Oakland, California announced a new program that will give out $500 per month to about 600 families via a lottery system. The families and/or households must meet certain criteria in order to eligible for the funds. First, they must be considered low income which, in Oakland, is below $59,000 per year. Second, the families and/or households cannot be white. The program is for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) only. No word on how someone’s race would be verified or how households with white people present would be treated.
According to a study performed by Oakland, there are currently 10,000 white individuals in the city who are below the federal poverty line of a little less than $13,000 per year. Logic would state that there are probably more whites to be counted in between the $13,000 poverty floor and the $59,000 per household threshold for the UBI-style payments. The $500 per month program is privately-funded by wealthy donors but it is city-operated, according to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
The rationale given by the city to explain the exclusion of white families is that most whites in Oakland have plenty of money, usually from tech, and they are not native to Oakland. This reasoning excludes the aforementioned poor whites in Oakland and also the Asians, Hispanics, and blacks who also come from out of town to work in the tech industry. Oakland’s move to… compensate specifically non-white residents has been echoed in other cities such as Evanston, Illinois. These programs are often labeled as racist by critics because they are race-based and race-exclusive.
Oakland, California, will exclude white families living in poverty from $500 a month checks | Daily Mail Online
Oakland will give low-income families of color $500 per month, mayor announces – CNN
Oakland to give low-income residents $500 a month, no strings attached – CBS News