Topic: Welfare Dependency: a Residual Culture of Ex-Slaves.

Topics: Welfare, Black people, African American Pages: 8 (3896 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Topic: Welfare Dependency: A Residual Culture of Ex-slaves. (I have often wondered why so many African-American women end up depending on welfare). President Thomas Jefferson once said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

I have often wondered why so many African-American women end up depending on welfare. I currently live in Virginia but I am from the island of Jamaica where the Public Assistance program is identical to the American model. Also identical are the culture and traditions of many Black persons whose families were encultured with practices and traditions from the pre-emancipation plantation era. I was in awe at the similarities and I often wondered; what was the root cause for that common dependency syndrome that is evident in Black people in America and Jamaica. It is not a pleasant subject but the fact is, the system of slavery is the foundation for many of the traditional cultural practices and behaviors within the Black American communities. In retrospect, it can be argued that, the slavery based custom of trading strong illiterate black men to be used as studs, thereby increasing the slave population and by extension the slave owners’ wealth; had a residual effect on the African-American community. The ex-slaves carried the plantation culture into their new emancipated lives; in that, men continued to repeatedly impregnate (breed) as many women as possible, and they continued to walk away without having any sense of responsibility towards their numerous children. It can also be argued that, the plantation male’s belief that the children were “Massa’s” responsibility/property, prevailed in some families even to this day. Similarly, in Jamaica, the men and women on welfare often say that the government will take care of their children same attitude as the mentally enslaved Black-American male. On the other hand, on the plantation, the equally illiterate women were used as breeders; with no choice in the matter; they were forced to copulate with any male stud that their owners chose, and they had to procreate very often, as a mean of increasing the slave owners’ stock. White men could have sex with any female slave without fear of prosecution because slaves were not deemed to be individuals but plantation property. Being able to have many children was a mean of determining their self-worth and self-value by their owners’ definition. As a matter of fact, slave owners used to buy only females with broad hips and big butts; the mark that they were good breeders. Evidently, the choicest good breeders’ mentality also prevailed beyond slavery, in that, many African-American women continued to have many children, oftentimes for various men and they sat on their derrieres, with the expectation that the government (Massa) will care for their offspring. To this day, in the southern states; many women are, overweight, with the excessive fatty broad hips and big butts; signs of the slave owners’ choice and preference. The practice of having multiple pregnancies with the expectation to collect food stamps for them is morally wrong. In the same manner that slavery was morally wrong; welfare dependency in this case, is also morally wrong. I am taking a retributive stance on this issue because Black women who continue to behave as if they are baby factories; having no source of income to care for them; ought to face punitive consequences. In an attempt to stem the bleeding of tax payers funds into public assistance programs; there ought to be a rule in the welfare program that requires each state to care for no more than one child per family. The other children ought to be the...
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