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Paul Ryan Slammed for Racist Claim, Blaming Poverty on Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, one of the rising stars in the Republican party, has come under some heavy fire from the left after what some are calling a racist and bigoted claim about what’s at the root of poverty.

Appearing on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America, Ryan said that there is 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 that has to be dealt with.”

Ryan went on to cite the work of Charles Murray, a controversial author who penned “The Bell Curve,” which CNN describes as a book that “claims that black people have inferior intelligence and is the reason for social disadvantages.”

“Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard – those guys have written books on this, which is – we have got this tailspin of culture,” Ryan said.

His comments drew quick rebukes from the left. ThinkProgress quickly released a Facebook post, asserting that “blamed poverty on lazy ‘inner city’ men.” Nancy Pelosi immediately went on the offensive against the House Budget Committee Chairman, saying his statements were “shameful and wrong.”

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee didn’t hold back any punches, sending out a release saying “My colleague Congressman Ryan’s comments about ‘inner city’ poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”

Erin Nanasi, a columnist for the Forward Progressives, wrote “Paul Ryan would do well to learn from this, but I doubt he will. Given the number of right wing politicians and pundits who use coded (and not-so-coded) racist language all the time, odds are, his constituents are pleased with his comments. After all, it’s so much easier to blame black men for unemployment than your own party.”

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

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Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh