Most people seemed to appreciate this week's cartoon, but I've noticed a couple comments elsewhere suggesting that I've been dishonest with my statement that more whites than blacks receive food stamps. These critics assert that because America's white population is significantly larger, a higher percentage of blacks receive nutrition assistance, and I'm a big fat liar for not presenting things this way. To which I say: these nitwits are totally missing the point.
It's no secret that poverty runs high among African-Americans due to a variety of historical factors, and I'm not trying to cover that up. Nor am I trying to pit racial demographics against one another. I'm simply pointing out that when you hear Republicans talking about people on food stamps, they tend to explicitly (or sometimes implicitly) refer to blacks, despite the fact that 5.15 million white households receive food stamps vs. 3.2 million African-American, as of 2009. The fact is, poverty is pretty diverse, and no one group should be singled out as "the food stamp people."
You'd think that decades in politics would knock the racist claptrap out of someone like Newt Gingrich, but, well, this is the GOP we're talking about. Instead, he just substitutes polite-sounding phrases like "African-American community" and "demand paychecks" for "those lazy blacks." How does one go about demanding a paycheck, anyway? I'd like to be able to do that, and have one show up. That would be cool.
The dialogue in the third panel refers to Ron Paul's Paranoid Kook Reports, which contained the theory that the LA riots only came to a halt because everyone went to pick up welfare checks. And right-wing noise machine poopshoveler Brent Bozell said on Fox News that Obama looked like a "skinny ghetto crackhead." Rick Santorum has also made similar comments to Newt's.
To be clear, my point here was not to pick on poor whites, but to criticize the singling out of one group when poverty cuts across multiple demographics. For data on food stamp usage, I looked at this USDA report (big PDF, via the ThinkProgress article linked above; page 75 has the breakdown) and this, which documents disproportionate rural usage, largely by children.