Apparently Congressman Paul has never heard the statement, “I am not a racist, my best friend is Black,” as if being a racist and keeping minority friends is mutually exclusive. Paul has maintained this type response to every inquiry that questions his feelings toward minorities, particularly Blacks. And despite repeated attempts to question him, Paul has not directly addressed his personal feelings, but rather has chosen to deflect these inquiries by stating facts that do not concern his own opinion. Paul’s character, in my opinion, speaks more to prejudice rather than racist, as racism depicts a superiority doctrine.
In response to questions surrounding his controversial newsletters at the recent ABC News/Yahoo Republican 2012 Presidential Debate, Paul emphasized that he considers MLK and Rosa Parks his personal heroes. He also added that drug convictions and death penalty sentences are disproportionally imposed on Blacks more than any other racial group. Yet no one has bothered to ask Paul why he considers MLK and Parks his heroes, or why he voted against acknowledging them as so; or why he waited until 2011, after his most promising election bid, to cosponsor Congressman Barney Frank’s bill to end the prohibition on marijuana. A bill Barney Frank has introduced every Congress since 1995. Paul has been in Congress since 1976.
Congressman Paul may be old but so far he has handled the racist label in a manner that would put Goldwater, Thurmond, and Wallace to shame. He demonstrates his wisdom and political savvy by maneuvering to appease both sides. Never giving too much: leaving enough to satisfy the racists that support him, yet giving just enough to doubt for those who want to believe he is not. By emphasizing that Blacks are disproportionally prosecuted and executed he leads his non-racist supporters and doubters to believe he is concerned about the plight of Blacks (how can he be racist if); and to his racist supporters, Paul is simply stating a fact (racist even acknowledge but couldn’t give a hoot about) or saying what he needs to say to get into office since being openly racist is taboo. The funniest thing about his reference to the War on Drugs is that although he mentions this in response to racial accusations, ending the War helps both minorities as well as the majority – Whites will not be prosecuted as well. In terms of pure numbers Whites will benefit more from ending the War on Drugs.
But what is most disconcerting about Ron Paul is that he shares the same disgust for President Lincoln as do most, if not all, racists. Lincoln angers racists because he ended the economics of discrimination and gave real meaning to equality for all under the Constitution. He was also the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Fourteenth Amendment, women’s suffrage, and arguably the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In an interview with Tim Russert, Paul called the Civil War “senseless” and that Lincoln waged the War in order to “enhance and get rid of the original intent of the Republic.” This is a misguided view but it demonstrates a misunderstanding of U.S. history. Paul also went on to say, after brushing off Russert’s assertion that slavery would be still be in place, that “Lincoln could have bought the slaves,” and slavery would have ended. This shows Paul’s ignorance of the facts. For someone who claims to be a constitutionalist and an expert concerning Founder’s intent he is far from the truth. Lincoln did indeed try to purchase the slaves and even appropriated funds for such a purchase, but in order for Lincoln to buy the slaves the South had to be willing to sell. The South was not willing to give up their economic system of exploitation. They were willing to die in order to keep the system of slavery and exploitation in place.
Suggesting that freedom had a monetary value after many Blacks fought and died in the Revolutionary War is insulting. Not only is it insulting, Paul marginalizes the true extent to which slavery divided the country by characterizing it as he did. Many Whites were lynched for opposing slavery, newspaper reporters were beaten and lynched; Senator Sumner was beaten on the Senate floor so badly for his anti-slavery beliefs that he was blinded from his own blood, suffered head trauma, lost consciousness, and injured his spine. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life. John Brown, the famous abolitionist, led a charge at Harper’s Ferry to free slaves from their owners and was later hanged for doing it. The country was frustrated, and torn apart, and these incidents just listed were only a few events from that time.
Ron Paul has a lot to answer for. What he said to Tim Russert on Meet the Press concerned an important part of American history. Slavery, racism, and his feelings toward Blacks is as important as it is to his adherence to the Constitution. How the smallest of Americans are treated reflects the largest upon our Nation. Considering the history of Blacks and what they endured to attain the American dream of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Paul should be at least more respectful. Blacks as a people are patriotic in the face of abuse and unequal treatment. They have fought for freedom at home and abroad when they did not have the freedom themselves. Shame on Paul!
You may view the interview yourself, his comments about slavery is in last minute of the youtube video:
You may view his time in office here more specifically on his own House.gov website: