Monday, December 19, 2011

6 Crazy Notions 'til Christmas: Ron Paul's racism has been debunked

Ron Paul supporters often tell me it simply doesn't matter that for two decades, Ron Paul's newsletters cranked out bizarre and alarmist stories about race wars, blacks taking over white neighbourhoods with their drugs and their random violence, the "gay agenda", and the political liability that blacks have become.*
"He's not really racist," they tell me. "He didn't even know those articles were being written." They say that anyone who still makes an issue of it should be ashamed, because there is no issue and there never really was. Paul apologized and took some of the blame, so now we should just erase it from our minds.

Paul Joseph Watson makes all these arguments, and some others, in today's Infowars piece "Gingrich-Linked Propagandist Recycles Debunked 'Racist' Ron Paul Smear".

To this day, we don't know who wrote the racist articles published in Ron Paul's newsletters, because no one has taken credit/blame for them, and Ron Paul apparently doesn't know who it was (Lew Rockwell is the prime suspect, though).
That in itself is a problem, because a man who wants to run an entire country should have the organizational skills to know what's being published under his name. If I had a newsletter going out to people all over the country, I wouldn't let one stamp touch them until I at had least skimmed the latest issue. I realize Dr. Paul was a busy dude in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, but there's really no excuse for allowing your staff to publish bizarre racist screeds under your name with your consent. Even to this day, Paul claims he doesn't know who was writing what. Doesn't that seem negligent at best, and dishonest at worst? I don't blame Ron Paul for the screwy stuff that gets posted to the Daily Paul forums, because cleaning those up would be like clearing the Aegean stables. I don't fault him for the fact that the American Free Press, a rag established by white supremacists, prints his column; AFP pays him for syndication, and like most columnists who are in syndication, he doesn't pick and choose the publications in which his work appears. But I do blame him for failing to monitor his newsletter more closely. All of this has to make you wonder how many other bucks Paul has passed.

Look at this way: If I welcomed a group of other bloggers to contribute to Leaving Alex Jonestown, and they began posting stuff like "Alex Jones Can Suck My Big Hairy Balls Becuz He Is a Faggot" (that's an actual YouTube comment, BTW), wouldn't you be offended and annoyed with me? I think you'd have every right to be. Clearly, I was shirking my responsibilities and allowing the lunatics to run the asylum.

I'm approaching this from the best-case scenario angle, the one that says Ron Paul simply had some racist associates and let them have too much control over his publications. The worst-case scenario is, well, worse. In that one, Ron Paul did write some or all of the content for some reason (to appeal to a certain demographic, or to convince constituents that he would keep them safe from the invading non-white hordes, or whatever), then lied about it. I would prefer not to think that of Paul. He doesn't seem like a racist. A touch homophobic, certainly, but not the kind of guy who's going to make fun of Kwanzaa or use the phrase "nappy-haired hos" in casual conversation.
Let's face it, though: If we don't know who wrote the stuff, that means we don't know who wrote the stuff. Nothing has been debunked in the newsletter affair.

* There's really no dispute that some of the newsletter content was racist and disparaging of minorities. An unidentified author referred to Martin Luther King Jr. day as "Hate Whitey Day". Another wrote, "Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities." That's fine for a southern newsletter put out by a "League for Racial Purity", but it's not acceptable for a U.S. president.
Check out loads more of the newsletter content at Et tu, Mr. Destructo?.

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