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Friday, March 14, 2014

Gwen Moore Takes Aim at Paul Ryan’s Bradley Foundation-Inspired, Race-Based Comments

By Lisa Kaiser
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By now you’ve probably heard that Congressman Paul Ryan has stepped in it again. The Janesville Republican is trying to prove that he’s a serious guy and is trying to find a new justification for cutting the social safety net and moving money toward the top 1%. 

First, it was Ayn Rand. Then it was the lunch bag lie. Now, he’s using Bradley Foundation-backed Charles Murray’s race-based studies to prove that "inner city" folks—meaning, black people—don’t deserve government assistance

He told a radio interviewer, “That’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities. Your buddy Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this. Which is, 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 and learning the value and culture of work. So, there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

Murray, this article notes, is deemed a white nationalist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Charles Murray, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has become one of the most influential social scientists in America, using racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor. According to Murray, disadvantaged groups are disadvantaged because, on average, they cannot compete with white men, who are intellectually, psychologically and morally superior. Murray advocates the total elimination of the welfare state, affirmative action and the Department of Education, arguing that public policy cannot overcome the innate deficiencies that cause unequal social and educational outcomes.

That’s bad, but here’s the worst part: Murray’s notorious race-based work, The Bell Curve, was backed by the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation. In fact, when Murray took heat for his views, the Bradley Foundation maintained their support of him.

The Bradley Foundation is notorious enough without him. It’s a huge backer of right-wing foundations, privatization and vouchers, and “stink tanks,” and it employs both right-wing talker Charlie Sykes and his current wife, and its chief, Michael Grebe, is Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair and a longtime supporter.

So Paul Ryan’s racist remarks, on top of being clueless, are just another way for him to show solidarity with the Bradley Foundation and its favorite sons.

Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore isn’t too pleased with Ryan’s idiocy. Here’s a letter she and Rep. Marcia Fudge, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, sent to Ryan, calling his statements “highly offensive.”

 If Ryan would like to learn more about the realities of urban life, or life as an African American, I'm sure Congresswoman Moore and her colleagues would be happy to help him out.

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