Paul Ryan Clarifies What He Meant By Remarks About Men In Inner Cities

Janesville Representative Has Been Criticized For Racial Implications Of Comments On Conservative Talk Show


U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, explained for an audience in North Prairie on Tuesday what he meant to say when he criticized the culture in the inner city of urban areas.

Ryan’s comments last week on a conservative talk show – claiming that particularly in inner cities generations of men are not even thinking about working – have drawn scorn from a variety of groups and pundits.

As part of an all-white audience in North Prairie, a young girl stood up and told the Republican lawmaker that she didn’t think Ryan’s words were racist. Ryan told the town hall that he was just trying to re-emphasize his contention that the war on poverty has shortcomings

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“In our society we have done a lot to isolate the poor in rural and urban America,” said Ryan. “We have reinforced this notion that this is the government’s responsibility, and you don’t have to do anything about it. That’s not true.”

Ryan praised two non-governmental inner city programs in Milwaukee for trying to break through the isolation. Ryan has also called last week’s remarks inarticulate. The Congressional Black Caucus has invited Ryan to join them at one of their meetings to discuss poverty. Ryan said that he has many friends in the caucus and is willing to meet.

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