After being criticized for making racially insensitive remarks, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is scheduled to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) later this week.
“Congressman Ryan is a nice guy, and as such you know he has tried to frame the comments that he made about inner city folk as just sort of an inarticulate way of communicating,” CBC member Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said during a conference call with reporters today.
During a radio appearance in March, Ryan said that there is a “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 to value the culture of work.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., called Ryan’s comments “a thinly veiled racial attack [that] cannot be tolerated.”
Ryan denies it.
“There was nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all; it had nothing to do with race,” Ryan later told constituents at a Racine town hall meeting. “Sometimes when you’re on the radio you try to take a bunch of ideas and collapse it into a couple of sentences and you oversimplify, and it can be misinterpreted; that’s what’s happened here.”
In other words, “inner cities” didn’t really mean “black.”