Paul Ryan caused quite a backlash on Wednesday when he blamed a culture problem in inner cities for contributing to men not working or even thinking about working.
"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 the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with," Ryan said on Bill Bennett's "Morning In America," as recorded by Think Progress.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, called his comments racist.
"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.'"
His remarks also set off an outpouring of criticism on social media:
Paul Ryan is concerned about the culture of wrk among inner city men. How about the culture of wrk among GOP House members (<10days wrkd)?- Erik Huey (@ErikHuey) March 12, 2014
Just interviewed single dad fast-food worker from "inner city" - mows lawns when McD's won't give him enuf hours. Paul Ryan should meet him!- Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) March 12, 2014