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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It’d be easier to believe the GOP isn’t racist if they’d put down the dog whistle

Raw Story - Paul Ryan cites ‘white nationalist’ to blame poverty on lazy men in ‘inner cities’
Raw Story: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday suggested that men in “inner cities” who refused to work were one of the main causes of poverty in the United States.

In an interview with conservative radio host Bill Bennett that was first noticed by Igor Volsky at Think Progress, Ryan reflected on his controversial poverty discussion at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

“We call it a poverty trap,” he explained. “There are incentives not to work, and to stay where you are.”

Ryan also pointed to the work of Charles Murray, a white nationalist, who has used “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“That’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities,” he told Bennett. “Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this.”
Here’s Charles Murray. The skinny on Murray is that he spends one helluva lot of time explaining why the incredibly racist arguments he makes aren’t really racist. He’s not the sort of guy you want someone calling “your buddy” in any sort of matter of fact way. He’s probably best known for The Bell Curve, a racist book that argued that minorities were less intelligent than whites. The book was all the rage on the right for a bit back in the ’90s, until everyone realized that the embrace of it proved everything everyone ever said about just how bigoted the Republican Party and the conservative movement had become.

And there goes my last shred of respect for Paul Ryan (although a thin shred was really all I had anyway). “Lazy,” in conjunction with “inner city,” is code for racial stereotypes that would’ve gone out of style in the ’60s, if clowns like Ryan didn’t keep ripping the scab off white segregationist grievances for petty political gain. He proves both that Republican willingness to pander to racists knows no bottom and that Ryan’s own shamelessness is infinite. If you doubt that Ryan speaks for the GOP, just sit back for a bit and count how many of them call him out for this. My money’s on zero.

If Ryan and the rest of the GOP want people to buy into their pretense of “rebranding,” it’d be a big help if they stopped blowing that dogwhistle so damned hard.

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