A black man's take on the Ron Paul letters (Open letter to the media)Submitted by theredpill on Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:16
A BLACK MANS TAKE ON THE RON PAUL LETTERS
an open letter to his various critics in the media
Unlike many Ron Paul supporters I don't duck from the allegations that Ron Paul is a racist based on his newsletters. I've examined them myself and find them repugnant. Given the writing style, I believe someone else wrote them. They don't match his prose and the contents are generally uncharacteristic of anything I find in his numerous books. I think that they show poor judgment on his part and he's apologized for their contents. I also feel that he knows the authors and out of allegiance, friendship or not wanting to ignite scandal he's decided to say very little about it.
Let's assume that Ron Paul's news letters were handwritten by him and that his denials are 100% false. Let's assume that if this is not the case that he read every newsletter sent in his name and is aware of exactly who the author is. What exactly is the concern? Will Ron Paul's inauguration consist of him personally handing out white hoods and crosses marinated in kerosene? Will he use military force to round up everyone from Oprah to "that black guy" you saw earlier today to send them to slave camps. Will a man who believes in a limited executive branch single-handedly call for re-instituting Jim Crow laws? If he did, would anybody listen?
Ron Paul's appeal doesn't come from the viewpoint expressed in those letters. His mandate, if elected would come from being the exact opposite of the ignorance and pettiness illustrated in those letters. Ron Paul's fans would be dumbstruck if the man they support condoned ANY of those ideas. Can we agree that a Ron Paul presidency consumed with eliminating $1 trillion of Federal spending, issuing a commodity backed competing currency and fully investigating the Federal Reserve would have its hands full? Pursuing his platform of limited government against a hostile bipartisan congress will be hard enough, why would he use his 4 year stint to bring back Jim Crow? Does anyone realistically think he would try to reshape America into some postcard of the antebellum south with black people working in cotton fields and white masters in palatial mansions? Really?
You see, the first flaw in the argument that Ron Paul is racist is that it doesn't matter. Society has shifted. Despite their unsavory nature the letters are actually irrelevant. Even if they are his personal views the popular culture has evolved. One man in the white house can't uproot the past 100 years of race relations progress . Despite anything Ron Paul could say or do in office he couldn't use his mandate to change who we are. I have more faith in the American people. How quickly we forget that a majority of white people in America chose an unknown largely untested black man over a seasoned, white war hero in 2008. Four years is not enough time to fundamentally change who we are as a society. Americas political structure wouldn't permit Ron to create a "Racist States of America". Not within a 4 year term, even if he were 100% in favor of it.
The second flaw in the Ron Paul critique is that his voting record doesn't support what is being implied. After 30 years in public office shouldn't we see a pattern in his voting record that is blatantly racist? Unfortunately for his detractors, we don't. Some votes were not in favor of issues sympathetic to poor blacks. Some votes were not in favor of issues sympathetic to rich whites. In the balance his voting record (which is how he actually MUST be judged) shows an uncanny bravery and consistency. Agree with him or not I can see a constitutional thread through every single vote he's cast. There doesn't appear to be a specific race bias but more a guiding principle of not permitting favors or handicaps based on belonging to a group. His voting records says that people should be free to make their own choices and governments cant legislate who you speak with, love or hate. If I disagree with him at least I know the foundation of my counter argument. The constitution. In an era where lobbyists determine congressional votes by bribery isn't it refreshing and a bit inspiring that no such bias exists with this man? Rather than demonize the man for newsletters why don't you in the media find a consistent strain in his record in public office against blacks, Jews, hispanics or any other ethnic group specifically.
In addition to this I looked for a speech or presentation that contained racist rhetoric. Where is his Sally Kern style "..blacks are lazy" moment? Where is the moment where like Joe Biden, he says that "..."You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent."? Where is his outrageously racist quote similar to those we can find from Senator Byrd, Governor Wallace or even Hilary Clinton's now famous "Ghandi" quote? I can't even find a public Truman-esque "God does hate the Chinese and Japs" meltdown. With the way he's described I'd at least expect to hear something akin to the famous "...(God) created the white man. I know not who created the blacks" quote from Theodore Bilbo but I haven't found it. If Ron Paul is as racist as some in the media implies, I would think there would be a few Freudian slips from Mr. Paul. Yet there don't seem to be any that I can find.
There were many on the left who protested against accusations that Obama hated America due to his "spiritual mentor's" incendiary words. I think Barack's tolerance and support for Reverend Wright somewhat parallels Ron Paul's current situation. The views we support and our words do come back to haunt us. But should the possibility of his words alone disqualify Ron Paul? If we're going to judge Ron Paul in the history books as a racist, unfit to lead America in its darkest hour then is it fair for us to examine the words of others in the same light?
Ghandi is the icon of civil disobedience. He was the face that inspired millions of Indians seeking independence from the British. But if he were judged by his views on race as the press is doing with Dr Paul he would be excluded from the pages of history as a be-speckled, calm loving pacifist. Ghandi was a outspoken racist when he lived in South Africa. He had a newsletter called Indian Opinion where he regularly presented his anti black rhetoric such as ...
"...Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian location should be chosen for dumping down all kaffirs (niggers) of the town, passes my comprehension. ...About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians I must confess I feel most strongly. I think it is very unfair to the Indian population, and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen."
Beyond his anti-black rhetoric Ghandi was also rumored to have a slightly deviant perspective with regards to sex. So let me get this straight. If I'm Ghandi I can basically call people niggers (kaffirs), sleep with young girls and still end up being admired by Martin Luther King, become an icon to every peace activist in the world and even get a spot on the Apple "THINK DIFFERENT" commercial. Sounds good to me. If we judge Ron Paul by his newsletters is it safe to say we should judge Ghandi by his as well? Or does the Ron Paul Rule not apply?
We're taught that Winston Churchill was England's brave leader who kept the allied forces inspired with his words and deeds during WW2. Even though many Americans limited perspective of the British is gleaned from watching royal weddings, there are a good many that have learned that Churchill was a man to be admired. If we apply the Ron Paul rule to him however then he too must be disqualified from history as a racist deserving of scorn and not the leader we've been taught about. Churchill once said.
"...I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place"
Is it safe to say that Winston Churchill and Hitler agreed that there were superior and inferior races? It appears that what they disagreed on is who should lord over them.
Abraham Lincoln is portrayed as the central hero in the emancipation of black slaves. A hero worthy of his own monument and face on the five dollar bill. However if we use the Ron Paul Rule we should also be told that he felt blacks were a lesser species and unfit for equality with whites? Wasn't Abraham Lincoln the one that said
"... Your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living amongst us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated."
Do you in the media ask us to denounce or disregard the words of these men? No and for good reason. They were imperfect men who espoused perfect ideas. As racist as Churchill was I'm happy that he stood shoulder to shoulder with the allies against Hitler. For as racist as Abraham Lincoln was and despite his reluctance to end slavery, he did influence the ending of that institution. Despite his attitudes towards blacks I will always have great respect for Mahatma Ghandi's sacrifice and heroism.
Like these icons of our freedom and peace, Ron Paul's words deserve scrutiny. How one views the world will affect how they govern. Ultimately though, it is his voting record and public statements that are the criteria by which he should be judged. If we vilify Ron Paul we must by definition do the same with Ghandi, Lincoln and dozens of others who are imperfect individuals.
Regardless of the views in those newsletters Ron Paul deserves the same respect afforded to Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama. He's denounced the controversial contents. Let's move on. The words attributed to Ron Paul are no worse than the blatant racism of our accepted icons of virtue. For Ron Paul supporters, civil liberties, ending militarism and fighting against crony capitalism of the Federal Reserve takes precedence over these newsletters for good reason. If we're collectively shackled by debt or perhaps indefinitely detained for speaking our minds in what used to be the freest nation on earth the content of those newsletters won't really matter. In the final analysis, Ron Paul is an imperfect man with a nearly perfect, and very simple message.
Freedom is popular.