Obama On Welfare Reform

Carleton College Skinner Memorial Chapel February 5, 1999, the Convocation Speaker for Black History Month – Barack Obama. When asked a question regarding Welfare Reform.

“My Grandfather, a white GI Veteran living in Kansas was able to get his first job out of the Army or prior to going to the Army in the Conservation Corp., the CCC, the WPA. If these programs are good enough for my my Grandfather then it’s not clear why they’re not good enough for inner-city youth.” 

First, nearly every time I’ve heard Obama speak about his Grandfather it is prefaced with – he was a white man. I was blessed with three Grandfathers in my life and never once did I describe them by the color of their skin – they were a dairy farmer, a truck driver and beloved. Second, to compare where we are as a Country today to where we were when Obama’s Grandfather was a young man – there is no comparison. It seems that Obama has not gotten over the fact that he feels his Grandfather was given some kind of preferrential treatment more than 60 years ago?

Obama goes on further to say.

“The one optomistic thing that comes out of welfare reform, I think – for me at least – is that potentialy it desegregates one set of poor; ie: the urban poor, the welfare poor, the undeserving poor – quote end quote. It desegregates those people who previously had been segregated from the working poor, often times rural, often times white, often times considered deserving. Well, now since everybody has to work, you just have one group. They’re working and they’re poor. And politically at least that offers an opportunity because if you look at lets say the demographics of Illinois, it turns out that half the people in Illinois – families of four – are making less than $40,000 a year. And when we start crafting programs around that working poor population now you’re looking at a political majority.”

 Note: I am linking the audio in it’s entirety – without edit.

So, according to our President, we Americans are so selfish that the only way we would address the poor/welfare in this Country was if the poor are white.

Mr. President – poor is not a color.

Just in case you think this ia a fluke, the video below includes video of Obama in 1996 making almost identical statements. 


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