Rep. Paul Ryan embraces the racism and classism of Eugenics

Last year, the Heritage Foundation caused a furor over its deeply flawed study on immigration reform, co-authored by Jason Richwine, Ph.D.,  whose doctoral dissertation at Harvard was titled “IQ and Immigration Policy”.  Richwine’s dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races. He wrote, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

Richwine’s dabbling in the pseudo-science of Eugenics and the public backlash to this revelation eventually forced him to resign from the Heritage Foundation.

After today, the public should be demanding the resignation of Ayn Rand fanboy and zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan Blames Poverty On Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men:

EddieMunsterHouse Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Wednesday, hinting that he would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and dealing with the “real culture problem” in these communities. “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 said.

[For those of you who are in doubt, yes he is employing racist dog-whistle politics.]

Ryan also cited Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

Some of you may remember Charles Murray from the early 1990’s when he co-authored the controversial Eugenics book, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994). Columnist Bob Herbert, writing for the New York Times, described the book as “a scabrous piece of racial pornography masquerading as serious scholarship.” “Mr. Murray can protest all he wants,” wrote Herbert; “his book is just a genteel way of calling somebody a nigger.”

Murray, a W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, more recently authored Coming Apart (2012), describing what he sees as the economic and moral decline of white Americans that has occurred since 1960. He argues that wealthy people are wealthy because they are genetically superior to the poor.

The Shame Project, Shame The Hacks who Abuse Media Ethics (SHAME), has a disturbingly detailed profile of Murray. Charles Murray – S.H.A.M.E. Profile – S.H.A.M.E. Project.

There is no room for serious policy discussion with adherents of the pseudo-science of Eugenics. There should never be any acceptance of racist dog-whistle politics.

Rep. Paul Ryan needs to  be held accountable for embracing the racism and classism of Eugenics in a pathetic attempt to demonize the poor and working poor in America.

UPDATE: Paul Ryan Backpedals, But Doesn’t Apologize, For Comments About Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has backtracked from comments he made on Wednesday:

In a statement issued to ThinkProgress, Ryan said he regretted the comments and stressed that he did not intend to slander an entire community:

After reading the transcript of yesterday morning’s interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make. I was not implicating the culture of one community—but of society as a whole. We have allowed our society to isolate or quarantine the poor rather than integrate people into our communities. The predictable result has been multi-generational poverty and little opportunity. I also believe the government’s response has inadvertently created a poverty trap that builds barriers to work. A stable, good-paying job is the best bridge out of poverty.

The broader point I was trying to make is that we cannot settle for this status quo and that government and families have to do more and rethink our approach to fighting poverty. I have witnessed amazing people fighting against great odds with impressive success in poor communities. We can learn so much from them, and that is where this conversation should begin.

Ryan’s office initially sought to substantiate the Congressman’s claims by pointing to research conducted by Harvard’s Robert Putnam, whose research has found that lower-income Americans are more distrustful of others and more disconnected from society’s important institutions than their middle or higher-income counterparts. However, the research doesn’t examine whether poor people are unwilling to work.

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