During a conversation with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly called U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee a "race hustler," the Huffington Post reported.
Earlier in March, Ryan appeared on a radio show to promote his ideas on addressing poverty.
"We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with," the Wisconsin Republican said.
Black, an African American legislator and co-chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus's Poverty and Economy Task Force, was quick to call his remarks racist.
"My colleague Congressman Ryan's comments about 'inner city' poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let's be clear, when Mr. Ryan says 'inner city' when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black,'" Lee said.
The following day, Ryan called his comments "inarticulate" and apologized if he had offended anyone. While speaking with O'Reilly, he said "if you challenge the status quo, sometimes you'll be misinterpreted."
However, the talk show host disagreed, claiming Black is just a "race hustler" who got "voted into office by portraying their constituents as victims."
"And it's all your fault and it's my fault and it's rich people's fault and the Republicans' fault," O'Reilly said. "It's everybody's fault except what's going on ... The race hustlers don't want to solve the problem."