Paul Ryan may not have meant to sound racist at that moment, but by targeting "inner city culture" as lazy and lacking overall American work values, he certainly came off to many as racist. Just as he would be insulted if someone were to have called white, rural American culture as such. His lack of understanding on how his comment would be perceived, shows a clear ignorance and lack of personal integration or understanding, of the culture.
Yes, I believe that some comments that are not explicitly racist should definitely be interpreted as racist. When someone uses the phrase "inner-city culture", it is nothing more than a euphemism. Use of this particular phrase just tells us that someone is trying very hard to find a way to say something that the media won't use to damage their political career.
If Paul Ryan is able to support his claim with actual evidence or accounts of individuals that reveal what "Inner-City culture" is really like, then it's not racist. Besides, racism is the belief that a group of individuals have exclusive characteristics only because of the color of their skin. Saying that residents of inner cities have a bad or harmful culture is not racist as it isn't generalizing a group of people because of their skin color.
I do not believe Paul Ryan has the slightest clue what real inner-city culture is like. I do not think comments that are not explicitly racists should be deemed as such. Commenting on lifestyles that you don't know anything about is a problem, but not a problem rooted in racism.
By answering yes to this, you have affirmed that you yourselves are racist. You are automatically assuming that the inner city population are of a specific race, and assuming that he is specifically targeting a race when he refers to inner city culture. Cities are notorious for having large areas of Section 8 housing, poor education and high drop out rates, and high unemployment rates. It doesn't matter who lives there, his statement targets no one race in particular. He refers only to the dismal conditions that the inner cities are so infamous for.
People are going to interpret Paul Ryan's comments about inner city culture their own way. Some will say it is, "racist." Some will say it is, "not racist." I however say, that leaders like Paul Ryan is what is wrong with this country. We need to stop putting people in office like Paul Ryan. He sits in his office, thinking he knows what the problem of inner cities are, without ever stepping foot in inner cities. How can he possibly know what their problems are, when he does not even talk to people from inner cities? Of course, he does not set foot in inner cities for a reason. He does not want to care about their problems and how they can fix them.