May 1, 2014

The zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus this Wednesday following the dust up over his not so thinly veiled racist remarks about "inner city poverty" that Rep. Barbara Lee called him out for last month.

Following the meeting, Lee told MSNBC's Joy Reid that she has moved on since Ryan's remarks and that it's important to communicate that "Chairman Ryan understand that poverty is not only in the African American and Latino community. This is an American issue. It's an American problem, and he needs to really understand that we have to create a budget and opportunity for all, and leave no one behind." Lee was happy to see that debate beginning.

I'd be somewhat satistifed if I thought this was anything other than more political grandstanding by Ryan, who is more than happy to pretend to give lip service to the issue of poverty, while continuing to push for policies that harm the most vulnerable among us while enriching his already wealthy campaign contributors.

I await Bill O'Reilly attacking Lee as a "race hustler" again for daring to point out that we've got some issues when it comes to income disparity and race in the United States of America.

Here's more on the meeting from MSNBC: Paul Ryan meets with Congressional Black Caucus after race flap:

Congressman Paul Ryan met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday to clear the air after comments he made about how the culture of “inner cities” helps explain persistent poverty.

“Congressman Ryan is a nice guy, and as such you know he has tried to frame the comments that he made about inner city folk as just sort of an inarticulate way of communicating,” Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) told reporters last week. “We want to challenge his assumptions about that and really raise with him a couple of very specific proposals.” [...]

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a CBC member, called them “a thinly veiled racial attack (that) cannot be tolerated.” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office also criticized Ryan, with a spokesman calling the quotes “shameful, disturbing, and wrong.”

Others were upset over Ryan’s reference in the same interview to Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist best known for his past work studying links between race and IQ, as an authority on poverty issues. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), another CBC member, complained last week that Murray had “been pouring racist sewage into open ears for a couple generations now” and that Ryan’s interest in his work “suggests ignorance” of racial issues.

Ryan, for his part, said he was “inarticulate” and “was not implicating the culture of one community—but of society as a whole.” In an interview with BuzzFeed published Sunday night, Ryan said he was still trying to figure out the best approach to discussing race and poverty.

“We have to be cognizant of how people hear things,” Ryan said. “For instance, when I think of ‘inner city,’ I think of everyone. I don’t just think of one race. It doesn’t even occur to me that it could come across as a racial statement, but that’s not the case, apparently … What I learned is that there’s a whole language and history that people are very sensitive to, understandably so. We just have to better understand. You know, we’ll be a little clumsy, but it’s with the right intentions behind it.”

I call B.S. on Ryan pretending he didn't know exactly what he was saying, or who he was trying to appeal to, or to him having one iota of good intentions when it comes to caring for those living in poverty. It's a PR stunt to try to make himself look better in the media after being called out for saying what he really believes.


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