After making some of the usual disgusting Republican comments about lazy “inner city” men (do I need to translate that for you?), today Paul Ryan is issuing the standard GOP non-apology apology; he says he was “inarticulate.”
In a statement issued to ThinkProgress, Ryan said he regretted the comments and stressed that he did not intend to slander an entire community:
After reading the transcript of yesterday morning’s interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make. I was not implicating the culture of one community—but of society as a whole. We have allowed our society to isolate or quarantine the poor rather than integrate people into our communities. The predictable result has been multi-generational poverty and little opportunity. I also believe the government’s response has inadvertently created a poverty trap that builds barriers to work. A stable, good-paying job is the best bridge out of poverty.
The broader point I was trying to make is that we cannot settle for this status quo and that government and families have to do more and rethink our approach to fighting poverty. I have witnessed amazing people fighting against great odds with impressive success in poor communities. We can learn so much from them, and that is where this conversation should begin.
Ryan’s problem, of course, was really the exact opposite of being inarticulate. He stated the Republican position on African Americans very well, using the standard “inner city” diversionary language we’ve heard so many times before, but these days it’s getting more difficult for Republicans to use this kind of dog-whistle racism without being called on it.
And notice that Ryan doesn’t address the other disgusting part of his comments — referring to the work of “scientific white supremacist” Charles Murray (of “Bell Curve” infamy), who believes African Americans are less intelligent than whites, and that “a lot of poor people are born lazy.” And this, too, is a very standard GOP position; despite Murray’s work being discredited many times over, Republicans cite him as an authority repeatedly, to this day, and he works at the American Enterprise Institute, one of the top conservative think tanks.
In the immortal words of The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi: “You know we can hear you, right?”