This morning’s New York Times features an op-ed column by Charles Blow titled, The GOP’s ‘Black People’ Platform. The piece puts in context current Republican presidential candidates’ clumsy suggestions regarding African-Americans.
Particularly interesting are Blow’s comments on the nation’s food stamps program. He points out that while a higher percentage of the Black population participates in the program, there are far more Whites using food stamps than any other demographic:
First, some facts. Take the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly known as food stamps. PolitiFact has rated Gingrich’s “food stamp president” charge as only half-true. Yes, participation in the program is at a record high, but Bush-era efforts to increase participation and broaden the program “produced consistent increases in the number of average monthly beneficiaries. The number rose in seven out of the eight years of Bush’s presidency — most of which were years not considered recessionary. All told, the number of recipients rose by a cumulative 63 percent during Bush’s eight-year presidency.”
Now to the singling out of blacks. The largest group of SNAP beneficiaries is by far non-Hispanic whites. However, it is true that the rate of participation is much higher among blacks than whites. Put the emphasis where you wish.