Nothing like a rich white guy talking about poor, lazy minorities, right? Former Republican VP pick and current House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is facing fallout for his racist comments on the Bill Bennet radio show yesterday. Ryan stated that “inner city” men weren’t even thinking about looking for work because they received government assistance. Yup, the stereotypical Lazy Black Man is alive and well in the mind of Paul Ryan. Salon has more:
Citing Charles Murray, the libertarian academic and pundit who has previously argued that poverty is largely a consequence of low IQ and race, Rep. Paul Ryan told right-wing radio host Bill Bennett on Wednesday morning that poverty in America is largely a product of a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work. So there’s a real culture problem here,” Ryan continued, “that has to be dealt with.”
Perhaps Ryan forgets that most jobs “created” since 2009 are part-time, minimum-wage, with no benefits. Rep. Barbara Lee called Ryan out on his comments:
In a statement released after news of his interview with Bennett first broke, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee called Ryan’s comments “a thinly veiled racial attack [that] cannot be tolerated.” “Let’s be clear,” Lee’s statement continues, “when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’” Lee went on to describe Ryan’s remarks as “not only statistically inaccurate, but deeply offensive.”
Ryan tried to back away from his comments, absurdly changing the phrase “inner city” to “rural” when describing the culture of laziness taht leads to poverty, as Think Progress reports:
In defending his “inner city” remarks on Wednesday night, Ryan changed his focus to “rural” poverty, saying, “This isn’t a race based comment it’s a breakdown of families, it’s rural poverty in rural areas, and talking about where poverty exists — there are no jobs and we have a breakdown of the family.
Inner city and rural. Wow, aren’t those opposites? Like freedom is slavery, or war is peace? Ryan’s Orwellian defense notwithstanding, he has a history of elitist – if not overtly racist – language targeted at poor Americans. It was just last week that Ryan addressed that clump of conservative cuckoos at CPAC and made the ridiculous comment that free school lunches meant poor parents didn’t care about their kids. Notice a pattern here? Raw Story covered the CPAC circus:
Let me get this right – the left doesn’t understand why free school lunches are important? Hey Paul, what about the kid who’s family is too poor to fill that brown lunch bag with nutritious food? What’s the message to that little boy, huh? Go hungry because you’re poor? Because rich white (Neocon) politicians like you keep fighting minimum wage increases, reducing educational funding, encourage the destruction of our manufacturing sector by allowing Big Corporations to outsource American jobs, then give huge tax breaks to these same entities? Then you have the temerity to plant the idea that poor families who rely on school lunch programs don’t love their kids.
Well, their father’s are too lazy to work anyway, right? Happily sucking on the government teat rather than seeking meaningful employment. Their kids deserve to starve.
Stay classy, Ryan.
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