A Wisconsin resident confronted Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) this week about the congressman’s recent comments that there is a “culture problem” in inner cities where men don’t want to work.
After some said Ryan’s remarks were racially charged, the congressman explained his statement was “inarticulate.” Alfonso Gardner, from Mount Pleasant, Wisc. called Ryan out on this explanation at a town hall in Racine.
“The next day you said that statement was inarticulate. Well, I don’t believe that. You said what you meant,” Gardner said to Ryan about his remarks. “Fine. Bottom line is this: this statement was not true.”
Gardner went on to say that “inner city” is a code word for “black,” but that black people are not the only ones who live in inner cities.
“And everybody works,” he explained. “You got here in a car or a truck or something. Somebody from the inner city helped make that.”
Ryan defended himself and explained that he was not talking about race.
“This is not a race thing. It’s just a poor thing. Poverty knows no racial boundaries. That’s the issue I’m trying to get at, which is we have to rethink our war on poverty and our programs so that it always pays to work. Because we have these incentives to people not to work,” Ryan responded. “I get it. You don’t know me, so you don’t know who I really am. Race has nothing to do with this.”
Watch the full exchange via NBC: