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Why Paul Ryan Is a Very Useful Idiot for the Right-Wing 1%

The social and cultural problems that we see in black communities across America, are responses to poverty, not the causes of it.

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In other words, Ryan is saying that lazy black men are responsible for poverty in America.

For some 50 years now, Republicans have been using race-baiting tactics and dog-whistle politics like this to convince Americans that the black community is behind poverty in America, but that's just not the case.

After all, you can see many of the same trends in the largely white Appalachia region of the U.S. as you do in minority-heavy inner cities. In Appalachia, white Americans are struggling with poverty, and having children out-of-wedlock, just like their black inner-city counterparts.

And according to the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends project, in 2012, the median net worth of a white household was $91,405, while the median net worth of a black household was $6,446. So a black child starts out at a very different place than a white child, both economically and socially. But Conservatives still argue that blacks are behind poverty in America.

The social and cultural problems that we see in black communities across America, and in white communities in Appalachia, are responses to poverty, not the causes of it.

It's time for Americans, and lawmakers in Washington, to wake up, and start talking about the real causes of poverty in America, which include massive inequality produced by our tax code, joblessness produced by our trade policies, and ongoing discrimination by a largely white economic and political power structure.

Only then will every American have an equal shot at the American Dream, regardless of their race.

This article first appeared at TruthOut.

Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America — and What We Can Do to Stop It."

 
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