Re: It’s Free! Swipe Yo EBT Music Video

This video reinforces the stereotypical imagery attached to the receipt of government assistance. The “welfare queen” makes a comeback in this music video spoof/right-wing propaganda. The fact that the main character/singer/video producer is a colored woman should not add any legitimacy to the oversimplistic portrayal of California’s African American communities. The Tea Party has embraced Chapter Jackson’s simplistic work as “gospel” and evidence of the detrimental effects of government assistance on the Black community. The characterization of African American females as unfit mothers via alcohol and drug abuse is nothing new in popular culture and mass media. From Halle Barry’s portrayal of a drug addicted careless mother in Losing Isaiah and the “Black crack babies” news media frenzy, to Mo’nique’s recent portrayal of “Mary Lee Johnston” in Precious, it is clear that the colonial legacies of real “motherhood” continue to be a constructed in opposition to the Black female. Chapter’s lyrics–“All you have to do is fuck and nine months later you’re in the big bucks” construct “Black motherhood and sexuality” as an easy way to obtain government assistance and monetary gain. By portraying promiscuity, drug/alcohol abuse, fast food consumption as facilitated by EBT use, the video perpetuates a self-imposed “culture of poverty” through misuse of government resources.





One thought on “Re: It’s Free! Swipe Yo EBT Music Video

  1. I agree that the media plays a large part in portraying African American women has underserving of motherhood and they will continue to do because that is what sells. Unfortunately, we do not see in popular cultural the representation of all those black mothers working two jobs around the clock to feed, clothe, and provide a safe shelter for their children. Furthermore, the songs lyrics make many assumptions that only continue to perpetuate the stigma surrounding black motherhood. For example, just because you become pregnant and apply for government assistance does not mean that you will qualify. Not to mention that the majority of people receiving government assistance are not people of color, but actually whites. I think that the problem will persist until we begin to demand that the positive behaviors of communities -specifically those whose image have been damaged, be portrayed as well. The image provides an example of the many negative assumptions tied to the black female body: alcohol and drug busy, the lack of birth control methods (over population), poverty, lazy, and messy/dirty. Also note the actresses’ young age perhaps insinuating black women’s promiscuity early on in life.

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