Friday, December 23, 2011

Postcript: Ron Paul's RECENT Racist Past

When I wrote in an earlier post that Ron Paul's "recent racist past" wasn't mentioned, this was not in error. I did not specify here Paul's racist newsletter writings of some 22 years ago, but rather, was referencing his 2008 keynote address at the ultra-right wing racist and anti-Semitic (also kooky conspiracist) John Birch Society, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. (Not surprisingly, Paul has close ties to the Koch brothers.) Moreover, in 2007 Ron Paul refused to return a campaign donation from white supremacist Don Black, or prevent Black's neo-Nazi group, "Stormfront," to link to his donations page.This pattern of racism by Ron Paul has continued well into his last campaign, long after the newsletters' racist speech controversies of the 80s and 90s. Regarding Black, the Paul campaign had this response:
"If a small number individuals who hold racist beliefs want to waste their money by giving to Dr. Paul, a man who stands firmly against their small minded ideologies, then the campaign will simply use those funds to protect freedom, peace and civil liberties across our Nation."
The arrogance of this statement denotes a HUGE political tone-deafness that seems to be a cornerstone of the Paul campaign's defiant reaction to his racism and bigotry "problem" ever since it emerged as a perennial issue of his presidential campaigns. Ron Paul supporters who condone this attitude don't see it as something that is wrong or morally reprehensible. As Josh Harkinson wrote in Mother Jones, "frankly, I find the glibness of this response appalling, and I could not disagree more with its reasoning. Accepting Black's dirty money creates an implied obligation to these nut jobs and their priorities, which, even if rejected by Paul, is hard to deny."

When it comes to his racism and bigotry, it appears Ron Paul has never had a "teaching moment" and probably never will.

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