Food Stamp President

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Newt Gingrich's message to the black masses:


"I'm prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps," Gingrich said.

He should expect a frosty reception:

Oscar Eason, President of NAACP State Conference of Alaska, Oregon and Washington State, told CBS News Gingrich's comment "goes right to the heart of real racism - that African Americans are lazy and don't want to work and depend entirely on handouts.

It's true that white people make up the majority of  SNAP participants (59 percent.) It's also true that a disproportionate number of people participating in SNAP are black (28 percent.) But what's salient here is that most black people (62 percent) actually are not on food stamps. Moreover, I strongly suspect that the percentage of black people who are not on food stamps, and are politically conservative, is even higher. Of course these black almost always vote Democratic. 

I wonder why.

As for Santorum's comments (which is where this all started) you can see his explanation here. I'd love to join in the fray. But I have to tell you, I've watched the video, and I'm not completely clear on what he actually said or was trying to say. So there's that.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/01/food-stamp-president/250973/