White people excluded, but illegal immigrants qualify for city’s new ‘guaranteed income’ of $500/month

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OAKLAND, CA – A privately-funded collaborative effort between an Oakland-based community organization and a national organization consisting of mayors pushing for “guaranteed income” is about to launch an 18-month program that will see 600 eligible, non-white families receive $500 a month in order to address income disparities between white and non-white households.

This effort, of course, is receiving mixed opinions based upon the racial parameters noted and to be applied in this program.

According to a March 23rd press release from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, the project dubbed as the Oakland Resilient Families initiative is a partnership between the Oakland-based Community Independence Initiative and the national group called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.

In short, the project will provide financial assistance to 600 eligible, non-white Oakland-based families while also generating traction for efforts to reduce inequities in economic security, mobility, and assets through the use of a guaranteed income.

The specifics of the program eligibility, outside of the “BIPOC” aspect, also requires that eligible households must have at least one child under the age of 18 residing in the home and that the income for a family of three must be below $59,000 annually.

All money received by recipients will be considered non-taxable income and even illegal immigrant families are eligible, as well.

While boasting of the program, Mayor Schaaf noted that recipients of this monetary program will help address economic disparities that are caused by “systems” rather than those amounting to “personal failure”:

“The poverty we all witness today is not a personal failure, it is a systems failure. Guaranteed income is one of the most promising tools for systems change, racial equity, and economic mobility we’ve seen in decades.”

“I’m proud to work with such committed local partners to build a new system that can help undo centuries of economic and racial injustice and point us all toward a more just society.”

While the endeavor to dole out free money to those in need is certainly a noble effort, and recipients of such benefits are likely not going to complain in the least, the fact that the Mayor’s press release specifically pointed that only certain “BIPOC families with low-incomes” could fill the eligibility criterion is raising eyebrows.

And those raised eyebrows are certainly warranted; because when a monetary supplement program is promoted as being only attainable by low-income “BIPOC” families, it’s the same as semantically promoting the program as being available to all but white households.  

This has in turn spawned online comments and articles expressing disdain over a program designed to exclude white families that are poor in Oakland, based solely off the presupposition that all poverty experienced by non-white families is based off systemic factors.

Washington, DC-based attorney Andrew Kloster shared the following sentiments about the matter on Twitter:

“In Green Bay Facebook donated money to election admin and attached strings that required the city to be beholden to left wing lawbreaking.  Here, Oakland gets private $$$ for direct payment to the poor [with] strings— no whites need apply.”

This of course has many clamoring about prejudice, and whether something of this caliber can be legal since it openly promotes discrimination based upon race.

And the answer is yes, it is perfectly legal. And the reason why is due to the source of the funding with which eligible families can receive monetary benefits.

Since the Oakland Resilient Families initiative is a privately-funded, non-governmental entity, said group can dictate how their private funds can be distributed – even if distributed benefits only apply to a sect of the population due to immutable aspects of one’s physical makeup as an individual.

A more well-known example of this would be the UNCF that funds scholarships for only black students.

But the mixed response regarding the Oakland Resilient Families initiative exposes the issues that arise when publicly elected officials use formal communication channels (such as press releases) to promote and advertise these sorts of programs.

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In other recent instances emblematic of modern-day exclusionary practices, a Massachusetts university has opted to remove portraits of former university presidents due to them being white. 

We at Law Enforcement Today reported on that matter earlier in March. Here’s that previous report. 

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MEDFORD, MA – In an effort to adhere to being an “anti-racist institution,” Tufts University officials decided to remove portraits depicting the university’s former presidents because they just so happen to portray “all white males.”

Apparently Tufts University is allocating several million dollars, $25 million reportedly, to get on the good foot with respect to endeavors that “advance equity, inclusion, healing, and justice,” for the broader community, student base and alumni.

With said money in concurrence with vague aspirations to “find and eradicate any structural racism at Tufts,” the university proclaims that faculty will unearth and obliterate all things and practices deemed to be harmful or insensitive to “marginalized” voices and communities.

Clearly, it’s the university’s money and they’re free to spend it on whatever they please.

But among this effort to become an anti-racist institution, it was decided that paintings of the university’s last 11 presidents needed to be removed from the Coolidge Room in Ballou Hall because they happen to be white men.

Back in September of 2020, university officials concluded that a room hardly frequented by students at the university simply bore too many depictions of white men, and promptly had them removed.

The justification for the move was relayed by officials as such:

“While not intended as such, the installation of all 11 past presidents installed in a single room has, over time, unwittingly presented a deeply homogeneous picture of power.

“While historically accurate, we must consider how spaces impact our community today—what is the message being communicated to those of us who are not white men? Where do we belong? And, importantly, is that the message that one of our more ceremonial spaces should be relaying?”

While this is ultimately the decision of the university, it also just gives off the feeling of being a combination of a savior-complex alongside elements of soft bigotry. University pundits feel the need to protect minority students from innocuous paintings of prominent university figures of the past based solely on concerns that the racial make-up of these previous presidents might be off-putting to minorities.

So, the room that once hosted these depictions of previous university presidents is going to be transformed into “a series of rotating exhibitions” that will instead depict “the story of underrepresented communities at Tufts”:

“While the Coolidge Room will no longer house portraits of former university presidents, it remains the symbolic center of the university and its seat of power.

“As such, the Public Art Committee recommends that the space reflect the work happening on campus and that new installations must center marginalized voices from the university’s past and present.

“To that end, we recommend a series of rotating exhibitions of images and objects from the University Archives that tell the story of underrepresented communities at Tufts.”

As for the fate of the old portraits that once adorned the Coolidge Room at the university, the university is still trying to determine where eight of the 11 will be portraits will be hung as three have been placed elsewhere within Ballou Hall:

“For the 11 presidential portraits that were formerly housed in the Coolidge Room, three of them—Jean Mayer, John DiBiaggio, and Larry Bacow—will remain at Ballou Hall.

“The PAC recommends re-siting individual paintings when and if possible, and we are exploring these options with locations and academic departments as appropriate.”

The bizarre steps being considered don’t just end with paintings being removed in the quest to become an anti-racist institution. The university is also considering a complete disarming of campus police officers

This notion is being considered by university officials because “recent events have led many universities and their communities to reconsider the need and appropriateness of armed officers.”

According to the Campus Safety and Policing report, armed police officers on campus “often cause apprehension and concern for members of our community.”

After employing research into potential campus police controversies, we at Law Enforcement Today couldn’t identify any instances when Tufts’ campus police actually shot a student. So, it’s unclear where this “apprehension” is actually stemming from with respect to armed campus police officers at the university. 

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