Monday, June 07, 2004

Making dependency Convenient?

I don't know if any of you out there in Blog land know this already but I discovered this newsletter(click title above) on the Yvonne Brathwaite Burke website announcing that "Paying for groceries with Food Stamp coupons has become a thing of the past".

I've been hearing about Mrs. Burke a lot lately in regards to her support of the ACLU suing the City of Los Angeles in order to have the symbol of the cross taken off of the Seal, and since I used to live and go to school in the district that she supervises I decided to check up on her.

Regarding the ACLU thing, from what I've gathered so far she, along with two other board supervisors, voted to negotiate with the ACLU to have the cross removed.

In regards to the newsletter, after you get past the gaudy, horrible design, scroll down to the bottom section where it talks about a new food stamp program dubbed the EBT program, which stands for "Electronic Benefit Transfer" card. This card will be used by the "participants" as a means of first collecting their "benefits" and then utilizing the card to purchase groceries or obtain cash advances from ATM's. Amazing!
They boast more than 5000 retailers so far (remember this is old news so who knows how many more) that will honor this card, including banks and credit unions. Prior to this interesting tidbit she mentions that over 150,000 "participants" are already using this card and another 140,000 will begin in March of 2003 (like I said, this may be old news to some of you), My math is very rusty, but doesn't that add up to 390,000 "participants"!? Close to half a million, right? Fascinating! How many total residents are in L.A. County? If you know, let me know. I think it is close to ten million. This was not the kicker though, for me, the kicker was the last paragraph talking about the advantages of such a program as EBT. The benefits was, for one, "There will no longer be the stigma of using Food Stamps coupons..." And two, "...instances of lost or stolen benefits will be reduced..." And three, "...EBT will help to mainstream welfare recipients into the commercial banking system" said Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. Incredible!

I don't know about you but I feel so much better now that I can receive handouts from the government without worrying about being "stigmatized" and feeling as if I don't really deserve it, or God forbid, being embarrassed that I am not out working and earning money for a living. Perish the thought. Thank the Lord for Yvonne Brathwaite Burke looking out for the "participants" of the L.A. County Welfare program.

Don't get me wrong here, I am no stranger to AFDC, my mom received it when I was a kid, for quite some time even. And while we were taught to be thankful for what we did have, I always new and understood that it was not a good thing to be on AFDC. This I learned from my father.

Lets clarify, it is good that it was available to us in a time of need, yet it was not a good thing to have to need it.

Somehow over the years this has been forgotten. I am reminded of Ward Connerly in his book Creating Equal : My Fight Against Race Preferences where he talks about a time in his young life when he and his "Mom" had to go on welfare for some time due to times being rough in the Sacramento area. He said that after no more than a month or so he got tired of the visits by the social workers and their condescending questions, and firmly demanded that he and his Mom not receive anymore checks. He then ran across his neighborhood to a local businessman and requested that he help him find work, within a weeks time he had a job making about $20 or $30 more than he was getting from AFDC which at that time (1950's or 60's) was about $60 per month.

This mentality seems almost nonexistent today and only serves as another example of how our foundation has been so damaged. Here we have a newsletter boasting about a new welfare program that makes it easier and more convenient to be in need. Throughout the entire newsletter no mention is made of welfare to work success stories or how the number of recipients or should I say "participants" has dropped or any such language. What is the job of a District Supervisor, or any public servant? To make the lives of the needy easier, better, or niether? How do you define easier or better? And how should one go about doing this? I would love to know your opinion on this matter.


r said...

I have seen those cards used here in Utah. By a well-dressed young woman with obviously fake nails, Lucky brand jeans, expensive jewelry, etc. The guy had painted fingernails (I was desperately trying to divert my four year old as I knew if she noticed she would have had something to say about that) to accessorize his attitude. I saw no attmept to cover the card or humility in offering it. I saw, "This allows me spend money on what is most important to me: myself and let the government take care of the rest." Their child was in pajamas and needing a bath.

I agree. There is a time for it. We had Medicaid when we had our second daughter. We stayed on it for one year only. We also used to receive WIC, but when my husband received a raise, we decided that we shouldn't be using it anymore as it was money for the purpose of assisting those in need, and we weren't in need any longer. But the difference is that I didn't have anything name brand and if my mother wanted to "treat" me, I asked her to please help with groceries or a coat for the baby, not jewelry for me, or new lacquer for my husband's nails.

Anonymous said...

Man, I can't believe a Black woman would dare to remove the cross from the city's seal. Does she not know that Black heritage and culture is deeply rooted in the Christian faith. A major problem in our communities and culture is that we forget our Christian roots. Black youth do not know that it is the Christian faith that has brought our people through. It breaks my heart. But even more so that she would go on to support a system that keeps our people enslaved and entrapped in poverty. She is public enemy number one, not racism. I have many friends here at college who receive food stamps. But yet they have the latest shoes, clothes and outfits. Our culture has accepted government assistance and it is eating away at our liberties, our backbone and our culture. We need to og back to localizing assistance or even better going back to the church and family as the only financial support for those in need. They are the only ones who can truly help. God Bless

Anonymous said...

It is sad looking at the lady's picture. She is smiling and unfortunately she looks sincere in helping Black and poor people. She just doesn't know. Or worst she does know and is smiling because she is taking steps that will lead us closer to communism and the re-enslavement of our people.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jerry, I added your blog to my links on my blogsite: I like what you have to say on your posts and your comments. I wish you the best and may your words be those inspired by Jesus to reach the hearts of those He is calling. God Bless

Jerry McClellan said...

Thank you very much for your comments, I know that this may be old news, but it is something I did not know about and so it struck me almost dumbfounded.

Thanks to for adding me to your blog, much appreciated. Yes, my goal is to continue to speak the truth in love in order to compel those who here (or read) to come to Christ. I thank you for your encouragement, it really means a lot.

Anonymous said...

Please check out

Anonymous said...

As of 5 minutes ago, she still has the cross on the seal in her garish letterhead. Seems to me that she would have taken the liberty of cutting it out or leaving the seal out altogether until the seal was redesigned.

I don't know, but something about talking the talk and walking the walk isn't making a connection here.

Inconsistent? Or so open-minded that her brain leaked out?


Andy Foster

Jerry McClellan said...

I choose the latter Mr. Foster.

It is called lacking moral character.