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Article Index

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Student Work
Race, Racism and the Law
Spring, 2012

Statutes (Federal/State)

  • Tile VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C § 2000 (1964).
  • Discrimination Prohibited, 28 C.F.R. §42.104 (1964).
  • Unlawful Discriminatory Practices, Ohio Revised Code Ann. § 4112.02 (2012).

 

Cases (Federal/States)

  • Alexander v. Sandoval, 121 S. Ct. 1511 (2001).
  • Daugherty v. Wallace, 87 Ohio App.3d 228 (April 16,1993).

Law Review Articles

  • Craig L. Briskin and Kimberly A. Thomas, The Waging of Welfare: All Work and No Pay?, 33 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 559 (1998).
  • Dorothy E. Roberts, Welfare and the Problem of Black Citizenship, 105 Yale L.J. 1563 (1996).
  • John Arthur Laufer, Alexander v. Sandoval And Its Implications For Disparate Impact Remedies, 102 Colum. L. Rev.1613 (2002).
  • Peter B. Edelman, The Welfare Debate: Getting Past The Bumper Sticker, 27 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 93 (2003).
  • Robert A. Solomon, Ending Welfare Mythology As We Know It, 15 Yale J. on Reg. 177 (1998).
  • Sylvia A. Law, Ending Welfare As We Know It, 49 Stan. L Rev.471 (1997)

Non-Legal  Journal

  • Gerald C. Wright, Jr., Racism and Welfare Policy In America, Social Science Quarterly (1975), available at Academic Search Premier
  • Kaaryn Gustafson, Criminal Law: The Criminalization of Poverty, The Journal of Criminal Law& Criminology, Vol. 99, No.3 (2009), available at Academic Search Premier.
  • Deborah J. Johnson, Disentangling Poverty and Race, Applied Developmental Science, Vol. 2, Suppl.1, 55-67 (2000), available at Academic Search Premier.

                                                                                                          

Annotated Bibliography

Annotations:

Statute (Federal/State)

42 U.S.C § 2000 (1964). (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically provides protection for those who seek assistance and benefits from a federally funded assistance. Under this statute, “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This statute is particularly relevant to the topic of this paper because this paper makes the argument that African Americans are excluded from receiving welfare assistance on the basis of race. Although this exclusion does not appear to be intentional or blatant as it covered up by various welfare reforms, African Americans are by far the only racial group that is significantly disparately impacted by the welfare system.

Unlawful Discriminatory Practices, ORC § 4112.02 (2012)

            This statute is particularly important because prohibits unlawful discrimination on every level in society such as employment, receiving financial assistance, selling and buying, public materials, landlord- tenant relationship, refusing to make accommodations for people with disabilities, etc. This statute even goes as far to prohibit discrimination on the basis of substance abuse. Overall, this statute attempts to address every instance where discrimination may arise when a person may be denied services or opportunities of any kind due to their race, color, or national origin. As with the other laws and statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of the protected grounds, this statute only addresses the overt discriminatory acts. Given the broad nature of this statute, it is relevant to the topic of this paper because it addresses all unlawful discriminatory acts regardless of whether the person is a welfare recipient. Thus, under this statute a person who is discriminated against in any way receives protection under the law.

Regulation

Discrimination Prohibited, 28 C.F.R. §42.104 (1964)

This regulation prohibits a person from being excluded from participating in programs that provide benefits or services or even being denied benefits or services under federally assisted programs. Under this regulation, a person cannot be denied services or excluded from participation on the basis of any of the prohibited grounds such as race, color, or national origin. Also, a person cannot be subjected to discrimination on any of the protected grounds. This regulation outlines the specific discriminatory actions that are prohibited such as denying an individual any disposition, service, financial aid, or benefit under the program; provide any disposition, service, financial aid, or benefit to an individual which is different, or is provided in a different manner from that provided to others under the program; or treat an individual differently from others in determining whether he or she satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota, eligibility, membership, or other requirement or condition which individuals must meet in order to be provided any disposition, service, financial aid, function or benefit provided under the program. This regulation enforces the provisions under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and provides a detailed description of what the rules require.  Furthermore, this regulation is relevant to the present topic because it essentially prohibits any sort of overt discrimination towards people who rely on welfare programs. Overt discrimination is a factor that keeps welfare recipients dependent on its services because they do not get the assistance they need. Therefore, regardless of cultural or racial background a person is guaranteed to background recipients under welfare programs are guaranteed assistance.


Cases (Federal/State)

Alexander v. Sandoval, 121 S. Ct. 1511 (2001). Total pages read: 3 (entire case)

This case presents the question of whether private individuals may sue to enforce the disparate-impact regulations outlined under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A violation of section 601 under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is the basis for this suit. The respondent, Sandoval, brought a class action to enjoin the Department’s decision to administer state driver’s license examination only in English, arguing that it violated the DOJ regulation because it had the effect of subjecting non-English speakers to discrimination on the basis of their national origin. The United States Supreme dismissed the class action and held that there is no private right of action to enforce disparate-treatment regulations promulgated under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Supreme Court opinion in this case demonstrates how welfare recipients are subject to an inferior status and as a result they do not receive adequate constitutional protections. The Courts not only use status as a means of discrimination but also the protective grounds. The flexibility the government has with welfare reform policies allow for more error for discrimination against certain minority groups.

Daugherty v. Wallace, 87 Ohio App.3d 228 ( 1993). Total pages read: 15

            In this case, recipients of general assistance (GA) benefits challenged a statute that placed time limits on the receipt of benefits was unconstitutional and sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of the statute. The Ohio Legislature revised the current GA program in which the state provides destitute people monthly cash assistance of $100 and medical coverage for no more than six months. At the end of the six-month period, GA Cash assistance and medical coverage stopped regardless of the person’s need, status or ability to find employment. Even if a person could demonstrate both total destitution and a good faith effort to find a job, he or she would not be entitled to more than six months’ general assistance per year.  Even though the court recognized that many of the recipients will be destined to a life of homelessness, lose health benefits, and other resources once they were cut off from general assistance benefits, the Court of Appeals ruled that the statute was constitutional. The Court of Appeals reasoned that the State Constitution created no affirmative duty for the state to provide assistance and the time limit did not violate the welfare recipient’s equal protection rights.  This case is relevant to the topic at hand because it illustrates how welfare reform policies create a culture of poverty by limiting the amount of resources available to welfare recipients. Furthermore, this case demonstrates how time restraints on the receipt of welfare benefits forces people into substandard living conditions regardless of whether they are self-sufficient.   By limiting the welfare benefits, implementing stricter eligibility requirements, the state legislature, knowingly create a population that would be permanently dependent on the government for every means of survival.


Law Review Articles

Craig L. Briskin and Kimberly A. Thomas, The Waging of Welfare: All Work and No Pay?, 33 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 559 (1998). Total pages read: 15

            This article specifically focuses on the difficulty of welfare recipients to find and maintain work. The ongoing myth about welfare recipients, especially African Americans, is that they are lazy and use welfare as an excuse to remain unemployed. Instead of using welfare as an excuse for not obtaining employment, this article suggests that welfare recipients can and do find jobs; however, they are only qualified for minimum wage jobs that cannot sustain a family or housing. The article suggests that recipients use welfare more as a safety net to supplement their income when they do not have enough funds to cover basic necessities. By implementing budget cuts, the welfare system only keeps recipients poor and dependent on the welfare system.


Dorothy E. Roberts, Welfare and the Problem of Black Citizenship, 105 Yale L.J. 1563 (1996 Total pages read: 10

            This law review journal primary focused on how African Americans have been historically excluded from the welfare system due to their inferior citizenship status. Although African Americans now have access to the welfare system, they are still treated as an inferior class of people. African Americans are denied benefits and other federally funded assistance that other racial groups receive. In spite of the fact that African Americans do not make up the majority of the welfare system, they are stigmatized and targeted as the source of the problems the welfare system causes society. Political leaders also use the stereotypes associated with African Americans to implement reform policies to cut welfare budgets, which directly impacts their ability to leave the welfare system.


Sylvia A. Law, Ending Welfare As We Know It, 49 Stan. L. Rev. 471 (1997). Total pages read: 10

In this article, Professor Sylvia Law thoroughly discusses the conflict between the controversy that surrounds welfare policies and the reality of the lifestyles of welfare recipients. Throughout this article, professor law uses a variety of resources to explain the history of events within welfare policy that brought it to its current state. This article dispels the common myths that society has about the welfare system that tend to cast a negative light on the services and benefits it provides. Some of these stereotypes include how single mothers abuse the welfare system, welfare is generational, welfare encourages teen pregnancy, welfare recipients cannot obtain jobs, and welfare recipients remain on welfare for a lifetime. With each of these myths, the article provides substantive research to prove the fallacies with the reasoning. One interesting point that the author points out about political leaders who spearhead welfare reforms are ignorant about the welfare system in its entirety. For this reason, the welfare system is ineffective in assisting recipients in becoming self-sufficient. Specifically, the article mentions that political leaders consistently remain ignorant of the lives of ordinary people, yet they continue to implement laws that reduce the benefits and services of social programs based on their assumptions that they are hurting rather than helping citizens.

Lisa A. Crooms, An “Age of Impossibility”: Rhetoric, Welfare Reform, and Poverty, 94 Mich. L. Rev. 1953 (1996). Total pages read: 12

            This law review journal focuses on how politicians strive to end welfare by making welfare recipients self-sufficient through welfare reforms that limit the amount of time that a person can receive benefits. Politicians want to eliminate the drain that welfare places on society, yet they are uncertain how to achieve this goal without eliminating the entire welfare program. According to the author, “this ambivalence leads to policy initiatives designed to make individuals more responsible but that pay little attention to the structural forces that prevent the poor from escaping poverty.” The welfare reform policies may be lightening the financial burden off of society, but at the same time it creates a subculture of poverty. One commentator proposes that the problems associated with lower class Black communities stem from poverty rather than welfare. Additionally, this law review article proposes that blackness became a proxy for poverty and justified the stigma that attached to those who were in need of public assistance.


John Arthur Laufer, Alexander v. Sandoval And Its Implications For Disparate Impact Remedies, 102 Colum. L. Rev.1613 (2002). Total pages read: 10

            This law review journal provides an overview of the Supreme Court ruling in the case, Alexander v. Sandoval. The journal analyzes proposes that because Sandoval addressed only the existence of an implied private right to enforce the disparate impact regulations, and not the foundational question of these regulations are a permissible effectuation of section 601’s ban on intentional discrimination, the decision is read as a recognition by the Supreme Court of the regulations legitimacy. Furthermore, this journal argues that underlying the majority’s decision is a general suspicion about the use of disparate impact liability regimes to implement anti-intentional discrimination norms. In relation to the topic at hand on welfare and poverty, this journal raises the concern as to whether the Supreme Court banned private actions under Title VI to reduce the amount of claims that could be brought by individuals for discrimination whether it is intentional or not. As seen from the case, under the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Movement of 1964, it is very difficult for an individual to prove intentional discrimination, thus several cases that could be prosecuted slip through the cracks for failure to show such evidence.


Peter B. Edelman, The Welfare Debate: Getting Past The Bumper Sticker, 27 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 93 (2003). Total pages read: 3

            This law review journal specifically focuses on the ongoing welfare debate as it relates to budget cuts and the fear of creating economic dependency among the poor. In analyzing the welfare debate and the impact of reforms, this article proposes a variety of options that could potentially resolve the welfare crisis in the United States. This article proposes that welfare should be residual in the sense that welfare should be reserved for the times when other policies fail or when it is not appropriate to expect a parent or parents to work outside of the home. However, political leaders continue to struggle with welfare issues because the policies are complicated by the continued weakening of the poor and race discrimination.


Robert A. Solomon, Ending Welfare Mythology As We Know It, 15 Yale J. on Reg. 177 (1998). Total pages read: 10

            In this law review journal, Robert A. Solomon analyzes the mythologies that are associated with the welfare system. Particularly, the author evaluates the myth that since welfare is too costly, political leaders are justified in drastically reducing the welfare budget. In reality, this article proposes that maintaining welfare is not too expensive for the federal and state governments to maintain; however, welfare budget cuts are used to reduce the amount of recipients who rely on welfare for daily survival. Welfare budget cuts are ultimately creating a bigger population of people living in poverty because it is almost impossible for recipients to pay for housing without some additional subsidy beyond the welfare grant. In terms of housing, welfare grants are often lower than the market-rate housing.


Non-legal Scholarly Articles

Deborah J. Johnson, Disentangling Poverty and Race, Applied Developmental Science, Vol. 2, Suppl.1, 55-67 (2000), available at Academic Search Premier. Total pages read: 20

            This article primarily focuses on separating the relationship between poverty and race. The article proposes that in order to eliminate poverty, society must break the notion that poverty is a racial issue. As the article suggests, poverty can and does affect all races; however, due to the prevalence of stereotypes, poverty is automatically associated with African Americans or other people of color. While policies are being implemented to cut the welfare budget as a result of the stereotype that African Americans are lazy and commit welfare fraud, political leaders are hurting more people from other racial groups than they realize.

Gerald C. Wright, Jr., Racism and Welfare Policy In America, Social Science Quarterly (1975), available at Academic Search Premier. Total pages read: 10

            This article focuses on how racism drives welfare reform policies that reduce services and other resources that are made available to recipients. In a study conduct by the author, he found that white Americans were less supportive of welfare policies that increased benefits where a large portion of African Americans relied on it. On the other hand, African Americans were more supportive of welfare policies where it would help a large number of African Americans. This study also revealed that poor whites ruled in favor of welfare budget cuts when a significant number of African Americans relied on an increase in the budget. Due to the prevalence of racism within the welfare system, whites would rule for or against welfare policies if it meant that they would still have the upper hand over African Americans.

Kaaryn Gustafson, Criminal Law: The Criminalization of Poverty, The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol. 99 Issue 3 (2009), available at Academic Search Premier. Total pages read: 30

            This article focuses on how the welfare system is beginning to resemble the criminal justice system. Instead of helping people become self-sufficient, reform policies are making welfare recipients feel like criminals. The article describes how the welfare system started to gain the attention on the government and became the targets of policy reforms. In describing the welfare policy reforms, this article explains how aspects of the criminal justice system are becoming embedded in the welfare system. For instance, the welfare system is beginning to develop a law enforcement aspect that is somewhat parallel to the law enforcement in the criminal system. This law enforcement aspect to the welfare system helps to regulate the stereotypical image of an African American from manipulating and monopolizing the welfare system. Furthermore, the article makes a very interesting point on how welfare recipients are treated as inferior citizens. Within the court system, welfare recipients seem to be experiencing the most difficulty in obtaining full protection under law such as receiving adequate representation or even a fair and favorable outcome on a case.

Stephen Pimpare, An African American Welfare State, New Political Science, vol. 29, Issue 3 (2007). Total pages read: 8

            In society today, the welfare system has been associated with African Americans. Even though white Americans comprise the majority of the welfare recipients, African Americans seem to be the face of the welfare system. Within the Black community, the welfare system functions more like a barrier or trap that keeps people in an oppressed economic condition. This article proposes that slavery, Jim Crow, and the prison might be considered welfare state institutions, given their impact upon the upon the material well-being of several African Americans. To substantiate this point the author suggests that there is a link between involuntary servitude and the welfare system as it relates to African Americans. Given that African Americans spent so many years in slavery, the welfare system could be a modern day form of slavery. The welfare system is the master and African Americans who are in need of its benefits are exploited as slaves to it.

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