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Is Ron Paul a racist?

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(Submitted as a letter to the editor. Feel free to use this letter in your own local paper. Be sure to give the paper you name, address, and phone number when you send it, as they may not publish the letter without this means of identification.)

Questions of Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul’s opinion of minorities, especially blacks and homosexuals, has come into question. Chiefly, these questions have arisen out of newsletters that were published under the congressman’s letterhead, some twenty years ago.

The newsletter was one of many, and part of a publishing company Ron Paul helped form in 1984 called the Ron Paul & Associates corporation. All of the published newsletters used “Ron Paul” in their title: including Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

Ron Paul has stated he did not write the newsletters, and did not know who was responsible for the statements. Lew Rockwell, a contributing editor to the newsletters, was also uncertain who was to blame. Rockwell told The New Republic that the publishing outfit employed 7 or 8 freelance writers during his tenure.

“Everybody in my district knows I didn’t write them, and I don’t speak like that.” said Paul to CNN in January of 2008, “Nobody has ever heard me say anything like that.”

Paul left the company largely to its own devices in order to focus on his medical practice. He takes responsibility for the error of oversight, and regrets what amounts to be about eight sentences within the entire body of literature published.

Ron Paul has cited Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks as his personal heroes. Moreover, Paul credits his stance to abolish drug laws, which have been statistically shown to target blacks and other minorities before whites, as being the most important anti-racism measure that can be taken today.

Nearly thirty years after the infamous newsletters, freelance writers with marginalized opinions are still drawn to Ron Paul, like moths to a flame. During Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, Paul caught flack for support among the “911 truthers” movement – a group convinced 911 was an “inside job” and that president Bush knew about the impending attacks. Paul denounced such conclusions, calling them “complete nonsense” and “off-the-wall,” in an interview with ABC News.

Ron Paul symbolizes, for many, a strikingly different way of doing politics. His talk of ending the Federal Reserve, abolishing the income tax, and withdrawing troops from military bases around the world energizes many formerly apathetic voters — but unfortunately, also brings the crazies out of the woodwork.

 

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Written by Jonathan Mark

January 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm