All this talk of Ron Paul and racism has caused me to reflect.
Racism exists. Today. Right here in America. I can say that with confidence because I am a white mother of a black son. If you don’t know my family dynamics, reread that sentence. Let it soak in. It will make sense after you read it a couple times. And just in case you’re confused about racism, it goes both ways. I’m not blaming whites or blacks or Muslims or Christians. It’s everywhere and we’re all capable of it. My personal experiences… While shopping at a Walmart Pharmacy, I was denied the medicine I needed for my son by a black pharmacy tech. A social worker later explained that many black women in our local area are offended by white women marrying black men. White woman, black son must equal black husband. We had some white friends that said that our (white) daughter was welcome to come over, but our (black) son was not. Then there was the person who was encouraging my white child to be a doctor or an inventor and told my black child he could be a rapper. That person was sincere. I’ve been asked if his penis is bigger. Yep, you read that right. Do moms compare penis sizes at playgroup or something? I must’ve missed that one. And for some reason, people seem to think it’s more ok to tell me racist jokes.
Why did I tell the inhabitants of the internet all this? Because I don’t want some silly, “You’re white, you don’t understand” response. Do I understand every aspect of racism? No. Who really does? I do know that my son is more likely to be pulled over by the police, more likely to be evaluated for special education, etc. While most people aren’t openly racist, there are stereotypes that guide everyday life.
So, what about these racist Ron Paul newsletters? I can’t tell you if he wrote them or not. But I’ll give my two cents on it. Adjust it for inflation, and it probably won’t amount to much. However, it’s my blog, so I can say what I want.
- The ghostwriter explanation makes sense. If you’ve had any affiliation with a candidate, campaign, or organization, you’ll know that they use them all the time. Most mail pieces, emails, etc. are written by staff or consultants. They’re also edited by staff. They are written in first person as though the candidate or leader of the organization wrote it. And that person rarely sees what was written in his or her name. I’ve even ghostwritten a few email pieces.
- Ron Paul doesn’t name his ghostwriter. Often more than one person works on one piece. And most organizations probably don’t keep record of who wrote which piece. In fact, it’s fairly common for a candidate to not know the writers. Why hire a staff if you still try to run everything on your own?
- The bulk of Ron Paul’s speeches are clearly not racist. He protests the War on Drugs which disproportionately incarcerates black males. His stance on civil rights is far beyond that of modern Republicans.
- Maybe he is racist at some level. Granted I probably won’t get the Ron Paul Supporter of the Year Award for that statement. I do have to question the relevance of a handful of statements made decades ago that MAY have come from him. Here’s the thing. Most Americans are racist. My personal experiences in racism are irritating, and sometimes downright painful, but I must take them in stride. If I disqualified people from my life because of the stupid things they say and do regarding race, I’d be isolated. Do I tell my daughter that she can’t be friends with certain people because their families are racist? Do I not shop somewhere because one employee refused service? Do I ostracize family, friends, and church members because they made a statement that seemed harmless to them?
In the end, I still wonder about the newsletters. Is it a negative in my book? Yes. However, when I compare the pros and cons of the Republican candidates, one still stands out above the rest. Ron Paul is still more consistent than those other guys and gal. And thankfully Ron Paul refrains from the typical (and evidently acceptable) Republican hate speech against Muslims, Islamists, Iranians, etc. If you want to call Ron Paul a racist, that’s fine. But let’s call all of them out for it. The rest of the candidates want to bomb all over the Middle East because of a stereotypical fear of Middle Easterners. And they want to “help” Israel do the same even when Israel’s Prime Minister doesn’t want the help.
I doubt any of us have found a candidate with whom we agree with 100%. As the light shines on each of them, we’ll find a little more dirt than we’d like to see. In the end, hopefully, each of us will support the man or woman who is the most consistent on the issues, has the greatest character, and will lead our nation as defined within the Constitution. For me, that person is still Ron Paul.
I detest the title of this, but it’s a good video. Take a look.