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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

  • tiedtotheair2

    I always wanted to know what people like Clarence Thomas, Allen West, Herman Cain and the few other Black republicans thought of the Bell Curve, and what they thought of their colleagues who believe it…

  • liberalinlove

    Only progressives and liberals decrying the remarks? That must mean he’s resonated with those in the country, who buy into the meme that if you are poor, you are lazy.

    So while we’re angry as wet hens here, the real issue is that his followers are probably celebrating and cheering him on, because after all if he’s made the progressive/liberal mad, he must be doing something right.


  • Jimmy L Aldrich

    Funny how he focuses on the inner city and not rural America where the real problem is located. Poverty rate. 42% white 23 Black and 20 Hispanic. Conservatives always know what the ills are in minorities communities but their own house is burning down and they ignore it. Where are inner city men who refuse to work in Idaho, Utah, West Virginia, Montana, etc…get me point?

    • Wayne Hicks

      The countries unemployment woes are unfortunately geographically driven and in the majority of the areas it is due to people of any race unable to afford to leave for a brighter future due to other unfortunate situations such as family members health etc…however, no one can cry the blues when you drop out of highschool or just don’t give a crap about your grades while in school….people have been brainwashed into thinking the world owes them everything…..the world will only give you what you can afford to buy….want steak, study harder, don’t study….don’t cry!! PERIOD.

  • Diana Reichardt

    Mr. Ryan, you sir are totally biased and racist. Things are in such a mess because the all mighty dollar is the only thing you and -people like you care about!!! You are suppose to be a representative of the PEOPLE!!! You are their worst enemy!! You and your buddies care nothing about the working class, they are just means to make you more money and if they expect something in return you are shocked. Do me a favor sir and fall in a large hole and take your friends with you!