"That policies can differ so much among different states—and that such differences correspond so tightly with racial breakdowns—is the unfortunate lesson of welfare reform. Giving states leeway on how they treat their poor has always been a risky proposition, with states with high shares of minorities historically choosing to leave people out. It's only when the federal government intervenes that a more egalitarian response is possible. That, however, may not be what Congress wants."
Alana Semuels at The Atlantic writes that "States With Large Black Populations Are Stingier With Government Benefits."