For many decades, it has been said that welfare, food stamps, medicaid, and any other government-funded program is to blame for the dysfunction or non-existence of black families. It is believed that the only way to qualify for assistance when in dire need, is to be a single mother. Despite these claims being placed on the system, I have reason to believe this is true, and not based off of the account of other people, but through my own personal experience.
A few years back, when I was still married, my husband lost his job. I had just given birth to our son 2 weeks prior and was naturally unable to go back to work. All of this happened during the recession when work was hard to come by. I had no choice but to apply for aid. For the first time, I had filled out an application to apply for food stamps and medicaid. I had no idea what I was doing, meaning that I did not know that placing a father in the home on the application automatically puts you in a situation to be denied. I was told that as long as there was an able body in the home, then there is no reason we cannot afford food. Let's be honest here, he was working a minimum wage job for a telemarketing firm 30 hours a week, that was barely enough money to pay the light bill.
I later found out from a friend that state-aid should not be applied for with the mention of a father in the home. I thought to myself, why? What do you do when your source of income is automatically snatched from under you and your cushion is gone? I sat and thought about that moment. A system made to keep fathers out of the home could just be the reason why so many fathers are out of the home. I could dive deeper and talk about how we should just go to school and get an education so that we can get a decent job that pays well. Of course that's a good idea, but realistically, not all of our people can afford to go to college, let alone pay for school lunch everyday. If anyone out there is familiar with how this system works, you have to be within a certain poverty level to qualify for assistance. Regardless as to how much each parent earns on their job. Two convenience store clerks married with a child would not qualify for government assistance, but a secretary with 2 kids and no husband would get all the assistance she needs. Why? Because there is no father present.
The problem with all of this is that black families were never given that foundation to stand on. Black people did not build up, but rather built for. It all dates back to slavery, which I won't get into in this particular blog. But let's be honest, we were never given the same opportunities as others. We were expected to find our own place on this land with the promise of 40 acres and a mule. Black men are struggling to climb to the top in the corporate world because we live in a white washed society, a society designed to defeat us. Black women are battling to prove they are educated enough to compete in the corporate world. And at what cost? The price we pay is losing ourselves and one another in the process, and at the end of the day we are still what they think we are, just another black person. If you don't believe me, look at how the president was disrespected for 8 years. Barack Obama, an educated black man married to an educated black woman, raising two beautiful daughters, was still unable to convince the white man that he's just as good as they are, if not better.
Bottom line is, we have to take back our families and find ways to beat this system that was never designed for us anyway. This is not to say that black men are absent from the home for the sake of welfare, but black men are battling their own self-esteem issues in a world that looks down on them. Black women too! We all need uplifting, but we cannot count on them to bring us up, we have to lift one another. This starts by staying grounded and not buying into what they are trying to sell. Unfortunately, so many of my people have been brain washed into this "white American" way of thinking that we can't even see ourselves for who we really are. We have to find our way back to loving one another and holding each other down, and stop buying into this system. We are being controlled, and what they fear most is us figuring this out and freeing ourselves from their mental prison.
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