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Monday, October 18, 2021

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UncategorizedFrom the New Deal to the New Steal: The...

From the New Deal to the New Steal: The Food-Stamp-Cuts-to-Prison Pipeline

So the next big revolutionary (neo-liberal, racist, classist) move was by a neo-liberal senator in the 1960s, Daniel Moynihan, who came into the projects in Harlem and with one swoop of his politrickster pen assessed the powerful single-mother headed households led by strong African women and their kin as crazy, broken, and pathological. This is what African Descendent Scholars refer to as a trans-substantive error.

Once again the fix was locked in, tightening the grip of criminalization, racist, and classist punitive measures around the already-stressed necks of poor people.

Beginning with jail time or ankle bracelets for poor mamas and daddys who might not claim as little as $5.00 on one of your thousands of proof of income forms required for the tiny welfare-crumb subsidies (which is NOT free money, you have to do new slavery work for every cent.)

Fast forward to the many lies of the evil-doer himself Ronald Regan, who called us poor mamaz “Welfare Queens” and claimed we were all making out on our $341.00 dollar (welfare) crumbs and collecting checks and buying Cadillacs, while stripping the budgets of the Section 8 public housing programs and closing the state mental hospitals.

That was followed up by the fake War on Drugs – which, like the War on Poverty, was filled with lies and resulted in the increased criminalization of poor folks using or selling drugs or medicine, and more and more poor mamaz and sons and daughters ending up in prison, making money for the private prison corporations.

And then on to George Bush who said all us poor folks would be “fixed” if we just got married, while stealing literally billions of dollars and setting up corporate welfare and military industrial complex payouts for his corporate genocidal friends.

And now, in the 21st century, we have the second billion- dollar cut being proposed to our last crumb — the food stamps that so many of us poor, disabled and low-wage working families, elders and folks actually rely on just to eat. That will in fact bring us full circle back to bread lines, feudalistic poverty.

The first cut, which was approved in 2013, has already meant $34.00 less from this mamaz’ EBT card (food stamps). Now this might not sound like a lot to most people, but if you are poor, that means several gallons less milk, lettuce, tomatoes, bread or the choice of GMO-infused poison food just to make the tiny food stamp crumbs go further.

And then more and more of us will need to do small underground strategies (read: crime) to survive. resulting in more of us ending up in their corporate prisons.

But this horrendous situation is already written. We are worth more dead or in prison. Our schools are stripped of anything that would inspire, teach or help our children dream or think, our teachers with conscience suffer under these endless corporate agendas, and the US imperial snakes continue to rape, pillage, and destroy every last piece of Mama Earth in search of more natural resources to steal and more land to control.

As budget genocide continues to shrink our already shrinking access to food, shelter, healthcare and education, with the privatization and pimping of our housing, schooling and resources — and now a proposed $8.7 billion cut to Food Stamps, which is estimated to impact over 850,000 people, it is important for us to fight for theses crumbs, to plead for mercy to millionaire politricksters like Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein so they will deign to throw down for us in front of openly hater GOP millionaires. But it also equally important for us to envision the decolonization of our communities, our food, and our lives.

For those of us who aren’t too broken down by this endless war on our poor bodies of color to still think and act with revolution, we need to start naming the herstory of these acts of budget genocide, these school-to-prison pipelines, this destruction … but more importantly, we need to take back our own strength, our own spirits as indigenous peoples in diaspora, our own streets to grow food, our children’s minds and our hope. And perhaps most important of all, remember to not let success be defined by the ones who oppress us.

Join poor people revolutionaries from Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) from across the state in a West Coast Day of Action on Friday, Jan 17th 12-3pm at the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza


Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at) 48hills.org, follow @supermarke on Twitter.
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  1. While I agree that the white ruling class in the US are predominantly murderous, theiving, thugs and basically agree with your analysis of how things happened and probably even what you envision as some of the solutions, I came up a little short on:

    “…who then made their filthy dollars by stealing and killing all of our fierce, beautiful, brilliant, indigenous Turtle Islanders and Afrikan peoples to do their free labor…”

    Saying that all the people victimized by the white power structure are angels, even if only metaphorically, seems like a cartoon that ignores their humanity. Without making any particular judgments it seems to be the case that some Africans sold other Africans into slavery and some of the Lakota brutally raped, tortured, and enslaved their enemies so I think a slightly more nuanced take on the dynamics of power is useful.

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