Paul Ryan: Poverty due to “real culture problem” in America’s “inner cities”

By | March 13, 2014

Citing Charles Murray, the libertarian academic and pundit who has previously argued that poverty is largely a consequence of low IQ and race, Rep. Paul Ryan told right-wing radio host Bill Bennett on Wednesday morning that poverty in America is largely a product of a “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.”

“So there’s a real culture problem here,” Ryan continued, “that has to be dealt with.”

Ryan appeared on the influential Bennett’s show in part to promote his recent “survey” of the government’s many anti-poverty initiatives, nearly all of which Ryan believes do more to perpetuate poverty than reduce or eliminate it, a conclusion that’s been strongly criticized by others, including some of the academics Ryan references in the study itself.

Despite his belief in cutting most programs designed to combat poverty, though, Ryan made clear to Bennett that he doesn’t support letting the poor simply fend for themselves. On the contrary, he urges Bennett’s audience to “get involved” and show that “civil society” rather than “government” is the way to help the underprivileged. (Salon)

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  • Bahati_Sobukwe

    Ignorance and a lack of knowledge of white people’s racism causes people like Paul Ryan to speak in racist ways about black culture. Too often the symptons of racism are discussed as if they are the cause of racism. They are used in many clever ways to say that blacks are their own problem. Africans are not denying that 246 years of slavery and the unrelenting 149 years of oppression after slavery has caused many problems in the black communities.

    It is immoral to let white America continue to believe that their current privileged status was acquired as a resul of hard work ad natural social ordering. This would be a more tolerant nation if whites were reminded–and some told–that they did not get ownership and control by being innately superior, but by exploiting the labor of black Americans, the expropriation of Native American land, and preferential government treatment.

    There is no just reason for allowing white America to pretend that one has to be a practicing racist to reap the benefits of racism. True, all whites do not have wealth or political power. However, they take comfort in their “belief that those who have power will exercise it in their favor at the expense of blacks,” Professor Andrew Hacker reminds us.
    All the injustice against blacks in this Nation was with the approval of most whites, especially, if it was infered that somehow the injustice practiced was blacks faults.

    Too many blacks have been forced to live in marginal social conditions that produce pathological, survival behavior. And it is not just fatherless homes alone that created crime.
    These discussions should not only discuss the “success-oriented values in black communities” without addressing the structural transformation of how the United States’ economy has changed drastically in the last few decades. Many semi-skilled and unskilled black workers are on the permanent roll of the unemployed due to the mechanization of “Southern agriculture, deindustrialization of Northeasttern and Midwestern cities, and also due to the entrance of white females and new immigrants into the labor Market. (Claud Anderson)

    Black urban youths in decrepit schools, devalued by alienating ideals of Euro-American beauty, targeted by an unprecedented drug invasion (read Reagan and the Contra), and with sex and violence activities in society projected as instance gratification are naturally disorientated. This new profane (read Ganta Rap fed by white youths’ money power) and obscene sub-culture has emerged destroying the morals and dignity of black children.

    So, maybe Paul Ryan, other whites, and many blacks, need to be taught the real history of the United States so that they can become more tolerant and just. The United States of America has never done anything about the racism that was taught to whites during the 246 years or slavery, nor the frightful years after slavery that was visited on blacks with so much cruelty it made slavery look like a job, until blacks became free of slavery in 1942. And only then becaue they feared how Germany would use and reveal the convict labor (slavery) that was still going on in the Southern United States. Oh, its an awful tale that needs telling.

  • Bahati_Sobukwe

    what was wrong wit my comment?