When Rep. Paul Ryan was on the radio two weeks ago to talk about the death spiral of poverty found in all inner-cities, his Democratic colleague, Rep. Barbara Lee, said that any use of the phrase “inner cities” was tantamount to hating black people.
The week after, Ryan fell to his knees before the Black Congressional Caucus to explain himself and to ask them how he can make them happy with him.
A few days after that, Ryan went on Fox News to talk with Bill O’Reilly about the incident. O’Reilly asked Ryan him about a phone call he, Ryan, had with Lee. Specifically, O’Reilly wanted to know if Lee had apologized to Ryan for affixing baseless labels to him.
“No,” said Ryan, with a tone that sounded like, “Why should she have to?” “Barbara and I have known each other for many years,” he said, and blah, blah, blah.
At one point in the segment, O’Reilly referred to Lee and others like her as “race-hustlers.”
Lee saw this as yet another opportunity to pretend to be outraged. (He who is most outraged has the appearance of being on moral high ground, as we all know.)
“Unfortunately,” Lee said in a statement, “we’ve come to expect language like ‘welfare queens,’ ‘food stamp president,’ and now ‘race hustlers’ from the right wing and Mr. O’Reilly. It is disgusting and divisive and should never be accepted in our national discourse.”
Accurate descriptors are offensive.
The statement continued. “For us to achieve the American dream for all, we must engage in this conversation that has been sparked about race and poverty, even if it is difficult for some.”
That’d be lovely, except that every time the right tries to address the issue of black crime and black poverty, they’re called racists for it. How can you have a conversation with Democrats when they will not stop swinging their arms at you?
“Racial discrimination, poverty, and income inequality remain issues that must be debated and addressed, and these kinds of ‘code words’ only get in the way of solving the real problems.
She closes her statement thus: “As members of Congress, we must come together to present a budget”—she should take that up with Harry Reid—”and funding priorities that create opportunity for all. We must make critical investments in job creation, education, and job training. Among many issues, we must address extending unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, enacting criminal justice reform, and securing voting rights for communities of color, so that we can truly find solutions to these critical issues” (emphasis mine).
Just don’t call her a race-hustler or anything.