“We know young black men are twice as likely as young white men to be ‘disconnected’—not in school, not working.”

As you might guess, Paul Ryan said none of these things. Barack Obama did—in heartfelt speeches at a Chicago church in 2008, at Morehouse College in 2013 and at the White House a few weeks ago. …

For this offense, Ryan was awarded an honorary white hood by the liberal commentariat. But the broad sentiments are indistinguishable from those of Obama in the statements quoted above—all emphasizing a breakdown of work and the consequences of fatherlessness and social isolation—except Obama’s comments were more explicitly racial. …

Many of the denunciations of Ryan have simply reflected the left’s well-developed reflex for wanton accusations of racism. But Ryan is so obviously not a bigot that liberal pundits have had to deploy a slightly different argument—that the structural racism of the Republican Party is so deep and pervasive that even a possibly well-meaning politician like Ryan can’t escape its gravitational pull.