Mississippi has been ranked the poorest state in the union for decades, but only a fraction of the federal welfare money it receives has gone into the pockets of the poor. Now John Davis, former Human Services Director, has pleaded guilty to handing out millions in welfare funds to his associates in a massive corruption case making a bad situation worse.
Ninety percent of Mississippi residents who apply for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) don’t receive it. They are either denied or give up during the application process. And those who do manage to qualify receive the lowest amount in the country; a single parent with one child receives $146 a month.
How is this possible? A racist system based on cronyism, hypocrisy and exploitation. Mississippi is a right-to-work state where unions are few and labor is cheap. Business likes it that way and makes sure it remains so. Sixty years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, poor people in Mississippi still aren’t free and the power structure remains essentially unchanged with white Republicans, instead of white Democrats, running things.