“You Said What You Meant”

I love this. Watch House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) get confronted by one of his constituents at a town hall meeting who told him his comments were “code word for black.”

via ThinkProgress

Ryan continues to swear that there is “nothing whatsoever about race” in his comments, but we all know that’s not true.

It’s not true because, even if Ryan didn’t personally mean to implicate race, he did implicate race.

There was something about race in his comments whether he meant for there to be or not. The racism is so ingrained that it becomes subconscious; an accepted fact that goes unchallenged until someone — in this case Ryan — blurts it out.

I wouldn’t give everyone the benefit of the doubt but, in some cases; and not necessarily in this case; those who subscribe to these beliefs may have no idea that what they’re espousing is racially tinged because it’s been repeated ad nauseam in their inner circles for so long that it becomes a fact of life. It’s an “old-time dogwhistle.”

The problem for Ryan and most other Republicans is their policies reflect their rhetoric quite well in regards to poor and minority communities.

It would be easier to believe Ryan and his colleagues if they weren’t doing everything they can, from reducing food and housing assistance to suppressing voting rights, to attack the poor and the inner city.

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  • muselet

    There’s nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all.

    Because “inner city” refers to all poor people of all colors, even po’ rural white folk. Just like the N-word has nothing to do with race (just ask those nice gentlemen with the swastika tattoos and the shaved heads and the stars’n’bars decals on their pick-em-up trucks, they’ll tell you). Right?

    I might have given Paul Ryan the benefit of the doubt if he’d quickly apologized for using a racially loaded term, even though citing Charles Murray pretty much gives the game away.

    –alopecia

  • Christopher Foxx

    Ryan’s reply starts: “You deserve a response, and I deserve the ability to respond.”

    Nobody was denying him a chance to respond. On the contrary, they were expecting him to respond.

    Bot notice that, very first order of business, Ryan has to cast himself as somehow being oppressed. This is how they think.

    (I also notice how he said, regarding Rupublican ideas, “sometimes you oversimplify, and you can be misinterpreted”. As if Republicans have any ideas that aren’t simplistic.)

  • lahru

    how such a blatant racial statement impacts his quarterly fundraising would be interesting to find out. follow the money…………