Thursday, January 27, 2022


Article Index

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.