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Letters to the Editor

‘Welfare queens' a myth

Michael Hopkins January 11th, 2012

Tom Furlong (Letters, “Enough, already!” Dec. 28, Gazette) seems to think that black woman are intentionally having babies and kicking out daddies to cash in on lucrative government welfare.

Clearly he thinks either that welfare pays far more than it really does, or that black women are abysmally stupid.

Contrary to the “welfare queen” myth, welfare benefits, including both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and food stamps in 2010, was only 54 percent of the poverty level in Oklahoma. It was 81 percent in the most generous state, New York.

The poverty level is far below what most might imagine. For a family of three, it is only $18,310. That is not living high on the hog.

Whatever the faults of the mother, it is morally wrong to take it out on the child. Without help, many of them will go hungry. Furthermore, many on the far right wish to deny women access to contraception, the very thing which might prevent the need to raise a child without the means of doing so.

Furlong mentions that blacks showed more upward mobility from World War II to 1964 than the period afterwards, supposedly as proof that welfare failed. But that is a fallacy, as it assumes the only thing of consequence after WWII was the Great Society. I don’t think so.

Finally, he refers to 200 years of government generosity toward American Indians. Wow. The government was indeed very generous in taking their land, forcing them at gunpoint to live on reservations, robbing them of oil royalties, and using schools in an attempt to destroy their culture.

Michael Hopkins
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01.16.2012 at 08:13 Reply

Furlong's history of hatred and idiocy is well documented on the Gazette’s opinion page.  Unfortunately he spouts about as many facts as Rush Limbaugh, and is probably equally shortsighted when it comes to finding supporting arguments to back up his castigations.  I am grateful for people like Michael Hopkins whom consistently return fire with the only thing that carries any weight; truth!

Tom’s repeated attempts to negatively paint minorities such as Blacks, Native American’s, and Homosexuals only seems to highlight his attempts to retreat back to an era when only Christian white men had opinions of value.  If anything this seems to illustrate just how much of a coward he is.

If we had a woman as a president, I’m sure his rants would be less racist, and more of a slam on feminist movements that have left women more empowered in a “man’s” world.  No doubt he’d talk about how women have no business outside the home and that those operating in that environment should not have the audacity to protest unequal pay for doing the same job as a man.

He has become a bad parody of every person I’ve ever met who was born prior to the civil rights movement, and as cold as this sounds, I look forward to the future when people carrying such a slanted view of society have passed on.  It’s hard to have any form of progress when some of us are too busy trying to turn the clock to an era that many of us want to forget.

If his goal is to focus on the days when America was great perhaps he’d prove more beneficial by pointing out that during his youth America actually produced things.  Instead of trying to spin welfare policy into a racist diatribe, why does he not make any effort to shed light on the capitalist shift involving maximizing value to shareholders as opposed to maximizing value to consumers?   In his 60 years of existence has he not witnessed American jobs being shipped to foreign countries which do not have what we consider fair and safe labor practices?  Does he support this capitalist agenda even though it removes paying jobs, and potentially forces American’s to utilize the social services he believes are solely responsible for bankrupting our democracy?

This blame shift from the uber-powerful to the minority poor is quite perplexing to me.  As it would seem that Mr. Furlong himself does not appear to have the authority that such wealth affords, one can presume he too has been affected by corporate downsizing in the course of his life.  As opposed to evaluate the larger picture, he has opted to centralize and simplify our countries economic problems to conveniently demonize those he already hates. 

As I am certain that Tom professes to be a good Christian, I feel apt to remind him that the Bible does say “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”  And since Tom seems to have ignored one of the Bible’s key points, I implore those who are unafraid of damning their immortal soul to do unto Tom as he has done unto others.