Candidate Ron Paul's Big time Hypocrisy on Race Matters

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Congressman Ron Paul is the latest Republican to surge, as conservatives continue to search for a 2012 presidential alternative to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Others see Mr. Paul as an acceptable substitute to war-mongering Republicans.

But in terms of racism is he really different than others in the GOP?

76-year-old Texas Congressman Ron Paul will, possibly, win the Iowa Republican caucuses. With a feeble Republican field, Mr. Paul is the latest to rise following: Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. Paul first ran for the presidency in 1988 and obtained on-half of one percent of the vote.

A Libertarian, Mr. Paul has views that are pleasing to some liberals. For example, he opposes imperial wars, capital punishment and America’s War on Drugs which he labeled a “complete failure,” arguing doctors and pharmaceutical companies have a financial reason to push for the criminalization of drugs.

During his 1988 presidential run, Paul gave a speech at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws where he said "In the 20th Century, the doctors, like all business people, decided that there ought to be a monopoly. If you wanted a little bit of codeine in your cough medicine, it would be much better if you come to me so I can charge you $25 for a prescription.” Congressman Paul is a doctor trained in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Paul also highlighted a racist reason for drug criminalization saying “We do know that the Blacks at times use heroin, opium and the laws have been used against them…But lo and behold the drug that inebriates most of the members of Congress has not been touched because they're up there drinking alcohol.”   

Now, with views like this it isn’t hard to see why some independents—and liberals—find Congressman Paul an interesting alternative to war-mongering Republicans. In fact, I agree with Paul’s stance on imperial war, although, his isolationist rhetoric is problematic. Mr. Paul, correctly, fought against the Iraq War. However, his position on never becoming engaged in foreign wars is a bit too absolutist. Under his rationale, during the rise of the Third Reich, America would sit and do nothing while Hitler’s Nazis destroyed the world.

However, some of Dr. Paul’s points on drugs are well reasoned.

How can America talk about freedom while incarcerating so many ancestors of African slaves for drug offences? Moreover, how can those who pontificate about the dangers of “big government” endorse this intrusion into the individual’s life by government? Aren’t those who support abortion, while, agreeing drug users should be imprisoned being a bit hypocritical? Why is it in one case we say the person should be able to do what they will with their bodies but not in the other? Aren’t pharmaceutical companies the most dangerous drugs pushers of all?

Unfortunately, on closer analysis, Congressman Paul has more going against him that for him. In some ways he’s worse than his Republican colleagues. For one thing, Mr. Paul believes in even smaller government than other Republicans. Among other things, Congressman Paul wants to eliminate federal agencies like: Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Homeland Security and Department of Education.

It’s certainly true agencies like the FBI and CIA have been misused. Those of us who’re Black and Latino can testify to that. But does misuse mean these agencies should be closed? Given the fact there’s crime in this world shouldn’t agencies, like the FBI and CIA, be reformed not removed?

And how can anyone, in good conscience, eliminate the Department of Education? How would poor children obtain an education? Apparently, that doesn’t concern Congressman Paul at all. Like other Republicans, he’s said he’d like to eradicate Social Security, Welfare and all those other “entitlement programs.”

But, ironically, the worst aspect of Mr. Paul’s ideology may be his racial hypocrisy.

Now, the good congressman has found it feasible to use racial examples against things he doesn’t like. To justify closing the FBI he once said “I’m against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King.”  Yet, on another occasion he stated "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society." Does the congressman really think racial harmony is as bad as it was before this landmark legislation? He was also the only congressman to vote against giving Rosa Parks a Congressional Gold Medal. And he voted against creating a National Archives exhibit on Slavery and Reconstruction.

Then there is the matter of some newsletters Paul published in the 1980s and 1990s.

In those years, Congressman Paul published Ron Paul’s Political Report and Ron Paul’s Freedom Report. Recently, the Pennsylvania-born politician has come under scrutiny for the racist content contained in those newsletters. The newsletters often contained rabble-rousing rhetoric by rabid right-wingers, anti-Jewish xenophobes, white militias, John Birch Society members, and white supremacists.

Here are examples of the newsletters’ hateful content. In one article, Martin Luther King’s holiday was referred to as “Hate Whitey Day.” Other assertions characterize Dr. King as a “world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and “seduced underage girls and boys.”

In another, an anonymous author states "I've urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self-defense. For the animals are coming."  That piece warned whites of "urban youth who play whites like pianos."  Another article says “we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

Congressman Paul looked very guilty when CNN reporter Gloria Borger attempted to address the newsletter issue. Mr. Paul told Borger he “never read that stuff” and abruptly killed the interview, soon after.

When all is said and done, Congressman Paul is no better than other far-right Republicans. In fact he’s chillingly worse. His extreme views would take us backward to an America for the privilege few—but with a lawless dose of anarchy and, probably, bigotry.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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