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If You Need an Example of the Ron Paul Newsletter

I am getting the impression that many commenters (as well as people writing about this topic in the Blogosphere and in the mass media) have not actually looked at any of the Ron Paul newsletters, but are instead basing their opinions on vague impressions or third/fourth hand accounts.

Here is a specific, actual example:
Political Report October 1992

Note: it is written in the first person and from Ron Paul’s perspective (“my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas”).

In this passage we have clear attempts at inciting racial tensions (is there any doubt what “the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth” is supposed to mean?) as well as a suggestion about illegal action (buy a black market gun that cannot be traced to you so that when you are forced to shoot and kill one of these “hip hop…urban youth” you can wipe your prints off the gun and dispose of it so you can, well, get away with murder).

Even if Paul did not write these words, he bears substantial responsibility for allowing them to be published under his name and from his point of view.

Noting that it was roughly twenty years ago, or that Paul has made statements of disavowal without actually dealing with these (and other) words is not a sufficient explanation/defense.

Source for PDF: TNR.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Note also that William Weld’s support for “gay civil rights” is equated with “letting gays force their way onto other people’s property.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Paradoxically the only reason this isn’t utterly, instantly disqualifying is that no one actually thinks Paul is running for president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. Is suggesting that the glorification of gang culture you find in much of hip hop has had a negative impact on black youths really necessarily racist? It may be a sign of racism given other things said in the newsletters (indeed, I’ve seen other quotes from the newsletters that are far more overtly racist), but on its own that doesn’t seem a particularly out of line statement.

    If you start from the presumption that something is racially motivated, there is a danger of reading things into the subtext that may not be justified.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    It’s racist. Period, full stop. Don’t even try.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  5. @michael reynolds:

    Or what? When I need advice to racial awareness, I’ll go to someone who doesn’t masturbate over killing middle eastern and central Asian civilians by remote control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  6. MM says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “It’s [carjacking] the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play whites like pianos”.

    That’s not suggesting that hip-hop glorifies gang culture. That’s flat out saying “scary negros in the city think whitey is an easy mark”.

    If you start from the presumption that something is racially motivated, there is a danger of reading things into the subtext that may not be justified.

    And saying that the black purse snatcher is fleet of foot is probably a compliment. It just means that he’s in good shape and has athletic prowess (as so many of their kind do). Right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. @Stormy Dragon:

    Or what?  When I need advice to racial awareness, I’ll go to someone who doesn’t masturbate over killing middle eastern and central Asian civilians by remote control.

    And who is it that you are accuseing of this? Please be clear.

    And in the spirit of clarity: the passage from the newsletter is clearly racist in tone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  8. @MM:

    black purse snatcher is fleet of foot

    As I said, there were better examples that were overtly racist, like this one; but “hip-hop urban youths” does not actually mean “scary blacks”. That subtext could be there (and it probably is in this case given the rest of the newsletters as context), but to pull it out by itself and saying it has to have that subtext is blaming the writer for the reader’s baggage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  9. MM says:

    @Stormy Dragon: If “hip-hop urban youths’ doesn’t mean scary blacks (and it does), then why would they play whites like a piano? The author is saying that there are whites (you, dear reader) and “other” (hip-hop urban youths). The sentence construction makes no sense unless there is a distincy contrast there.

    The reason that subtext is there is because that subtext is there by design. That is the same language that Bo Gritz and the survivalist/white separatist movements used when talking about black people and the race war that was going to happen at any moment. Urban. Hip-hop. Low-rider. Gang banger.

    This was also 1992, when rap music was Ice Cube singing about White Devils, and Snoop Dogg talking about 187 on an undercover cop and Public Enemy was talking about Fear of a Black Planet.

    This specific section of the newsletter isn’t even a coded appeal to race. This is a blatant, uncoded message that you, middle-aged and middle-class possibly small town or suburban white male are in imminent danger from them, even if you stay out of those neighborhoods.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  10. mantis says:

    If you start from the presumption that something is racially motivated, there is a danger of reading things into the subtext that may not be justified.

    If you start from the presumption that someone you like is not a racist, you can justify pretty much anything he says as not racist.

    For instance, I think Michael Richards is a funny guy. I never imagined he was the slightest bit racist. Upon hearing about his rant at the comedy club, I was initially inclined to figure out some non-racist reason for him to say those things. I quickly realized I was doing this just because I liked the guy, and I stopped trying to justify it. It was racist. End of story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. @Alex: Thanks for noting that. I meant to point it out as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. @Stormy Dragon: So, you going to identify to whom you were referring above, or are we supposed to forget you said it?

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  13. I’ll ask you the same question I asked Doug Mataconis. If Lew Rockwell’s name is half-whispered in libertarian circles as the likely author, why haven’t the MSM picked up on that? AFAIK, his name has never come up in articles on this subject. What will it take to get some real investigative journalism to figure out who the author really was? Doug’s response was that nobody’s bothered because Paul has never been regarded as a real threat to the establishment candidates. Could a win in Iowa change that? If not, how about a strong showing in New Hampshire?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. mantis says:

    Steven,

    I’m pretty sure that comment was directed at Michael Reynolds, because he has stated in the past (IIRC) that he’s ok with drone strikes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. de stijl says:

    @Eric Williams:

    If Lew Rockwell’s name is half-whispered in libertarian circles as the likely author…

    Because it wasn’t published in the Lew Rockwell Political Report, but the Ron Paul Political Report.

    You guys keep pinning your hope that this will somehow miraculously go away if you can muddy the waters with questions about the authorship. The content is the scandal. That it went out under Ron Paul’s name is undeniable and that is a problem that will not go away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. @de stijl: Actually, I’d wonder about the journalistic laziness if it were a newsletter under the name of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, etc. as well.

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  17. @Steven Taylor:

    For sake of clarity: given MR’s frequently gleeful response to stories of civilians getting killed in drone strikes, I resent him presuming to say what arguments people are or aren’t allowed to “even try”, as though I need his permission to hold a particular viewpoint on the subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  18. @Steven L. Taylor:

    I responded as soon as I saw the request for a clarification.

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  19. @Stormy Dragon: Thanks for the clarification.

    Regardless, first I find your initial characterization of “masturbat[ing] over killing middle eastern and central Asian civilians by remote control” to be intemperate as well as rude and unnecessary.

    Second: it isn’t even an argument for your position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. Part of the problem for Paul is that one of the easiest way to attack him is to associate him with Rockwell. There are people there that could be associated to every kind of organization, from VDare.com to American Renaissance Magazine and the League of the South.

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  21. JosieSC says:

    Tea Party Rocker makes video for Ron Paul song is called “Don’t Be Afraid” check it out on youtube http://youtu.be/WaTOrQBJXf8

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  22. Beth says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m with you and it scares me when I hear that the doctor has supporters who are college-aged. As an educator I am ashamed of the job we’ve done in educating these kids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. Joseph F. McNulty says:

    I am not a Paulistinian, but I think your comments go too far. Why do you assume that “hig-hop” youth have to be black? Aren’t there white rappers? The work “black” is no where used. Also, there is nothing suggesting murder. He is clearly talking about self-defense and just suggesting that you not wait around for the authorities to arrive and try and make you the “perp.” Finally, is there a crime here? Is the “private sale” or a firearm a crime? Paul is clearly not a racist, but if you are going to call him one, you should have some evidence beyond this ferrago of implications not actually reflected in the text. He can be criticied for letting soneone else’s work going out over his name and then trying to deny responsibility.

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  24. @Joseph F. McNulty: Without rehashing a host of issues, I would point you to here for some more statements worthy of criticism (with links to even more).

    All of my posts on this subject are indexed here.

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