Most of you already know that I attend a public University full-time.  One of my majors is Social Work. All 4 of my classes are on-line this semester. There is a discussion board on the class web-page where the professor will post a discussion question and everyone must respond to that question as well as the posts of at least 2-3 other students. This week, a particularly interesting conversation took place that I would like to share with you. Please, feel encouraged to continue the discussion. I have made posting easier. You don’t have to sign up, for one thing.

Unit 5: Empowerment Social Justice and Civil Rights – Discussion

Social Justice and Civil Rights

Discuss the way social welfare policy has impacted one of the following groups:  women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, lesbians and gay men, or immigrants.

Have you experienced discrimination or do you know someone who has?  What were the circumstances?

Social welfare policy has impacted African American women by using social security as a living and not as temporary aid as intended. Most African American women over the age of 65 would be under the poverty line if it weren’t for social security. Social welfare has impacted the African American woman by giving aid to unmarried mothers. Without the benefit of food benefits and medicaid like we have here in Michigan, I don’t know what some mothers and children would be or do. Social welfare policy has helped some unmarried mother’s go from welfare to work and aided in financial aid to get an education and training. Social welfare policy hasn’t gotten rid of the poor only reduced it, but with the rise of unemployment and change in social policies, I think that the statistics will go back up.I do know someone that was discriminated against because they were pregnant with their second child, unmarried and the children of different fathers. She went to Department of Human Services to apply for aid (cash assistance, food benefits and medicaid) and the worker scolded her about being pregnant a second time with yet another man’s baby and what a shame it was. Needless to say, the person left the DHS feeling humiliated and ashamed. She was denied benefits for whatever reason and to make ends meet she became a stripper. That was a little over a year ago and that’s what she is still doing.
(Kayla Sullivan is obligated to respond to this, the first post. Consider my response Creative Non-Fiction.) 2/15/2012 11:27:36 AM
You have a combination of oppressions when having gender and racial discrimination issues to contend with. I think that you’ve proven that the social welfare policy can enable, help, or just plain drop the ball for women. Its scary how families entire life out-come can depend on the attitude of one social worker. I think that the opportunities need to be offered so that women, and African Americans, can be encouraged to be more than our stereotypes.Tell your friend to save her money. Put it away, and pay for classes. Then when she has her degree, she can show her children an example of not staying where you are put, but fighting your way up to where you belong. I say this because I watched 2 of my best friends do this. They started off as young strippers, and then had children. They both went back to “dancing” because child support made them ineligible for assistance. (Not to mention, it’s A LOT of money.) But they were smart. They socked it away. You have to because stripping is a career with a very definite shelf-life. Now, one friend works her own posh salon in North Carolina, and the other has a degree in non-profit business. On the side she offers financial investment advice to strippers. Hope springs eternal. The best social welfare comes from within.The government, in my opinion, has always been lop-sided when it comes to poverty debates because it’s not poor people making government decisions for poor people. It’s a very wealthy sect of the populace making life altering decisions on something they have little to no personal experience with.
2/16/2012 9:41:16 PM
Kayla your advice is great.  Money as a stripper is amazing, but there is a shelf-life and in the end you want the advantage.   And your statement about the government is also true. The wealthy sitting up there making decisions concerning people’s lives and not taking the time to consider what it is like to walk in their shoes.  And this has been going on too long.

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