This Comic Strip Nails Why Poor Americans Aren't Just 'Asking For Handouts'

06/02/2015 09:28 am ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

America's poor don't have it easy.

They're subjected to a range of false stereotypes: They're accused of being lazy and of abusing drugs, among others. Researcher Paul C. Gorski examined these perceptions in his 2013 book, “Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap,” and found these notions aren't based in reality.

"A vast majority of these stereotypes are just plain inaccurate," Gorski wrote, the Washington Post noted. "In fact, some are truer of wealthy people than poor people."

In a country that ranks near the bottom when it comes to income inequality amongst developed nations, these harmful stereotypes don't do much in helping vulnerable Americans shape a better future for themselves.

In a post published on The Wireless, "On A Plate: A Short Story About Privilege" by Toby Morris challenges many of these damaging ideas by exemplifying how a person born into poverty faces setbacks at various stages of their life their well-off peers don't need to overcome.

The New Zealand-based artist tells the the story of Paula -- who was born into poverty and attends an overcrowded and underfunded school -- and compares it to major life events experienced by Richard -- her wealthier counterpart who goes to a school with plenty of resources and less stressed teachers.

The story ends with an adult Richard attributing his success to simple hard work.

"I'm sick of people asking for handouts," he says. "No one ever handed me anything on a plate."

Morris' story serves as all the more reason to kick these backwards stereotypes to the curb.

Head to The Wireless to see the rest of the illustration.

(Artwork courtesy of Toby Morris)

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