In a man on the street interview, posted to World Star Hip-Hop, residents on Los Angeles’ Skid Row threaten to tear the city apart over a hiccup in their welfare benefits.
The outage of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system was apparently caused when the vendor Xerox Corp. was performing a routine check on their back up systems and it caused a system failure.
While there are some reports that the system has come back online now, the interruption to the service has caused some raised tempers.
“My heart goes out to people who don’t have food right now” one welfare recipient told WSHH.
Another man explained how he and his cohorts had been personally impacted by the failure of the system. “We had to cancel a picnic today cuz we were gonna use EBT cards to buy hamburgers and stuff.”
The man, wearing a Vietnam veterans hat, explained that he was organizing a cookout for veterans but had to cancel it due to the failure. “We couldn’t do it,” he said.
One man told WSHH the bare reality of what the system failure meant for him. “We don’t eat,” he said. “We don’t drink. We don’t have anything.”
But not all the shiftless takers were content merely to complain.
“They had better resolve something because if it stays like this there is gona be a uproar in the city of L.A.,” one public assistance layabout intoned. When asked to elaborate, he responded, “A Rodney King, baby”
The Rodney King riots, which went on for six-day in 1992 in South Central L.A., stemmed from the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers on charges of police brutality for the videotaped beating of King. Fifty-three people died in the riots and more than 2,000 people were injured.