Rep. Barbara Lee rips Bill O’Reilly ‘code words’
Rep. Barbara Lee is firing back at Bill O’Reilly, saying the Fox News host’s comments about race were “disgusting.”
“Unfortunately we’ve come to expect language like ‘welfare queens,’ ‘food stamp president,’ and now ‘race hustlers’ from the right wing and Mr. O’Reilly,” the California Democrat said in a statement Wednesday. “It is disgusting and divisive and should never be accepted in our national discourse.”
O’Reilly had Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on his program Tuesday night to discuss controversy over some comments Ryan had made about poverty and inner city culture that he later called “inarticulate.” Ryan’s remarks were seized upon by some on the left, including Lee, who called the Wisconsin Republican’s statements racist.
Ryan said he had discussed the issue with Lee afterward and was trying to start a conversation about poverty.
O’Reilly said, “They don’t want a conversation. They don’t want to solve the problem. These race hustlers make a big living and they get voted into office by portraying their constituents as victims.”
Lee on Wednesday said language like O’Reilly’s blocks progress.
“For us to achieve the American dream for all, we must engage in this conversation that has been sparked about race and poverty, even if it is difficult for some. Racial discrimination, poverty, and income inequality remain issues that must be debated and addressed, and these kinds of ‘code words’ only get in the way of solving the real problems,” Lee said.
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