Paul Ryan has had his share of controversy this election year, just like every other politician in the running. However, one thing has proved to make him stand out from the crowd, and some are pretty irritated about it.
As written for The Roots by political correspondent Keli Goff, Ryan reportedly dated an African-American woman while in college. Ryan has famously had his views on black Americans attacked, particularly after being given a rather lousy 10% approval rating on civil rights by the NAACP, which was mentioned in another article by Goff. Now, she's asking the question, "Is the fact that Ryan has dated interracially a noteworthy detail to consider when analyzing his politics and policies?"
Goff ponders the merits of exempting one from being labeled a racist simply because that person has or has had a relationship with someone of a different race, saying it's unwise, and mentions Strom Thurmond and Lou Dobbs to strengthen her case.
Research has shown that those who hold stereotypes about a particular group of people are unlikely to have those stereotypes altered merely by encountering someone who defies that stereotype. Instead, they are likely to view the individual defying said stereotype as an exception. In other words, it is possible to have a black friend, Asian friend, Hispanic friend or Muslim friend or wife and still exhibit prejudice toward that group. The friend or wife is simply viewed as the exception who is not like the others,she writes.
Goff's assertions have not gone over well, to say the least, and the article is garnering hundreds of comments--several have come in just while this article was being written. Goff insists she's not labeling Goff as a racist, however, but wants everyone to make informed decisions about his policies rather than his personal relationships.
I am not calling Ryan a racist. I am saying, however, that if you want to know where a politician's heart lies when it comes to a particular community, it may be best to look at that person's policies -- such as his or her record on civil rights -- rather than personal relationships, she writes.