The Image That Destroys the Black ‘Welfare Queen’ Myth
Republicans have called President Obama the “food stamp president” because enrollment in the program has increased 70% since he took office. Despite the past Republican successes in labeling food stamps as a black program, whites make up the largest share of food stamp recipients at 40%, followed by blacks at 26% and Latinos at 10%. Last year, Owsley, Kentucky was identified as the food stamp capital of the country, a 99% white and 95% Republican community. Moreover, the shaming and criminalization of Americans on food stamps obscures the fact that there is a hunger crisis in America, the land of plenty, and millions really need food stamps to survive.
Conservatives will have you believe these are lazy black people, welfare cheats and drug abusers who are dependent on out-of-control, wasteful government programs, and buy cigarettes and alcohol with their SNAP benefits card. But when the GOP is no longer able to rely on race-baiting and racial stereotypes to attack food stamps and other antipoverty programs, what do they have left? We are left wondering what Republicans would do to address the problem of massive poverty and hunger in America. The myth must end now.