Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) angered many inner-city residents with his dog whistle interview with Bill Bennett on Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio show on Wednesday. Even though Ryan tried to walk back the notion that his statements were not directed towards Blacks as being lazy and lacking in cultural astuteness, his targeted attacks were none-the-less directed toward residents of the inner-city.
Ryan has recently decided to point out the drastic poverty in America but as usual not offering any solution other than cutting programs that would help the very people he continually ridicule
Even though Ryan is being raked across the coals by the likes of Barbara Lee (D-CA) who has gone on record condemning the statements by Ryan as being, “A thinly veiled racial attack.” Ryan is asserting that race had nothing to do with his statements.
Congresswoman Lee said in a statement reported by Think Progress:
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, fired back at House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) for claiming that poverty is caused by men in “our inner cities” who are “not even thinking about working.” His comments “are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated,” Lee said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “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,” she said. “Instead of demonizing “culture,” and blaming black men for their poverty, Mr. Ryan should step up and produce some legitimate proposals on how to tackle poverty and racial discrimination in America. His uninformed policy proposals continue to increase poverty, not solve it. My colleague is demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the issues in urban and black communities.”
The problem Ryan is having in convincing members of the Black community that he in deed was not directing his comments to them is the person he made the comments to. Bill Bennett has publicly stated that, “If all Black babies were aborted, the crime rate would go down.” Notwithstanding that during Bennett’s attempt to run for the presidency, he ran on a platform of doing away with The Department of Education. Ronald Reagan appointed him to the position of Secretary of Education in 1985 and by the time he resigned in 1988 he had started the decline in the educational system that has prevailed even until this day.
Secondly, Ryan cited two books written by Harvard professors in an effort to substantiate his claim that there is a culture in the inner-city and it is systemic. One of the authors referred to by Ryan was Charles Murray. Murray supposedly did a study in which he concluded that Blacks are less intelligent than whites and are genetically pronged to violence. There is no coincidence that following this so called study by Murray, we have “Stop and Frisk, Stand Your Ground, Welfare President” as solutions to problems before Murray’s study did not exist.
The other author mentioned by Ryan was Robert Putnam. Putnam is a Harvard professor whose research has found that lower-income Americans are more distrustful of others and more disconnected from society’s important institutions than their middle or higher-income counterparts. Putnam argues that these trends are a sign that the United States is “heading towards a caste system where social standing and community involvement are inherited from generation to generation” and undermine social mobility.
As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan has his hands on the nation’s purse strings. If Rep. Lee is correct in her assertion, that could possibly explain why programs that would help the elderly, the poor or dwellers in the inner-city are never proposed in Ryan’s budgets. Taxes cut for the “Job Creators” have been his mantra and is reflected in the budgets he propose.
It has often been said that you can judge a nation by the way it treats the least among it. Perhaps Ryan really believes that we are, “A nation of makers and takers.”
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