Premilla Nadasen Publishes Article on the Clinton Administration’s Criminalization and Racialization of the Poor
Premilla Nadasen, project co-director for CSSD’s working group Social Justice After the Welfare State and Visiting Associate Professor of History at Barnard College, recently published an article in Jacobin Magazine explaining how the Clinton Administration simultaneously criminalized and racialized poverty by enacting two extremely detrimental policies.
President Bill Clinton’s “systematic overhaul of federal policy…led to the criminalization of the welfare poor,” writes Nadasen, citing the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which allocated billions of dollars for prison construction and intensified police surveillance.
Similarly, the 1996 welfare reform act reduced welfare rolls by drawing on stereotypes of black women and families being bound to a culture of poverty, charges Nadasen.
“In an era of market worship, those who couldn’t demonstrate self-reliance or independence were identified not only as unworthy of assistance, but as a potential threat to the core institutions of American society,” concludes Nadasen.
Read the full article here.