Ms. Hamilton makes the immediate and unfortunate assumption that the reference to “poor people” is a direct strike against black people, completely disregarding the fact that, on the whole, poor white people constitute a much larger group in terms of numbers. To put it more simply, there are more white people living at or under the poverty level than there are any other groups, or even all groups combined. So, Ms. Hamilton appears to be using the proportion of Black Americans as opposed to the actual numbers as her basis for charging Mr. Gingrich with racism.
It may be that the sensitivity level for racial slights has been ratcheted up to the level that any comment made by any person, at any level, is considered racist. This is a shame and it will do nothing to add to a healthy discourse about real problems, including racism. So, when Mr. Gingrich refers to giving poor people opportunity to be janitors, the number indicate clearly that the majority of poor people are not black.
This from the National Poverty Center: How does poverty differ across subgroups?
The poverty rate for all persons masks considerable variation between racial/ethnic subgroups. Poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics greatly exceed the national average. In 2010, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were poor, compared to 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12.1 percent of Asians.
Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. In 2010, 31.6 percent of households headed by APT.bham weekly.1.23.12_Layout 1 2/21/12 10:32 AM Page 1 single women were poor, while 15.8 percent of households headed by single men and 6.2 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty.
There are also differences between native-born and foreign-born residents.
In 2010, 19.9 percent of foreign-born residents lived in poverty, compared to 14.4 percent of residents born in the United States. Foreign-born, non-citizens had an even higher incidence of poverty, at a rate of 26.7 percent. Source: http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/ Subsequently, the US Census from 2010 tells us that there 308.7 million people in the US as of April 1, 2010. Here is the chart from the Census showing demographic representation by racial group.
White 299,736,465 72.4% of the total population Black 38,929,319 12.6% of the total population American Indian/Alaskan Indian 2,932.248 0.9% of the total population Asian 14,674,252 4.8% of the total population Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 540,013 0.2% of the total population Some other race 19,107,368 6.2% of the total population Mixed Race 9,009,073 2.9% of the total population Source: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf So, while it may be true that Mr. Gingrich harbors deep down in his heart of hearts, Ms Hamilton does a poor job of making her case for his use of euphemisms or code words in his dialog. As my old Grandfather used to say, “ It is a poor critic of the language that listens with an ear of tin.”
Sincerely, Steve Guthrie