Ryan on Race Relations: Get Outside Our Comfort Zone, Understand What Others Are Thinking

By Susan Jones | September 26, 2016 | 4:56am EDT
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Paul Ryan says the police-involved shootings in Charlotte and Tulsa, and the resulting violence in Charlotte, were "heartbreaking."

"And this country has to find new ways of learning how to heal and understand all the different perspectives," Ryan told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"Each of us have to get better perspectives, get outside of our comfort zones, understand what other people are thinking and saying and what they see, and then try and come up with common-ground solutions. And that's, to me, the kind of healing that has to occur. And you're not going to have that done in the fourth quarter of a presidential election. This is campaign season."

Ryan said the House of Representatives has a working group studying the issue: "They were in Detroit last week doing listening sessions. They're now doing ride-alongs with the police. And what we're trying to do is quietly and calmly come together and find where we can find some common solutions."

But Ryan also said the federal government cannot legislate a solution to the problem. "I think what we need to do is make sure that we go into communities, listen, learn, identify local home-grown solutions, support them, and then see if we can find good solutions that can be replicated in other areas."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) announced the establishment of a working group on policing strategies in mid-July, one week after the murder of five Dallas police officers and the police shootings of two men in Baton Rouge and St. Paul.

The bipartisan group, comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats, is examining police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues, the announcement said.

Asked if race relations have gotten better or worse as a result of the presidential campaign, Ryan said, "I don't think we're in a good place right now." But he couldn't say whether things have gotten better or worse.

"We have made great progress over the years. And we still have a long ways to go. And I think what it is, is, we have to learn. Each of us have to get better perspectives, get outside of our comfort zones, understand what other people are thinking and saying and what they see, and then try and come up with common ground solutions."

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