Saturday, February 2, 2008

It appeared on HBO and the A Matter of Opinion blogs

The New Republic outed Ron Paul as a racist because of some old news letters under his editorship contained some rather rotten things to say about African Americans. Martin Luther King day, the annual hate whitey day. That sounds particularly rotten. I'll agree. And for Ron Paul to opine that he isn't racist now, despite these news letters being part of his past, is surely questionable. But then again, people can change. And Ron Paul would have at one time reflected an era in which for one, The Spokesman-Review published letters from people who hid their racism by calling Martin Luther King a communist. And why should there be a day to honor what was after all a Communist? The Spokesman-Review editorial board has complete control over the types of letters that it allows onto its pages. Should the S-R now be held to account for allowing racists to spew over Martin Luther King, civil rights leader, getting a special day? The editor Steve Smith seemed to think that Ron Paul should be held to account for the decades old editorial content of his news letters.

When I opined on the Huckleberries on-line blog about this very matter; I did mention the L.A. Riots and Paul's news letter nastily saying that the only time these rioters stopped was when they went to pick up their welfare checks. I can thread a very fine needle here, that the riots, when they happened, put quite a divide in public opinion. Either you were on the side of people who had indeed engaged in criminal activities, sympathetic to their cause, or you were not. Paul's news letter would have surely reflected the thinking of people who lost businesses and property because of the riots. And what if the shoe were on the other foot, what if white people had behaved in the same way? Would Paul have said the same thing? I think he would have. Paul's problem seems less to do with racism than in being blunt. He is not what you would call diplomatic or tactful. IE the man isn't politically correct.

So, Paul's argument would seem to have been, that those his news letter had something nasty to say about, the African-Americans, didn't seem interested in improving their conditions--reference the welfare checks. At the same time, trashing the neighborhood--reference thinking this country and the government owes them everything. But in this racial divide, how many whites seem to be the opinion that everything should be handed to them? That white folks don't need to improve their own condition. That they become a victim of circumstance and others just "doing it to them." That is only true some of the time. And the rest of the time?

Blogging on HBO, I advised the posters there of our need to invest in businesses, jobs and education. We as a society need to do that, if we are to turn this nation around. Ron Paul's newsletters may not have sounded good, but in retrospect, they could just as easily have applied to the whites of this society. Where we no longer want to do for ourselves and want others to do it for us.

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