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23 December 2011

Prediction: Ron Paul on Racism

It is all over the news that Dr. Paul wrote, or had written in his name, newsletter articles in the 1990s that were racist.  The story was broken in 2008 by James Kirchick at the New Republic.  This is rediscovered news, not new news.  They have a collection of the newsletters online from that time if you want to wade through the vitriol.

The Republican Party was the party of Emancipation at the end of the Civil War.  Sometime since, they swapped sides with the Democratic Party.  By the time of Nixon, the GOP was using what is called the Southern Strategy.  As one who grew up and lived in the South at that time, I remember racism as normal.  Some people were less expressively racist than others, but it was pretty common.

Side note:  if you have never seen it, watch Everyone's a Little Bit Racist.

My guess is that Dr. Paul is a lot less racist today than he was a few years ago.  But, he is a product of his time and growing beyond being outwardly racist is not always easy.  I am not saying this by way of apology, but of explanation.  Racism, particularly when legislated, is wrong.

Back to the concept of the Southern Strategy.  We have been hearing Republican debates that are not racist in words.  The scapegoat this time is homosexuals.  This was perhaps most clearly evident by the booing of Captain Stephen Hill.  The flavor changed slightly, but the Southern Strategy is visibly in full play. 

There are a lot of White Americans who want to think of themselves as not racist but who would rather not see a Socialist, Muslim, Kenyan, Communist, Gay-Loving President.  (Mr. Obama is many things, but none of the aforementioned are accurate descriptors).  In other words, and they wouldn't say it in these words, but they don't want to continue having a Black President.

So, here's my prediction.  Dr. Paul will continue to disclaim without denouncing the newsletters until he is the Republican nominee.  (I am not predicting that he will win the nomination, but it is possible).  It is only after securing the Republican nomination that Dr. Paul will renounce the racism of those old letters.  Even then he will couch his words so that it is obvious that he has nothing against Black people and yet can do a better job in office that someone who is Black.  He will denounce overt racism in a way that appeals to that little bit of racism in Southern Whites.

I really hope that my prediction is wrong, but there it is.

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