by Faith Walker
When the United States Department of Agriculture released their latest report on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) their numbers were astonishing. SNAP, better known as Food Stamps, benefited an average of 46.6 million per month.
President Ronald Reagan wanted you to believe three things about food stamp recipients. According to him, people on food stamps were lazy, illiterate and worst of all……….Black.
However, the average person on food stamps is not lazy, illiterate, or even Black. According to the data, 37.6% of food stamps were being allotted to White non-Hispanics. African Americans were allotted 23.6% of SNAP benefits. http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2012Characteristics.pdf.
In fact, contrary to popular perception, Whites, not Blacks have continually made up the greatest percentage of recipients.
I know this is a hard pill for many people to swallow since we have been constantly told that Blacks are the leeches of society. So, following that logic, they must make up the greatest percentage of all subsidies. But wait you say, Blacks still take more than their fair share of these “handouts”. After all, Blacks make up only 13.1 percent of the population, right? Yet, Blacks comprise nearly twice that percentage of SNAP recipients. True. But, I would counter that with this fact: The largest percentage of the unemployed in this country is Black people at 15.8%. http://www.dol.gov/_Sec/media/reports/blacklaborforce/. Whites make up 77% of the population while their unemployment rate stands at 7.9%. Yet, they still make up 37.6% of food stamp recipients.
For the record, I fully support the SNAP program because are people who are suffering and need the extra hand up. Lately, however the SNAP program has been the target of those who say this program is a handout not a handup. Unbelievably the same Republicans who support cooperate handouts, refuse to support SNAP. “Seventy-five percent of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person, and these households received 82 percent of all benefits.”
According to a November 2012 report, 40% of SNAP recipients live in a household that receives earnings and are still at or below the poverty line. In addition, of the total number of SNAP recipients, 45% are children, 9% are elderly and 10% are disabled adults. There is no mention of what percentage is represented by “Welfare Queens”.
Whatever happened to the illusive “Welfare Queen”? We spent years looking for Reagan’s stereotypical “Welfare Queen”, only to discover that she never existed. She was part of a political strategy, the Southern Strategy. The Republicans were able to successfully weave fear of interracial marriage, gun ownership and welfare into wedge issues.
Many Blacks also began to accept that the “Welfare Queen” truly existed, and that they, or people they knew, fit the description. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth. http://jezebel.com/reagans-welfare-queen-was-a-real-person-and-her-stor-1486653666.
But Black America has owned the “Old Welfare Queen”. However few Blacks understand that the “New Welfare Queen” bears a remarkable resemblance to “The Old Welfare Queen”. She is uneducated, single and white.