Monday, November 12, 2007

Is Ron Paul a racist?

At Pam's House Blend there's a recent post about the support Ron Paul is receiving from organizations like Stormfront and other neo-Nazi groups. Here is a link to an unintentionally hilarious video Stormfront made to support Ron Paul's candidacy.



Ok, first: even in politics, you can't usually smear somebody based on who happens to support them. Even if Dr. Paul hasn't officially denounced Stormfront et al. that doesn't mean he wholeheartedly accepts their support, either. Like most, he probably doesn't take the Stormfront seriously enough to make the organization worth responding to. If the flat earth society happened to really like this blog, I doubt I'd care enough to officially respond.

(On the other hand, if the flat earth society liked my blog, I might be happy enough to have fans I'd overlook their kooky views. Nevermind, though. Suppose flat earthers really liked Instapundit; would Glenn Reynolds be obligated to respond?)

But, as savvy readers will note, if flat earthers identified with this blog for a reason, it might be worthwhile knowing that reason. So why are the neo-Nazis lining up behind Ron Paul?

Perhaps it is because he's published/possibly wrriten comments like these:

* "Opinion polls show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action."

* "We are constantly told it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers."

* "We don't think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That's true for most people, but black males who have been raised and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such."

Ron Paul has now publicly denounced the views expressed in these quotations, but that could be explained as mere political expediency. What attitude did he take to these comments before he was running for President of the United States?

The blog Alternate Reality dug up an article by Alan Bernstein of the Houston Chronicle in which Paul defends the remarks when he was running for Congress in 1996. Rather than distancing himself from the language, Paul's campaign spokesperson at the time suggested that Paul's rhetoric "mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson."

When running for political office back in 1996, why didn't Ron Paul claim then that the objectionable newsletter articles were written by someone else? Why did everything he say at that time seem to support the racist claims, rather than denounce them?

Libertarians will claim, loudly, that Dr. Paul is not a racist, and that it's not his fault that neo-Nazis are lining up to support him. But what if the neo-Nazis are willing to view the truth, the whole truth, in a way well-meaning anti-war libertarians refuse to do?

Interestingly enough, I've heard it suggested that the original author of the comments about blacks being "fleet footed", etc. was none other than Ron Paul's chief-of-staff at the time, arch-libertarian/Paleo-conservative Lew Rockwell. According to none other than the Cato Institute's Tom Palmer, one of the most interesting people I've had the pleasure to meet, Rockwell is a racist, or at least good friends with him, and uses his ideology as cover for a very evil point of view.

(I knew there was another reason to love Tom Palmer...)

If there's doubt, check out this list of headlines from Rockwell's website. "Heil Abe"? Some things require very little comment...

So perhaps not all "libertarians" are so naive about Ron Paul after all. Rockwell is still one of Ron Paul's most strident supporters online. Do you think he is naive about Ron Paul's views? Stormfront's Nazis could be mistaken about Paul's support for their cause; anti-war libertarians could be blinded by idealism; but is Lew Rockwell confused? If he was the one who wrote the original racist comments, has he changed his mind?

Probably not. Rockwell's website is still churning out the neo-Confederate propaganda. And I'm not saying Ron Paul is a racist. I am saying some very sophisticated, very evil racists see Paul's candidacy as very compatible with their evil, racist views. That should be worrisome, especially to libertarians.

42 comments:

capt said...

Good post - level headed and factual.

me said...

I think Ron Paul should return money from these people!

Republicae said...

Strange that a "Racist" would say something like this:

"A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.

The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.

Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.

It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence - not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty." --Ron Paul



It is also odd that Ron Paul has stated that Rosa Parks was a heroine for her bravery against the forces of racism. He also said that he held both Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi in the highest of esteem for their work toward liberty and freedom. Don't you think that is odd for a racist to say?

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