The ugliness of race-based welfare

White families have been excluded from a new income-support scheme in Oakland, California.

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Topics Identity Politics Politics USA

Oakland, California is launching a new income-support scheme – but payments will only be made to non-white families.

The new programme will provide 600 ethnic-minority families with monthly payments of $500 for at least 18 months. To qualify, families must earn an amount equal to or less than the local average (around $59,000 for a three-person family). And they will have to self-identify as black, indigenous or people of colour.

The scheme is intended to help build ‘momentum for strategies to eliminate racial disparities in economic stability, mobility, and assets’, according to the city government’s website.

This is regressive, divisive and cruel. Surely someone’s race should be irrelevant to whether or not they can get income support? Why should a non-white family earning $59,000 get help ahead of any white family earning less?

Depressingly, Oakland is not alone in enacting race-based welfare measures. The neighbouring county of Marin is expected to start a similar scheme this week, while San Francisco started paying pregnant black and Pacific Islander women $1,000 per month in September.

When planning his Covid recovery package, Joe Biden even flirted with the idea, saying ‘Our priority will be black, Latino, Asian and Native American-owned small businesses, women-owned businesses’.

Anyone who believes in cross-racial solidarity should reject this neo-racist identity politics. We should support the working class as a whole, not just favoured identity groups.

Picture by: Getty.

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