Racism in the United State Reform Policy
In his article “Racism in United States Welfare Policy”, Burnham (2013) attempts to show that elements of racism exist in social welfare policy in the US. Instead of being used to promote social equity, welfare reforms have been exploited as a tool to channel racial discrimination.
The issues of racial prejudice in welfare policies have ensued over the years in the US. Despite making policies in bid to eliminate inequality in the labor market and reduce unemployment, provided reforms are inclined to benefit the racial majority. Thus, these reforms can be characterized as racist. This problem not only affects racial groups and gender issue, but also leads to the greater discrimination of the minority groups and especially the blacks.
There are no distinctions between welfare and labor policy. When Personal Responsibly and Work Opportunity reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was passed in 1966, it was expected that the policy would promote racial equity, but instead it only deepened the racial bias was in the US.. The implementation of the reforms in labor requirements that enabled women to enter paid employment was not neutral. Disenfranchising citizens from certain racial grounds with high level of unemployment and low income have been further disadvantaged and discriminated by welfare reforms. Moreover, these groups are not provided with bargaining power like the majority group, the whites. The high racial differences among women show how discriminative welfare reforms in the US are. For instance, women from disenfranchised groups are more likely to get less wages and salaries than the white ones. Besides, African -Americans with low education level are more likely to be unemployed than the whites with the same level of education.
A large number of women have been pushed off welfare rolls. However, the rate, at which they are leaving social welfare rolls is influenced by racial discriminations. Thus, the rate is higher among the whites than blacks and Latinos. Research in New York showed that the rate of whites receiving welfare between 1995 and 1998 declined by 57 percent, while this figure accounted for 30 percent among blacks and seven percent among Latinos. This difference can be explained by higher education level among the white recipients in comparison to black and Latino, as well as by racial profiling in housing and employment policies. The high rate of transition of white recipients into paid labor is a clear indication of racism in welfare reforms and policies.
It is unfortunate that political efforts involved in pursuing welfare reforms are racially regressive, and this has contributed to implementation of welfare reforms that racially discriminates against blacks and Latinos. Unless these programs are challenged, the welfare reforms will keep benefiting the whites, leaving the minority groups socially disadvantaged. This will undermine the values of social welfare.
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The whole reading shows, how devastating social reforms in the U.S. are. They are supposed to enhance social welfare of individuals irrespective of age, political inclination, gender and racial profiles. It is shocking that instead of enhancing social well-being of everybody, the mentioned reforms have developed a pattern of social discriminations. Blacks and Latinos are highly segregated, while considered reforms benefit the whites more than the disfranchised groups. It is also shocking to see that political groups that are behind social reforms are spirited by racism.
The topic of the work should be enlightening to readers. The article shows how rampant is racial discrimination in social welfare in the US. Moreover, it underlines how the US have ignored social equity in its domestic reforms. It is not inclusive and political class has also been at the front in promoting social reforms that are discriminative, especially against immigrants. This article is relevant in understanding how social welfare reforms can be enacted and still fail to ensure the well-being of the entire society. What is more, it calls for challenging of the pattern that supports social inequities, since, if it does not happen, minorities will continue to face discriminations, especially when the political class is racially regressive. The social welfare values have been undermined on racial bases. They are not favored in the US welfare reforms. It is expected that the government should be the leading force of ensuring equity in welfare reforms and instigating for values in a social reform. When no efforts are put in place to promote social welfare values, it will be an uphill task for social well-being to be inclusive and to benefit everyone irrespective of the racial grounds.
There are several questions that arise in the article regarding delivery of the services to families and communities. The first question is; what role does welfare reforms play in delivery of the services? This question pops when readers find that welfare reforms do not promote equitable delivery of services in the US. The social welfare reforms discriminate against the minorities. The advantages, associated with welfare reforms are not meant for the disenfranchised groups, only reaching the whites. This shows that government domestic reforms on delivery of services for enhancing the well-being of the population are discriminative. The second question is: what role does government play in welfare reforms? This should be totally up to the authorities. Thus, the government should promote social and economic equity by ensuring equitable distribution of services to community.
The solution for racism in welfare reforms cannot be find, if the latter are not challenged. The crucial action that should be taken is making the government break the pattern that has been contributing to racial discrimination in welfare reforms for years.