Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on Wednesday slammed Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) claim that there is an inner city “culture problem” of men not working.
“My colleague Congressman Ryan’s comments about ‘inner city’ poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black,'” she said in a statement.
On Wednesday morning, Ryan said that the culture in inner cities contributes to poverty.
“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 or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” he said.
Lee said that he has nothing to back up his claim.
“As someone who sits on the Budget Committee with Mr. Ryan, I know that his assertions about the racial dynamics of poverty are not only statistically inaccurate, but deeply offensive,” she said. “Instead of demonizing ‘culture,’ and blaming black men for their poverty, Mr. Ryan should step up and produce some legitimate proposals on how to tackle poverty and racial discrimination in America.”
[H/t Think Progress]