Friendly Welfare State?

April 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

I learned something interesting from a close friend who has a 3 year old and is a woman of color. Her child, a mixed-race baby, is technically defined by the state of Indiana as “Black” but in Illinois is defined as “White.” This in and of itself leads to a host of other interesting issues, such as how different states perceive race and the varying complications intertwined.

Also, I learned that, as a potential recipient of welfare, her checks from the state of Indiana would’ve been funded by the child’s legal father. So, in essence, the checks from the state would not be funded by taxpayers but would be taken either from the taxes, legal obligations, or by choice from the child’s father. He would be the one paying the welfare checks to the mother of the child, who is also the rightful, sole legal guardian.

I’m not sure how to think of this issue: does this mean that the state is unwilling to aid single mothers in living expenses by forcing the father to pay things such as rent or child care? I happen to know she gets aid such as food stamps, but being a single mother raising a child is one of the most compromising situations anyone could face in America today. Doing that as a woman of color only adds to the harmful and hateful discrimination they could face.

So, my question is: does the state, in its attempts to categorize people by race, also limit the potential its most needy citizens based on ridiculous and outdated discriminations? Is the state bypassing help to these needy citizens by forcing, through court action, the other parents to pay the welfare?

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§ One Response to Friendly Welfare State?

  • bh143kh says:

    Wow, that’s really interesting. I don’t know the answer to your question, I mean it’s a possibility that that is the case. But I wonder how the state of Illinois would handle the situation since the child is considered “white” there? That may shed some light on whether or not the state is discriminating in this situation because of race.

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