Everyone is coming to learn what a lot of us have known for a while about Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul for a while: that he has a segregationist past. The latest uproar over his racially insensitive newsletters is a direct result of his frontrunner status.
Even though this is Ron Paul’s third time running for president it’s his first time in the lead and on the verge of winning the Iowa caucus. That increased scrutiny is unearthing troubling details about his views on race and civil rights.
In an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, Congressman Paul denounced the racially insensitive newsletters that said things like,
“Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
“We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”
On the Los Angeles riots: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
On Martin Luther King, Jr.: ”[T]he world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”
Ron Paul claims that he didn’t write the newsletters about mortuary science schools even though they are in the first person. Paul also claims he never read any of these statements in the newsletters he sent out under his name. Even though he made nearly a million dollars off of their distribution.
So now we are left with the denials of the libertarian Iowa frontrunner and a long documented history of racial insensitivity. It’s possible that Congressman Paul had a change of heart since the 1990s, but just this Fall his son and now Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) promoted the same controversial line of thinking with regards to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A view which the father Ron Paul shares.
Even more disturbing than the content of the newsletters is Paul’s own feelings on the Civil War. Paul believes that it was an unnecessary war and that the United States should have “phased out” slavery like European countries did.
In 2007, he told NBC’s Tim Russert on Meet the Press that, “Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where the hatred lingered for 100 years? Every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn’t sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.”
Ron Paul may deny that he knew about or wrote any of the racist newsletters that went out under his name and from which he profited. But how does he explain this comment which he claims is a “reasonable approach” except he’s not nor would have been a slave?
It only sounds reasonable for the federal government to buy and sell African slaves as chattel if you are a rich white guy who would have never been bought sold, raped, beaten, and forced to perform back breaking labor for no money. Not to mention that any arrangement would have been very expensive and the political will to enact such a plan would have taken many years if it were even possible at all.
Ron Paul always likes to talk about the original intent of the Constitution as a guide for our modern lives except the founders didn’t intend for women, the poor, or any minorities to be included in the values set forth in our founding document.
Ron Paul is not ready for prime-time and it’s about time someone noticed.