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Updated: Aug 23, 2012 03:20 PM EDT

Paul Ryan

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(Photo : Reuters)

The news of Paul Ryan's black ex-girlfriend has sparked furious debate among Americans Wednesday.

It was recently revealed that the Mitt Romney vice-presidential candidate had a history with a black woman.

The Root reported that CNN's Pete Hamby tweeted on his page that Ryan told Milwaukee Magazine in 2005, "I have a sister-in-law who's African American. My college sweetheart was black."

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The question was (and still is): Is America actually a racist country? Or do people just want to know the real facts about who they are voting for? And does it really matter?

But it seems that people are now questioning if this information about Ryan is actually even true.

According to the Daily Mail, the journalist who did the original interview with Ryan, Erik Gunn, told Mail Online Thursday, "I spoke to him some time ago, but I reported what he said at the time."

Ryan's communication Director Kevin Seifart, also confirmed to Mail Online that the comments made by Ryan about his then girlfriend were true.

Daily Mail reveals that some of Ryan's friends and professors who knew him as a student at Miami University in Ohio in 1988, no one can seem to remember him stepping out with a black girl, pointing to a romance that occurred in the days before he headed to college.

Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science in 1992.

One of Ryan's fraternity brother's, Gatewood Atwood, 42, from Kentucky, met Ryan in the spring of 1989 when the pair pledged for Delta Tau Delta.

He told MailOnline, "I don't recall that [he ever dated a black woman.] It certainly doesn't ring a bell. I don't think he has anything against black people in any way shape or form so I don't see any reason why he wouldn't have dated a woman like that. He is a great guy. But I don't know that he actually did."

Professor William Hart, who is credited with helping Ryan shape his libertarian views on economics, also said he didn't remember him having a black girlfriend at the time.

These two can be seen as legit sources because they knew Ryan at the time.

What does this mean in politics and race if he didn't or did date a black woman?

Many debate if the race card is a factor in politics.

Keli Goff, the writer for The Root article, and African American, said that just because this information is revealed doesn't mean that Ryan can necessarily side with the black community.

"Certainly, having a relationship with someone of a different race does not automatically make someone more racially sensitive and enlightened," Goff wrote.

She then said this:

"For the record: No, 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."

The New York Daily News writer Derek Hunter said:

"Yes, racism, real racism, still exists. But this isn't 1920 and the entire country is not the Jim Crow Democrat controlled south. A mutant here, a pocket of mutants there are racists, but it's hardly the norm. And society as a whole, not just one political party, condemns it."

James Paladino at the Latinos Post said that the conversation is really about trust, not race.

"The fact is that the American people want to know who Paul Ryan really is; they want to know if they can trust him. Ryan's dating history is a window into one of the most personal aspects of the politician's life and regardless of his ex's race voters will unashamedly peer through it to understand who he is as a person."

Ryan's mystery black ex-girlfriend will be talked about for a while. Many people have strong opinions about the subject.

What do you think? Does Ryan's black ex-girlfriend even exist? If she does, should Ryan be judged on by this factor? Share  your thoughts below! 

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