Santorum Links Black People, Public Aid Programs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the National Urban League said Tuesday that Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum tried to leverage a stereotype about black people and public assistance programs to gain an advantage in the Iowa caucuses.

Urban League President Marc Morial called on other GOP candidates to repudiate Santorum’s comments, which were made as he campaigned Sunday in Sioux City, Iowa.

Videos posted on several websites show Santorum discussing programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, then saying: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

Morial said Santorum made the statements to pander to racist elements in the electorate and should be ashamed.

Santorum’s spokesman did not immediately return telephone calls and emails Tuesday seeking comment.

But Santorum addressed the comment during an interview Monday with CBS News, telling the network that he had seen the quotation but didn’t know the context of the statement.

“If you look at what I’ve been saying, I’ve been pretty clear about my concern for dependency in this country and concern for people not being more dependent on our government, whatever their race or ethnicity is,” Santorum said in the interview.

Morial pointed out that 84 percent of food stamp recipients in Iowa are white. Nationally, 70 percent of recipients are white, he said. Many people who receive public aid contributed to those programs as workers, Morial said.

“By falsely suggesting that people of color are a disproportionate drain on resources provided mainly by whites, Santorum deliberately fans the flames of racial divisiveness,” Morial said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. TB says:

    This statistic needs to be repeated over and over and over and over because people falsely believe that people of color are the primary recipients of public aid. It may be racially motivated, but it is wrong and needs to be refuted each time it is said.

    1. CJB says:

      Part of the issue is that it’s unfair to go by straight numbers because the population numbers differ from white to black, drastically. By sheer numbers, there ARE more white people on assistance. But there is a higher proportion of black individuals compared to the black population than there is of white individuals compared to the white population on assistance and I think that’s where he is coming from and why such comments persist.

      For example, say there are 10 black people and 50 white people in a fictional city and pretend that 5 black people and 20 white people are on assistance (this is all just made up numbers to illustrate a point).

      From a raw numbers perspective, there are 4 times as many white people on assistance as there are blacks. HOWEVER, the racial proportion is higher in the black group.

      That said, blacks, in this case, are more likely to be on assistance than whites even though the overall number might be lower. It’s hard to compare numbers when talking about 13% of a population compared to 50% or so of a population.

      I’m not saying I agree with Santorum; I’m just saying why the old chestnut of raw numbers alone misses some of the point and undermines the larger issues of why it is that there is a disproportionate difference.

      It’s the same with crime. Whites (which includes Hispanic in the data) and Blacks both account for around 50% of crime each. But 50% being committed by 13% is VASTLY different than 50% being committed by 50%.

      1. CJB says:

        But all the same, this data SHOULD NOT be used as “evidence” that black people are inherently bad or violent or lazy, which is what some unfortunately use it for.

        That is undeniably racist to believe.

        But there are racist statements (eg Black people aren’t real people) and then there are RACIAL statements (eg 50% of violent crime approximately is committed by 13% of the population). Those are two different things that are often lumped together. The first is one born of ignorance and intolerance and has no place in discussion and solves nothing; the second is just a statement of a fact just as whites are far more likely to be serial killers or have certain diseases or commit certain types of crimes like laundering, child molestation, etc.

  2. Jack Kennedy says:

    oh look, more LIBERAL VITRIOL AND HATE toward a real American, Senator Santorum

  3. Allen says:

    What are the proportionate statistics, i.e. the percentage relative to the ethnic make up of the population? Approximately 91.3% of the population of Iowa is white leaving minorities at 8.2%. Plug that into the 84/16 figure in the article and the percentage OF the minority population in Iowa receiving assistance is higher than the percentage OF the white population. When people start using statistics it is easy for either side to misrepresent the facts. Facts are important in an honest discussion. Political correctness and stereotypes are both threats to functional solutions. It is time for people of good character who realize that the facts are the facts but that culture- not race or ethnicity are perpetuating the differences these numbers expose.

    1. Dan Manzi says:

      You nailed it. Like Peter Fusco wrote in his book on running for office, “There is no gray on the palette of truth.”

    2. Ron Burgandy says:

      Good job Allen.

  4. Bill says:

    The federal government considers hispanics to be white, so the numbers are skewed. It would be difficult to have an honest discussion here, because as soon as someone uses facts, they will be accused of being insensitive or even racist. Also the FBI compiles crime statistics that combine whites and hispanics together as white only, therefore skewing the crime statistics to make it appear that black crime isn’t so pervasive. It’s a PC/affirmative action shell game.

  5. Aaron Henager says:

    I wish people would LISTEN TO THE COMMENTS… Santorum did NOT black people” He was asked about urban “blight” and he said “blight people” in his response. His error was frammatical, not racial.

  6. seenbetterdaze says:

    If the huge numbers of black people are on Welfare, Food Stamps, and Medicaid, Wic, etal is the perception all over the USA then it is the DemocRats who should be ashamed of themselves. LBJ’s Great Society prgrams urged them to sign up and quit working the farms, construction, etc. and move to the cities. It is the Truth. And even tho there are whites, latinos, etal on Welfare the Blacks have more than their share. Their culture does not value EDUCATION, and their kids are taunted by their peers.for making good grades. The Socialist Ideology promotes dependency!

  7. AG Kay says:

    Harry Truman once said statistics are like the ladies of the night. Paraphrasing now: “once you lay them down you can do with them whatever you want.”

  8. thinkingdownstream says:

    Regardless of what Santorum said or didn’t say, Black families have devolved from where they were in say the 60s. Back then it was common knowledge that black families were very strong and cohesive. There were very few babies born to single black females. Drugs, alcohol and crime were nowhere near the levels we see today in the Black community.

    And this during a time of racial strife and before massive redistribution of money in the form of “assistance” to minorities became a lifestyle imposed upon them by the government.

    Having lived through all these times, and being married to a black woman with a wonderful family for over 20 years, to me it is clear that the “Great Society” as implemented and propagated by liberals/progressives and aided and abetted by RINO Republicans has decimated the Black community.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS DC

D.C. Lottery Live
Follow and Like Us

Listen Live