when the nation needs more money we should take more from the poor and leave the wealthy be?”

      That’s MY money. It wasn’t promised for life. Get a job ya BUMS and stop trying to extort money from those with money. It’s like a Poor Mafia fronted by a poverty-pimp with a perm. Should be a comic book or something. I believe shame is way more effective in improving a communities character than other peoples extorted money. did wonders with single mother households at a minimum and marriage strong till the feminist infected the black “females”.

      “A black person without a job is not a victim of a society that does not provide for the needs of its people; we blacks are just so darn lazy. Clearly those of Welfare, especially us blacks, are actually driving around in Cadillacs and living the dream life of the Welfare King and Queens.”

      Agreed. I’m really tired of these strong, independent bums.

      “We all know that politics can and often is a dirty game, but when did our children — innocent boys and girls —”

      The author really needs to stop the crap. The aid offered to black girls VS. boys is ridiculous unless you count Ritalin. Thus Obamas Office for Women and Girls and now his recent late ass pitch for an Office of Boys to Men (once again a way to shaft black men right up in the title-you’re not slick Obama) since he’s in trouble. Since it’s not offered to both equally, it should be taken away. By the way Obama has returned welfare almost to pre Clinton levels and I bet you the levels will stay even after the economy returns. He really thinks he’s slick.

      See you in 2012 Obama. Enjoy your last year and change.
      BUM.

  • Sunny

    On topic: I think welfare has become a dirty word because of what it’s associated with (blacks). I haven’t formed a strong opinion on the pros and cons of welfare yet. So I can’t comment on the comments above.

    Side note:

    Is it me or do things the government wants to rid always end up with a black face. When I think welfare I think black. I’m not sure of my facts but wasn’t welfare created for everyone by Roosevelt but then Reagan came in and made it so that whites would benefit more from welfare (shift from poor whites to white middle class)? Also, aren’t there more white people on welfare? Don’t college students get access to welfare if they are working 20 hours or over a week? (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,974473,00.html) However, the minute welfare became an issue the black face gets attached to it.

    Also, I feel the same thing happened with affirmative action (AA). When I think of AA now, I think black. But, isn’t AA for minorities (women, Asians, people with disabilities, etc?) However, the minute AA became an issue the black face gets attached to it.

    Is this me just imagining things?

    Blessings!

  • Alexi

    There are more white women than black women on welfare. Look it up. Also, there NEEDS to be more stringent regulations on who is eligible to recieve welfare benefits. Being that I have BEEN there… Foodstamps, WIC, Medicaid, etc, I know what it is like to need some assistance to take care of my family. HOWEVER, I was a college student (Since graduated) and NOT showing up at Walmart with 2 carts full of junk food, nails “did”, hair “did”, kids looking a hot mess, and flashing my Access Card talking about how I have $432 left for the week. I was embarrassed about needing the help (call it my upbringing), which motivated me to get OFF of welfare. I hated being a college grad, going into the CAO office and having these barely educated, ignorant “social workers” looking down on me because I was in a tough spot. I hated being required to report every bit of my personal business (wages, children’s personal information, household information, anything else they deemed necessary).

    There need to be drug tests provided to recipients of welfare. There need to be stricter guidlines. The lack of these things are allowing people to abuse the system and use these benefits as a crutch. Why should *I* have to go to work to support my family when people abusing the system sit around, smoke weed, and plain act the lazy fool in order to get a free ride?