Is Ron Paul a racist? This is a question that’s on a lot of people’s minds because the media has reported on it heavily. At first, I wondered whether the argument had any merit. But rather than take the media’s claims at face value, I decided to see for myself what Ron Paul had actually said.
You see, the claims that Paul is a racist are based on a few things that were published in his newsletters in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Many of these were ghostwritten by other writers.
For the record, I am a freelance writer myself. More than half of what I write does not have my name on it, but rather the names of my clients. Since I’m in the business, I understand how easy it would be to overlook something a ghostwriter had written. (Trust me, clients are often way too busy to read critically every word I write, and I imagine the same is true with Paul.)
But let’s assume for a moment that Paul wrote every word of his newsletters or at least approved every word before his newsletters were mailed. If this is true, can we still argue that Paul is a racist?
Excerpts from Ron Paul Newsletters
An article published by The Atlantic cites a few of the more troubling quotes attributed to Paul. I’ll list these along with my responses:
Martin Luther King Jr. Was a Philanderer
Quoting from The Atlantic:
One [newsletter] referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”
Frankly, I don’t understand how this is a racist comment. It is a comment on King’s character. The question is, is it true? I did some digging and discovered that Martin Luther King Jr.’s extramarital affairs are well-known and well-documented. This article — Myths of Martin Luther King — says this:
FBI surveillance showed that King had dozens of extramarital affairs. Although many of the pertinent records are sealed, several agents who watched observed him engage in many questionable acts including buying prostitutes with SCLC money. Ralph Abernathy, who King called “the best friend I have in the world,” substantiated many of these charges in his autobiography, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down.
Another article — Government Cover-ups: Martin Luther King Jr. — reports these startling facts:
Dr. King had an ample reputation as a philanderer and abuser of women of ill repute. The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover had run surveillance on King and his entourage for years attempting to gather data on his Communist connections. While the Bureau did surveill King’s attendance at Communist meetings, but most of the surveillance records show an extreme preoccupation after hours with illicit sex. In deference to King’s usefulness in promoting a national holiday for civil rights, US Federal judge John Lewis Smith, Jr. ordered all the FBI records sealed up in the National Archives for 50 years (till 2027). When I was Executive Editor of Conservative Digest, I called retired Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray and asked him what was in the evidence locked away. His answer surprised me. He said there were approximately 15 file cabinets of evidence on King — 14 of them were full of recordings and transcripts of his illicit relationships with prostitutes. Only one file cabinet contained evidence of his Communist relationships.
In my opinion, the quote from Paul’s newsletter is a statement of fact regarding King’s character and not based on any kind of racism. If telling the truth is racism, then merely stating that Bill Clinton was an adulterer ought to earn everybody the same racist status. Of course, that makes no sense whatsoever, and neither does the claim that Paul was making a racist statement in his comments about King.
Barbara Jordan Is a Half-Educated Victimologist
Another excerpt quoted by The Atlantic is this one:
Another [newsletter] referred to Barbara Jordan, a civil rights activist and congresswoman as “Barbara Morondon,” the “archetypical half-educated victimologist.”
The fact that Barbara Jordan is black doesn’t make this a racist comment. It is a negative comment on her level of education. And clearly, Paul disagrees with Jordan’s politics. He calls her a “victimologist,” a term usually reserved for people who are trying to get special treatment from the government because they believe they have been wronged and deserve some form of government compensation.
In my opinion, Paul could have just as easily applied this comment to a white or Hispanic woman. The skin color is irrelevant.
95% of Black Males in Washington, D.C. Are Semi-Criminal or Entirely Criminal
A third quote from The Atlantic article:
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.
This quote is a generalization, not necessarily a racist statement. Generalizations are usually based on at least a kernel of truth. So is there any data to support the generalization Paul made? Turns out, there is. In Steve Sailer’s article, Mapping the Unmentionable: Race and Crime, he writes:
Nationally, blacks are imprisoned on average 9.1 times as often as whites. [...] by far the greatest racial disparity was found in the most liberal spot on the map: the black-run District of Columbia, where Bush won only nine percent of the vote. Blacks in Washington D.C. are 56 times more likely than whites to wind up in the slammer.
Washington, D.C. has had a notoriously high rate of homicide through the years, which peaked in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s, the same time the quote above was published in Paul’s newsletter. A disproportionate number of blacks in D.C. commit these crimes, which is why there is a strong stereotype that most black males in D.C. are criminals.
I feel Paul overstated his case and would have been wise to use more factual data, but I still don’t view his comment as racist, but rather a conclusion based on the statistics, as well as his personal experience in D.C.
The Disappearing White Majority
In 1993, a brief editorial appeared in one of his newsletters titled “The Disappearing White Majority.” This piece explored the political implications of growing minority populations. His main point was that minorities often use the government to promote their interests, while whites are less inclined to use the political system in this way. Here are relevant quotes, in context:
As whites are dying off, they are not replacing themselves. Meanwhile, Asian immigration is taking off and black births are booming. The black population, now about 32 million, will double in the next 60 years. And the Hispanic population will triple.
I know it is impolite to worry about this trend. We are all the same under the skin, the argument goes. Whatever the truth of that assertion, it is an empirical fact that, in a mixed-economy democracy, nearly every racial and ethnic group votes its group interest except the white population. Whites don’t vote for candidates that promise to promote white interests, whereas blacks and Hispanics do.
Groups other than whites have strong ethnic and racial identities. They are devoted to using the State to advance their cause. That, inevitably, means more welfare, more affirmative action, more grants of privilege, etc. That demographic shifts have profound political implications should go without saying.
What is often forgotten is how such changes affect our culture. Nearly every other group but whites are allowed a certain degree of cultural autonomy. Blacks have black schools, clubs, and neighborhoods. The same is true of Hispanics. It is human nature that like attracts likes. But whites are not allowed to express this same human impulse. Except in a de facto sense, there can be no white schools, white clubs, or white neighborhoods. The political system demands white integration, while allowing black segregation.
As I analyze this piece of writing, I don’t see racism; I see frustration with a political system that has a double standard for whites and minorities. It’s okay for blacks and Hispanics to segregate themselves, but it’s not okay for whites to do the same.
I also see in Paul’s comments a genuine concern for how increasing minority populations will affect the government. As Paul points out, minorities are more likely than whites to use the political process to gain special privileges and advantages for their group.
I imagine Paul is concerned in the same way I am concerned when I see Hispanic immigrants waving Mexican flags. I’m not against political pride, but if a person chooses to make the United States his home, I would expect him to wave an American flag. What I do not want is for minorities to import their systems of government into the United States. Historically, we know this happens. Immigration is the easiest way to conquer a country.
So What Can We Conclude from the Above Quotes?
It is apparent that Ron Paul is not afraid to talk about race issues, even if doing so will get him labeled as a racist. But people who say Paul is a racist lack critical thinking skills and are more interested in preventing Paul from winning the Republican nomination.
Remember, Paul has claimed he did not write the quotes above. And I tend to believe him. If you watch videos of him speaking, you’ll find he never says anything remotely disparaging of any minority group. You’ll also find that he believes in personal liberty, which means he believes the federal government should stop interfering in people’s private interactions.
One last thing. Ultimately, I believe…
Actions Speak Louder than Words
While the media has tried to label Paul a racist based on a few comments written by a ghostwriter, it’s my opinion that actions reveal more about a person’s beliefs than their words do.
With that in mind, please watch this video about Dr. Paul and how he went out of his way to help a black man who know one else would help. After you watch it, ask yourself: Is Ron Paul a racist? The answer, I believe, is clear. Paul is a man who cares about people — regardless of their skin color.