Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement today in response to Rep. Paul Ryan's offensive and racially charged remarks about American poverty:
Rep. Ryan's Remarks: "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 to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with."
"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."
"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.
"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. His uninformed policy proposals continue to increase poverty, not solve it. My colleague is demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the issues in urban and black communities."