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Opinion: Is Ron Paul Racist?

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Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has come under withering fire on the presidential campaign trail in recent days over allegations that a newsletter he edited years ago contained racist commentary. I am a firm believer in former President Ronald Reagan’s commandment not to speak ill of a fellow Republican, but racism has no place in our society today, and Paul’s comments on race should disqualify him from holding the most powerful job in the world.

Many of the inflammatory comments in the Paul newsletters were published in the 1980s and 1990s. That these disturbing remarks came under such headings as “Ron Paul Political Report," "Ron Paul Survival Report," and "Ron Paul’s Freedom Report” leaves me unable to reconcile Paul’s present disavowals.

For example, in a December 1989 Paul newsletter that was quoted by James Kirchick in the New Republic, a prediction was postulated, “racial violence will fill our cities [because] mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white haves.” Or, another Paul letter opined, “I think we can assume that 95 percent of the black men in that city [Washington, D.C.] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

These are not comments to be dismissed or explained away as an off-the-cuff remark by a politician taken out of context. To me, they represent something deeper and far more disturbing—a conviction that blacks are pre-disposed to be violent and seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of whites.

On the eve of the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses on Tuesday, Congressman Paul is in a statistical dead heat with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the lead. Does Paul represent the mainstream thinking of the Republican Party of the 21st Century? I think not. I just hope others take the time to investigate Paul’s statements on race (to say nothing of his belief that the U.S. brought 9/11 upon itself due to our foreign policy) and conclude that he is the wrong leader at the wrong time to lead America for the next four years—or ever.