The stupidity just keeps coming.
By Laura Gottesdiener
AlterNet, October 10, 2012
On Monday, Paul Ryan illuminated the real reason that some U.S. inner city areas are posting murder rates higher than Kabul’s and Mexico City’s. Public school systems buckling under the weight of austerity cuts and useless teacher tracking programs? Nope. Poverty and unemployment caused by a capitalist system hell-bent on exporting every available job overseas? Nope. A lack of gun control that allows firearms to find their way into the hands of young children? Definitely not.
The real reason, Ryan asserted in an interview with a local Michigan reporter, is the “character” of those living in inner city neighborhoods.
This theory entirely disregards chronic unemployment, failing schools, institutional racism, political disenfranchisement and the dozens of other structural forces that create chaos and crime in swaths of the country that capitalism has effectively abandoned. To hear such a dangerously misinformed statement coming out of the mouth of a vice presidential candidate less than a month before the election is terrifying.
Then again, it should come as no surprised in what has been one of the most racialized election season in recent history. From the President’s birth certificate to the controversy over “Obama phones,” from Romney’s disparaging comments about the 47% to Gingrich’s suggestion that janitors in inner city schools be replaced by nine-year-old students , both the fringe and the heart of the GOP has been spewing thinly-veiled, blame-the-victim criticisms of African Americans left and right. (It’s also an offensive they’ve used against another large percentage of the American population--women--throughout the election season, but that’s another story. )
Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and activist in New York City.