Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rep. Paul on Race

I know there's a group of Republicans who are excited about a potential candidate who isn't obsessed with making things explode, but before we get too committed, be advised: he seems to have a bit of a race problem:
Reporting on gang crime in Los Angeles, Paul commented: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."

Paul, a Surfside obstetrician who won the GOP nomination in the 14th District runoff by defeating incumbent Rep. Greg Laughlin, said Wednesday he opposed racism.

He said his written commentaries about blacks came in the context of "current events and statistical reports of the time."
Writing in his independent political newsletter in 1992, Paul commented about black men in the nation's capital.

Citing statistics from a 1992 study produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank based in Virginia, Paul concluded in his column:

"Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

"These aren't my figures," Paul said this week. "That is the assumption you can gather from" the report.

He also wrote: "Opinion polls consistently 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."

Paul continued that politically sensible blacks are outnumbered "as decent people."

Via The Plank.


Anonymous said...

You need to note that all of this was written by an aide who Paul fired afterward.

John said...

I see no update Dave.

John Hall

David Schraub said...

I need a linked source on the claim first--plus repudiation of the comments by Paul.

PG said...

Supposedly there's a Texas Monthly article out there somewhere that states the following:

In one issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report, which he had published since 1985, he called former U.S. representative Barbara Jordan a "fraud" and a "half-educated victimologist." In another issue, he cited reports that 85 percent of all black men in Washington, D.C., are arrested at some point: "Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the 'criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal." And under the headline "Terrorist Update," he wrote: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."
In spite of calls from Gary Bledsoe, the president of the Texas State Conference of the NAACP, and other civil rights leaders for an apology for such obvious racial typecasting, Paul stood his ground. He said only that his remarks about Barbara Jordan related to her stands on affirmative action and that his written comments about blacks were in the context of "current events and statistical reports of the time." He denied any racist intent. What made the statements in the publication even more puzzling was that, in four terms as a U. S. congressman and one presidential race, Paul had never uttered anything remotely like this.

When I ask him why, he pauses for a moment, then says, "I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren't really written by me. It wasn't my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady." Paul says that item ended up there because "we wanted to do something on affirmative action, and it ended up in the newsletter and became personalized. I never personalize anything."

His reasons for keeping this a secret are harder to understand: "They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them . . . I actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn't come from me directly, but the campaign aides said that's too confusing. 'It appeared in your letter and your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.'" It is a measure of his stubbornness, determination, and ultimately his contrarian nature that, until this surprising volte-face in our interview, he had never shared this secret. It seems, in retrospect, that it would have been far, far easier to have told the truth at the time.

For once in my life, I agree with the Captains Quarters bloggers: that is a very lame explanation. "My campaign aides said it would be 'too confusing' to remove my association with racist statements and attacks on a colleague, and therefore I couldn't possibly exercise my own judgment and do so"?

If Ron Paul's not a racist, he's an idiot, and in either case has no business being president. I believe that he may not have written the words himself, but he didn't dissociate himself from them because at the time and in the race he was running, he could gain more votes from those who agreed with what the aide had written than he could gain votes with those who might have been disgusted by it. It's sort of the pre-blogging/YouTube era of politicking; probably Paul's target audience of voters was the only one reading his newsletter anyway, while the sort who would have created a stink about it didn't know what was in the newsletter anyway.

John said...

There's no way you can excuse the action. It is his newsletter and he took responsibility for what happened. However, saying that he irresponsibly managed a newsletter over 20 years ago and was a racist are different things. No one is really making a stink about the statements in Ron Paul's newsletter from 92 and it hasn't stopped even the people who have known him (and would have known this story for years) in his district from voting against him. Ron Paul also beat the candidate who originally brought up these claims back in 1996 when the Houston Chronicle originally published the claims. It's political strategy not to reply to unfounded criticisms against you. By responding to it at the time, he would make them appear more valid than they are. I've been reading Paul's speeches for years and he definitely wouldn't believe anything racist.

The beauty of Ron's campaign is that he and Kucinich are the only consistent anti-war candidates. Ron giving Giuliani a reading list of sources that say our foreign policy contributed to 9/11 is more than worth your opinion that he would make a bad President. I consider this information about some newsletter 15 years ago equivalent to Rudy thinking that he said the US caused 9/11 or Michelle Malkin claiming that he is part of the 9/11 truth movement. Believe the smears if you want, but he's the only non-gnome candidate who didn't vote for the war in Iraq and doesn't support the Patriot Act. His domestic and foreign policies are no different than the founders. If you think that would make him a bad President, you would think George Washington and Thomas Jefferson also were not good Presidents.