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Paul Ryan ~ Empty Souls and Hunger Games
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Ann Coulter ~ Latinos are Lazy Underclass
Paul Ryan went on the radio with conservative host Bill Bennett and managed once again to say something typically untrue and insensitive, a complete dog whistle to the racist right, with echoes of the disparaging slam on "urban voters" during Ryan's campaign to be Mitt Romney's Vice President.
(speaking to Bill Bennett) You know 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 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 and so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
~ Paul Ryan via Talking Points Memo
After being criticized by all sides,he tried to walk it back, especially for referencing racist Charles Murray, Paul Ryan tried to walk this back but never actually apologized, of course. He's not into that. Here is his non-apology apology.
After reading the transcript of yesterday morning’s interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make. I was not implicating the culture of one community—but of society as a whole.
We have allowed our society to isolate or quarantine the poor rather than integrate people into our communities. The predictable result has been multi-generational poverty and little opportunity. I also believe the government’s response has inadvertently created a poverty trap that builds barriers to work. A stable, good-paying job is the best bridge out of poverty.
The broader point I was trying to make is that we cannot settle for this status quo and that government and families have to do more and rethink our approach to fighting poverty. I have witnessed amazing people fighting against great odds with impressive success in poor communities. We can learn so much from them, and that is where this conversation should begin.
UPDATE: Paul Ryan was confronted with his words by a constituent at a Town Hall meeting, and again he insisted to the incredulous man that his words were not racist (so just ignore that Charles Murray "some races are lazy" reference).
“You said what you meant,” Alfonso Gardner, a 61-year-old African American man from Racine, told Ryan at a town hall meeting. “[Inner city is] a code word for black.”
Ryan remained defiant though. “There is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all,” he said. He admonished Gardner for drawing a connection between his “inner city” remarks and race. “I think when we throw these charges around, it should be based on something.”
There are few words that can describe such a deeply ignorant comment, but shameful, disturbing, and wrong offer a good start.
~ Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California
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.”
As someone who sits on the Budget Committee with Mr. Ryan, I know that his assertions about the racial dynamics of poverty are not only statistically inaccurate, but deeply offensive.
~ Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-California
Paul said he thought it was inarticulate, but quite frankly, Democrats are lying in wait as well to pounce on whatever might be off tone. Why was Paul even talking about this? The reason he was talking about it because he's devoted a large part of his life, starting back when he worked with Jack Kemp, on finding ways to tackle poverty, to free up capital, to create opportunities in urban areas around this country.
~ National Republican Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus
Blow, blow, blow into that dog whistle, Paul. In case he wasn't being clear enough, though, Ryan cited Charles Murray, a conservative political scientist who has argued that race and IQ are genetically linked and "a lot of poor people are born lazy."
~ Laura Clewson on Daily Kos
. . . the problems plaguing the inner city aren’t created by culture. They are the indirect result of government policies. And it’s going to take progressive government policies to solve them.
Which means you were right about one thing, congressman: to end the intergenerational cycle of joblessness and poverty, there is a group of taxpayer supported inner-city people who definitely have to learn something about the culture of work. Namely, you and the rest of your colleagues in the “do-nothing Congress” in Washington, D.C.
~ Jonathan Capehart
TOM THE DANCING BUG: Paul Ryan's Tour of the "Inner City" http://t.co/ESmnx7NCYn
— Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) March 19, 2014
Dear Paul Ryan: A Washington DC study of its inner-city congressmen showed that some are intellectually and culturally lazy. #GuessWho?
— Barracks O'Bama (@P0TUS) March 13, 2014
Now to be fair Paul Ryan wasn't disparaging black men with his lazy "inner city men" comment-- he was disparaging black AND Latino men.
— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) March 13, 2014
So, when is the last time Paul Ryan saw an inner city community w/o a car window in from of him...
— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) March 12, 2014
Republican @RepPaulRyan ’s ‘Inner City’ Constituents Respond To His Comments http://t.co/DlcBMacd7J #tcot #p2 pic.twitter.com/F1osAuRO5n
— Blue DuPage (@BlueDuPage) March 20, 2014
Maybe Ryan can hook the “inner city poor” up to the gravy train he’s ridden his entire life. http://t.co/aVvtv4dYHz pic.twitter.com/PeTbctUqrC
— Keep Wisconsin Blue (@UniteBlueWI) March 14, 2014