Thursday, January 12, 2012

The true faces of poverty

"The African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps," said Newt Gingrich before a crowd in New Hampshire last week. The Root rolled its eyes (as we all should) and asked why the conservative political class insists upon "framing African Americans as the predominant poor and welfare-dependent."

Here are the facts:
Of the 46 million people living in poverty in America in 2010, the U.S. census revealed that 31 million were white. Ten million were black. Of the 49 million people without health insurance coverage, 37 million were white; 8 million were African American.

White Americans, poor and middle-class alike, receive the vast majority of tax-funded government assistance programs, from monthly assistance to Social Security to food stamps. (source: Social Security Administration)

Per the New York Times, 36 million Americans relied on food stamps. More than 24 million of them were white, 8 million were African American and 6 million were Hispanic of any race.

57 percent of rural poor children were white and 44 percent of all urban poor children were white. (source: 2009 study "The Forgotten Fifth: Child Poverty in Rural America")

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