chapter  5
29 Pages

The Demise of AFDC as a Legacy of White Racial Backlash

In the previous chapter we noted the role of the mass media in publicizing events in Louisiana, Newburgh, and Washington, D.C. Extensive media coverage of these conflicts helped to foster and reinforce the notion that race and welfare were inextricably linked. As we will see in this chapter, the mass media have played a key role in promulgating racist stereotypes and negative controlling images of impoverished African Americans who must rely on welfare. The media have thus contributed to a national political environment in which hostility toward welfare and its recipients could be easily exploited by racial state actors and others riding the legacy of the 1960s white political backlash.