'Blacks Don't Work and Get Crazy Welfare Checks' Quote Taken Out of Context

By Chris Hoenig


Mississippi State Representative Gene Alday insists he is not a racist.

Instead, Aldaya former police chiefsaid his comments that Blacks don’t work and just receive “welfare crazy checks” were taken out of context.

And by out of context, he means they were supposed to be private, off-the-record racist comments to a reporter.

It all started in a weekend feature by The Clarion-Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell. Mississippi is facing an educational crisis: A new reform measure from Governor Phil Bryant could result in upward of 28 percent of third-graders being forced to repeat the grade because their literacy skills aren’t up to par.

This raises even more concerns because experts say a quarter of students who are held back a year drop out of school before graduating high school.

Florida has enacted a similar reform measure, along with increased funding to improve literacy. Mississippi has added just a quarter of the educational funds that Florida has.

Enter Alday, a Republican state lawmaker desperate to prevent additional state funding for education and literacy programs. In sitting down with Mitchell, Alday said that his experience as the former mayor and police chief of the small town of Walls (population: 1,248) is that the funding will be useless.

“I don’t see any schools hurting,” he told Mitchell, adding that Mississippi “has a lot of bad school districts. The people are electing superintendents that don’t know anything about education.”

He added: “I come from a town where all the Blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work.”

Alday then went on to recall a trip to the emergency room.

“I like to died,” he said, using a phrase that means “almost.” “I laid in there for hours because they [Blacks] were in there being treated for gunshots.”

Naturally, the backlash was almost immediate. Republicans are distancing themselves from Alday. “In this day and time to be able to make those racially charged remarks is just unfounded,” Bryant said. “And it is something that we in the party, Republican Party, totally reject.” The Clarion-Ledger political columnist Sam R. Hall said it’s time for Alday to step down and retire.

But in an interview with Mississippi News Now, Alday was the one who was offended.

“I am definitely not a racist, at all,” he said. “Because, I mean, I get along with everybody. And I’ve spent a lot of time helping people.

“I didn’t say anything wrong. The interview, he just took me out of context. He asked for one thing and started asking another thing.”

Alday continued to blame Mitchell, saying not only were the comments taken “out of context,” but they were never supposed to be published at all.

“It was late at night and he called me,” Alday said to The Clarion-Ledger on Monday. “He asked me a question back to when I was in law enforcement. I have a way of talking and saying, ‘Take this off the record.’

“I’m not a bad person, and that makes me look like an evil person. I didn’t do anything wrong. The guy made me look like a fool.”

Latest News

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 12

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Coverage From DiversityInc’s…

Questlove plays a DJ set at DiversityInc's 2022 Top 50 event.

Photo Gallery: 2022 Top 50 Event

Accenture earns No. 1 spot on the Top 50 List, Hilton joins Hall of Fame. Expert panels and presentations cover the event’s theme of “ESG: Climate and Culture at Risk”. State Street execs share how they ranked for the first time. Cutting edge research from the Wharton School is presented…

Dr. Sally Saba

DiversityInc 2022 Top 50 Event: A New Landscape = New Opportunity: Shaping Corporate Standards of Excellence for ID&E Management

The role of an inclusion, diversity and equity practitioner has completely evolved, and all eyes are on the corporate community as it navigates its approach. Dr. Sally Saba, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Medtronic, spoke about working together to shape the next generation’s standards during her Top50Talk “A New…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 5

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. The Impact Overturning…