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Powerful article talking about discrimination in welfare reform debates

Article talking about discrimination in welfare reform debates
“As the majority of the 104th congress insisted upon circulating misrepresentations of the poor in the context of welfare reform, Congresswomen of color felt themselves increasingly marginalized…The perception of hostility toward African Americans was heightened by several episodes involving congresswomen of color. In the midst of her floor speech addressing H.R. 4, The personal Responsilibity Act, Congressional veteran Cardiss Collins [D-IL] was interrupted by laughter from the Republican side of the aisle. Having characterized the At as a “callous, cold hearted, and mean-spirited attack on this country’s children” that “punishes Americans for being poor” at the same time Congress was considering tax cuts for the rich, Representative Collins was dismayed by the laughter and all that it betokened. Interrupted her prepared coments she addressed her colleagues directly.
I see some of the members on the other side of the aisle laughing. I ask this quesiton: How many of them have ever been hungry. How many of them have every known what it was not to have a meal? How many of them have known what it was not to have decent shoes, decent clothing, a nice place to live…they do not know about poverty. So I challenge them to come to my Seventh Congressional District of Illinois, my district, and walk in the path of these children that they are cutting off from welfare. walk in the path of the truly needy people who live by welfare because they have no other means by which to live. (C.Collins 1995)”
~Taken from Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward a Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions by Mary Hawkesworth (Rutgers University)


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