Paul Ryan, former Republican vice-president candidate and notorious Ayn Rand denier had some interesting thoughts on the problem of poverty.
He probably should have kept them to himself.
At a town hall meeting in Racine, WI on Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was confronted by a black constituent about his remarks disparaging lazy “inner city” men as a drain on the economy.
Think Progress reported that 61-year-old Alfonso Gardner of Racine asked the erstwhile vice presidential candidate exactly what he meant when he said “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 and learning the value and culture of work.”
“You said what you meant,” said Gardner to Ryan during the question and answer section of his appearance. When Ryan said “inner city,” Gardner contended, it was “a code word for black.”
Ryan acted offended that Gardner brought race into the discussion, saying, “There is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all.”
Gardner was overreacting, he said, “I think when we throw these charges [of racism] around, it should be based on something.”
Think Progress’ Scott Keyes spoke to Gardner after the event, who said, “He’s out here shucking and jiving. He’s been in Congress eight terms and just now talking about poverty?”
Furthermore, when Ryan made his remarks on Bill Bennett’s AM radio talk show “Morning in America,” he referenced white supremacist writer Charles Murray, who the Southern Poverty Law Center said uses “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority” of African-Americans.
Maybe Ryan actually has a genuine interest in bettering the plight of those generations of inner city males who aren’t working.
More likely Ryan is blowing a particularly high-pitched dog whistle where the problem of inner city Black men not working is based on the fact they’re Black men living in the inner city.
I’d be more inclined to get Cryin’ Ryan the benefit of the doubt if he wasn’t referring to theories of a slob like Charles Murray, the living half of the two twits who wrote the spectacularly racist The Bell Curve and he wasn’t running this smack on a radio show hosted by Bill Bennett, a former Secretary of Education who once told a caller, “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”
If Paul Ryan gave a shit about the serious issues of Black men and the conditions they face in the inner city, he’d get off his dead ass and support some legislation that might put people to work like the president’s American Jobs Act that has languished in Congress since 2011.
But Ryan doesn’t give a shit. He’s another smart-ass White guy who wants to talk Black problems to death with bullshit analysis, hang-wringing sob stories and not a goddamn bit of action. I am SO tired of these opportunistic jackholes like Ryan who riff on subjects they know nothing about and care even less and think referencing a racist like Murray gives them some clout and we should pay attention to them.
NO. We shouldn’t.
Ryan is a man going places in American politics and much like Sen. Rand Paul who has made some encouraging noises in talking about race. At least for a prominent Republican even if Paul falls Whitesplaining the same awkward way Ryan does.
Nobody needs to tell a Black male what’s broken. I’ve heard all that in barbershop conversations for over five decades now. All I want to hear from Ryan is what’s the plan to fix it? Beware when a right-winger who’s never spoken about poverty or race before starts talking about it. Odds are he’s only spreading verbal fertilizer.
Ryan isn’t going to do anything about the problems of “inner city” men. He just likes talking about it because it makes him seem sincere and really cares when we know he really doesn’t. My advice to Ryan is to take the advice of another Republican, Frederick Douglass who had some thoughts himself about what should be done about those Black people problems.
Everybody has asked the question…”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!