I remember when I was a college student at The University of Kentucky writing in the campus paper. Most of the white students at this conservative school in the south pretty much hated my guts. I didn't mind that, since the pain of growing up as a black man in the state of Kentucky left a scar so deep that it significantly thickened my psychological skin.

One of the articles I wrote linked the Republican Party to racism in America. The editor of the campus paper, a conservative who loved to paint me as a raging liberal (I am honestly not all that liberal), titled the column, "Republicans are Racist: Guilty by Association."

While I didn't agree with the editor's assertion that guilt by association should matter to any of us, he may have had a point. The truth is that even guilt by association can get us into serious trouble. The case of former Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul is one that reminds us that the Republicans are having a great deal of trouble shaking their perceived connection to the very worst parts of America.

The release of Paul's newsletter from the 1990s only makes matters worse, as the newsletter presents a goldmine of incredibly racist statements and accusations that would make Rush Limbaugh blush.

Some of the most interesting statements in the newsletter are presented below:

"Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day."

"Just after a basketball game ended on June 14, blacks poured into the streets of Chicago in celebration. How to celebrate? How else? They broke the windows of stores to loot, even breaking through protective steel shutters with crowbars to steal everything in sight."

"If you live in a major city, you've probably already heard about the newest threat to your life and limb, and your family: carjacking. It is the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos."

In addition to making outlandish statements about people of color, Paul presents other interesting information, such as a poll in which he claims that only 5% of African Americans have sensible political opinions. He also mentioned that "if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."

To say that Ron Paul's newsletter is ignorant would be an understatement. Also, it is my greatest hope that this revelation is enough to ensure that the Republicans do not give him serious consideration for the presidency. What is most interesting, however, is that Paul's newsletter brings an ironic and almost refreshing sense of honesty into our conversation about race in America. Paul's statements are not as scary as the fact that there are millions of Americans who agree with him. Many whites have equally "interesting" beliefs about African Americans, which lead to a serious disrespect of our humanity. We are seen as fleet-footed car-jackers who love R&B music, rather than a heterogeneous group of Americans who have the same flaws and capabilities as anyone else. The goal is not to believe that all black people are good: The goal is to know that we are normal.

I am not sure what ridiculous story Ron Paul's advisers are going to come up with to try to explain this one away. But the truth is that you probably won't see Paul making a serious run for the presidency, and that is a good thing for America.

Open link for Ron Paul's interview on CNN:

Original Post

When one really thinks about it, blacks are very conservative. My father is extremely conservative, but would never vote for Republicans primarily due to racist overtones of the party, that are indeed accurate. Most black cultures of the world are staunchly heterosexual and don’t support the antithesis. A good percentage of blacks are against illegal immigration. A good percentage of blacks do not believe in abortion. A good percentage of blacks do not believe in supporting people who are not trying to help themselves. We don’t vote Republican because we don’t accept that packaged deal that includes racism and is based upon assumptions.


The difference between black conservatism, when we practice it or apply it, is that it is born from bearing witness. What I mean is that if we know somebody is good for nothing and lazy, we don’t want our money going to them, when they refuse to help themselves. We don’t, however, assume that everyone who is not working or who is poor is that way because they are lazy and good for nothing. Our conservatism is based upon reality and experience and not assumptions about people we don’t know and have not met. Social conservatism and its fiscal conservatism cousin seek to promote policy that is based upon assuming people are lazy and really just need a kick in the rear end to get going and if that does not help….then tough. Also, their policies are predicated upon the assumption of black inferiority, in which case any monies spent socially, towards blacks, is not an investment in the future of America, but rather, a permanent subsidy. On a side note, the same is true on the liberal side with the opposite assumption. Both size practice a one size fits all approach and life simply is not that way.


That having been said, we have to guard against the fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition is when one argues or assumes that what is true for the whole or overall is true its parts. Conversely, it also manifest when one assumes that what is true for a part is thus true for the whole. The fact that Ron Paul is a racist does not mean that he might not have a brilliant grasp of economics, the banking system and the like. In other words, you cannot dismiss everything someone says just because another aspect of their personality or life has been discredited. I think people have the tendency to throw out the babies with the bath water. Also, you can’t label a whole crowd by the actions of a few people in a crowd.  Ron Paul and a whole lot of other white folks is likely racist, however, we need to learn to separate matters of race from other matters. Just because someone is liberal, conservative, racist or whatever does not make them right or wrong about everything that they talk about.


Ron Paul may indeed be a racist, but he is right on target in regards to the ROLE of the Federal Reserve and how its actions are really at the root of many of our current economic problems.  

I try to always remember that every European American has the potential to do what European Americans do.

Mal Goode, the first African American ABC-Correspondent to the United Nations, frequently said, 'I start every 'white' person out with zero as to being given the 'benefitof-the-doubt.'

I try to hold that sage advice in mind.


Jim Chester

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