One of the obvious and unsettling consequences of the economic collapse engineered by George W. Bush and his Wall Street cronies is the escalation of the number of poor and hungry Americans who rely on Food Stamps to feed their families. But leave it to the Fox Nationalists to ferret out an angle on this that disparages an ethnic minority and exacerbates the racial divisiveness that is already all too prevalent on Fox Nation.
While Fox scrounged up this item from CNSNews, a division of the ultra-rightist Media Research Center, they never bothered to put the information into context. Had they done so, their audience would know that may other places in the United States (which, of course, includes Puerto Rico) have far higher percentages of Food Stamp participation than the island territory. For instance, the state of Mississippi has 12 counties that surpass Puerto Rico. In Humphreys County the percentage of Food Stamp recipients is nearly half (48%). And that is not an anomaly. Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and other mostly southern states also have counties that rank higher in Food Stamp usage.
Given these facts, why would Fox single out Puerto Rico? Could it be because the population is largely Latino? Many conservatives regard the territory as “foreign” and don’t consider it a part of the American family. That view is endorsed by the comments posted on Fox Nation’s web site, where the prevailing opinion is that Puerto Rico should be cut loose. If so, then I suppose the same people expressing that view would be amenable to throwing Mississippi out of the union as well. And on that, we may have found some common ground.