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Forget systematic racism and discrimination. Lazy men are to blame for poverty in the inner city.

Which for House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is totally a code word for men of color living in the inner city.

During an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America to preview his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs, Ryan had this to say about the “real culture problem” in the nation:

“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.”

He didn’t stop there. Ryan even had the audacity to cite Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences, contending that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

Code words again? Poor meaning black?

“[W]e want people to reach their potential and so the dignity of work is very valuable and important and we have to re-emphasize work and reform our welfare programs, like we did in 1996,” Ryan told Bennett.

“When you question this war on poverty, you get all the criticisms from adherents to the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change,” Ryan said. “We got to have the courage to face that down, just as we did in the welfare reform of the late 1990s and if we succeeded we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work.”

Listen to Ryan justify his statements – if you’re into archaic but somehow ubiquitous racist arguments and ideas – below:

SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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