At the beginning, there are about eight million Americans that are poor and indigents who are given welfare assistance by the federal government and other local governments. However, it is maintained by advocates that welfare recipients are still denied with other special allotments such as clothing and food allowances for children. Aside from this main issue, there has a number of sprouting concerns regarding the implementation of the welfare support of the federal government.
First, welfare recipients allege that there has been an intrusion by the welfare case investigators in their privacy. This is because these investigators carry out their raids during midnight to ascertain if the truthfulness of the recipient’s reports to the authorities on their life’s conditions. They maintain that these intrusions are seriously violating their civil rights to privacy (Handler 20). Second, the legislature passed the Social Security Bill which made changes as to the implementation of the poor people’s aid. This bill made amendments with regards the recipients.
For instance, the bill proposed that they would limit their aid to families with dependent children by freezing the ratio of welfare children according to the total number of children in a particular state. Moreover, they would also require employable adults to work including mothers of little children. The bill in particular would force many mothers to go out and work for their families. To implement this, the government would open kindergarten, nurseries, and day care centers to take care of little children so that mothers and their guardians could work.
They maintained that their children need the care of a mother and therefore they should not be forced to go out and work. They argue that this bill is betrayal of the poor, a declaration of war upon the family, and a fraud on the future of the nation. Because of this, people participated in demonstrations that do not only oppose this bill and its amendments but also call out for a better implementation of the welfare. They are calling welfare administrators to give the poor people what they deserve under the law.
They wanted that what the federal law promised them should be given to them. In addition to this, they also pray that welfare clients should be treated with dignity. Apart from demonstrations, they also conducted mass lobby at police buildings and capitols engendering upon the authorities their need for health, education, and welfare movement. They also distributed a resolution denouncing among others the welfare restrictions that the bill imposed. They formed client committees, trusts funds, and antipoverty groups.
They were able to seek support from the church. For instance, Martin Luther King has advocated the Black power. The Black power means is not in any way an empowerment that would engender hatred among the whites but it is a means to bring the black people to the covenant of brotherhood. Martin Luther King also affixed a list of demands that they are asking from the government. They advocate that black people be given equal opportunity like that of the whites in terms housing, employment, negotiations with welfare union, and civil rights movements.
On the side of the authorities such as government officials, legislatures, and members of the executive, the press basically characterized them in a positive manner. While the protesters maintain that they the government has failed to implement the laws and benefits for the welfare recipients, the press has still portrayed the government as a group of people who have been trying their best to give to the poor everything that they need and desire to have a decent life. The press never expressed any distaste or criticism towards the performance of the government as towards the implementation of the welfare rights program.
For instance, Governor Rockefeller is reported to have established a committee which is composed of twelve business leaders that is developed and aimed to provide solutions to the nation’s welfare problems. Furthermore, he asked the legislature that a 50 dollar million budget be passed to rehabilitate the slum areas. The proposal would include the constitution and facilitation of a New York Urban development. The government has also sought the help of private corporations and other business enterprises to alleviate the problems of the poor.
For instance, Ford Motors has suggested that instead of giving people physical aid such as food and other allowances, he suggested that negative income tax be imposed. He cited that there are about 30 million poor in America and that only about 8 million among these are being aided by welfare programs of the government. The negative income tax would help the poor people manage their resources well and give the utmost priority to their daily and basic needs instead of contributing to the nation’s revenues.
Accordingly, the Ford Foundation among others donated 130, 000 million dollars to grant the Negroes free trainings which includes becoming a minister in urban areas, and other leadership trainings in the fields of education, housing, employment, and business opportunities. They have several seminars that cover about 40 subjects that include history of the civil rights movements, urban renewal, housing, employment, and small business development, and government anti poverty programs.
These kinds of portrayals of the government and the welfare recipients and advocates are pretty much consistent from one article to another. The former are portrayed in a positive way, a government who has exhausted all their means to promote the welfare of the poor. On one hand, the latter is portrayed as the opposite. Even when the government has already done everything that they can to sustain the needs of the poor but all they do is to complain and protests.
In particular, the new bill is aimed to have all the members of the household to participate in the improvement of their standard of living. But people opposed it because they want to maintain the status quo and demand more of it. The class that is being portrayed as the welfare recipients are mostly the Negroes. Even the protesters are described and characterized as Negro women and children. It is also emphasized that the main concern of the protesters is to protect the welfare of dependent children and their mothers.
The protectors are mostly male welfare rights activists. As already established, the press has a bias towards the government officials and the authorities for they are portrayed in a positive way despite the protests from the people. On one hand, there is also bias as to women and children because they are the ones who are portrayed as the ones who are acting too much from the government. There is also bias as to the race because the media also portrayed the welfare advocates and recipients which are among the poor people in the United States as the Negroes. This lead Martin Luther King and other reformist to advocate Black power among others which was incorporated to the welfare rights movements.
Clines, Francis. “L. I. Poverty Unit Defends an Aide”. The New York Times. (1967): 62. Handler, M. S. “Welfare Groups to Organize Poor”. The New York Times. (1966): 20. Nadasen, Premilla. Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movements in the United States. Oxford: Routledge, 2005. “Welfare Recipients Protest Stiffening of Rules in Bill”. The New York Times. (1967): 33.