Ryan’s Racism

There’s much talk on the intertubes about Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s “testy” interview  with a reporter from Michigan’s ABC12 News. Ryan ended the interview segment after what his campaign is saying was a “weird question” from the local ABC reporter. That the Ryan campaign is hoping to short-circuit the right’s criticism of Ryan’s response to a question about gun control is clear. He blundered the party’s insistence that President Obama is going to take away everyone’s guns:

I mean if you take a look at the gun laws we have, I don’t even think President Obama is proposing more gun laws. We have good, strong gun laws. We have to make sure…we enforce our laws. We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced.

The Ryan campaign says Ryan made an appropriate response to a “weird question” by the local ABC reporter. Oops!

Yeah, right, whatever. But let’s talk about what Paul Ryan said before he ended the interview; it appalls me. He immediately  connects violent crimes and inner cities, and his comments about solving inner-city problems are unabashedly racist:

But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That’s what charities, and civic groups, and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another.

“Inner city” is code for impoverished black urban neighborhoods; inner city is a euphemism for ghetto. Ah, I thought the question was about “the gun problem,” but Ryan’s response pivots to the “inner cities,” linking crime and urban environments where people without “good discipline and character” live, and where, “civil society” doesn’t exist.

Ryan wasn’t asked about Ryan about inner cities;  he volunteered the phrase. And his proposal for alleviating poverty and preventing crime is for “charities, and civic groups, and churches” are for.  Clearly there’s no role for the government.  Education, health care, jobs, veterans’ benefits, child care and decent food? Nah, just leave it to charities, civic groups and churches to teach those “inner city” people to control their violent urges.

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