Opinion: Is Ron Paul Racist?

Monday, January 02, 2012 - 11:09 AM

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.


More in:

Comments [42]


A lot of emotion in this article and less facts... Ron Paul is the truth and sometimes you can't handle it. D.c is notorious for black crime you can't argue with statistics. I would take a racist man over a control freak psychopath that is above the law killing women and children in Yemen with drone strikes and destroying our economy with social programs that are proven to not work.

Jul. 21 2013 10:07 AM

90-95% of blacks are criminal oriented... Most people would agree that blacks have it rough in this country, especially blacks themselves. I believe that thats the true message when he says 90-95% of blacks commit crimes hes trying to ask the question why do they do it? Better yet why do they have too?

It doesn't mean hes racist he's observant and its a cultural issue that deserves attention. Hes not saying blacks commit crimes because their black. Subconsciously hes saying blacks are committing more crimes which is fact, but why? Maybe because blacks have been sabotaged since being brought over from africa and their generations have evolved from being slaves to being desperate people on minimum wage.

If he has any hatred involved its directed at the core of those cultural problems, not the people's genetics but the conditions that have led to their depression.

God you people are so stupid and counter productive, wake the fuck up.

Aug. 27 2012 12:34 PM

I have always been a big supporter of Ron Paul. I'm not sure if he is a racist, but I live in Ron Paul's hometown of Lake Jackson and went to school with one of his grandchildren who I know for a fact is a racist. Even hearing him say how he only dates white girls and won't date any other race. He also holds the biggest superiority complex. But I still support Ron Paul because I know the actions of others should not effect another's character.

Aug. 23 2012 09:43 AM

Is this what we have come to? speaking the truth is racist? so be it.
Truth..the new hate speech.

Apr. 04 2012 11:12 AM
Matthew Petre from Texas

I think it's pretty clear by now that Ron Paul was not the author of any racist newsletters, nor does he endorse what they had to say. The thing about Liberty is that it gives people the right to say whatever it is they want to say even if the speech is full of hate or racist language. I assume that for this reason and that Dr. Paul wishes to limit federal power back to the level of the Constitution that certain racist people and groups see the message of Liberty as a way to protect or advance their rhetoric. But the second part of Liberty means that we cannot force or infringe on the rights of others (that's where the hate-group racists will typically differ with Dr. Paul.) I would much prefer a racist who supports Liberty, because that in turn means that he/she can simply have racist feelings and thoughts but cannot force their ideology on anyone; the scary thought is when a racist believes in Socialism or even worse Fascism because that's when they believe they have the right to force their stupid thoughts on others (e.g. Hitler.) If I could I would vote for John S. Mill in 2012, but since I can't it's Ron Paul all the way!

Mar. 02 2012 12:14 PM

Having a negative opinion on bad things America has done doesn't make you "anti-American". These are rights the founding father fought for, and for good reason. I'd argue that anyone who defends to the death everything that has gone on in this country is the TRUE anti-American, because they're blindly marching under a flag instead of the values and ideals it represents.

Feb. 07 2012 08:59 PM

Both of the two main political parties are opposed to Ron Paul because both fear he might take votes from their chosen candidate. I am not a Ron Paul supporter, but his views should be debated and put to all the major candidates, white house or congress, for discussion, as well as put out for public consideration. Close foreign bases and end the wars, do not start anymore wars. All sounds good to me. No other candidate is willing to propose such a necessary change, and the efforts to silence him are presumably mostly coming from those who want more war.

There is such a coincidence in timing of the attacks that makes it reasonable to assume it's a coordinated effort to knock him out, so his views will not be publicly considered.

The charges of racism seem particularly dishonest. Which major party ran the Willie Horton ads, telling the nation that the democratic candidate supports black ex-con prisoners who are rapists. Which major candidate stopped his campaign to return to Arkansas to oversee the execution of a black inmate who was essentially brain dead? That was Clinton.

Which party disavows any affirmative action to help either non-whites or women, while the white men continue to keep for themselves most of the top political positions, the seats in Congress, not to mention the better jobs throughout the country. That's both parties. So charges of racism are absurd from the mouths of these people.

Recent charges of anti-semitism are equally tainted, given that the first person apparently making those charges was right-wing mouthpiece David Horowitz, and he claims that Ron Paul is an anti-semite because he supports cutting off the $4 billion a year sent to Israel by the U.S. Being opposed to the continued looting of our treasury to support a foreign nation is not the same as being an anti-semite, but both parties jumped on that one with glee as well.

Let him speak. Demand the other candidates address his views, and put them out in the public for national consideration. It's about time.

Jan. 24 2012 12:16 PM

probably: but then again,so is just about anyone,who passively, or actively, subscirbes to the absurd artificial construct of, 'whiteness". there is no DNA test, or viral marker for racism. it requires a gracious open mind, to admit to racism,which obviously, racists, by definition don't have. racism, is always easily able to hide, behind a sea of denial. it's the nature of the beast. it's an absurd question,to begin with,because, there is no way of quantifying human perception. therefore, the rascist, will always have a default denial escape claus available, to self justify him or herself,whether by unconcious contrivance, or willful ignorance

Jan. 22 2012 01:35 AM

What about Jeremy Wright? Anti-American and anti-white? Obama and family attended and supported that church for 20 years.Or does it go one way only?

Jan. 20 2012 10:34 AM
Student from Indiana - Florida

To believe racism does not exist in 2012 equates only to being delusional, being in fact a racist yourself, blind, or so fortunate enough to never have experienced racism directly. As a female African American college student I am living proof of the existance of racism. Before I even open my mouth I am judged and stereotyped and often labeled. I do hope that these statements are in fact false. Stating that 95% of black males in the D.C. area is completely delusional, when there is Howard University, a HBCU that produces thousands of productive black men each year. I hope whomever is elected will represent all Americans and not make sweeping generalizations against the millions of productive black citizens.

Jan. 20 2012 02:37 AM
We The People

Ron Paul is about as rascist as Jesus....

Lately I've been told Im a poli-sci major because I stated "I do not think skin color should matter".

Apparently we have descended so far into the mental disorder of liberalism, that if you are not a are rascist, and if you think that the best qualified should get the job, again your rascist.

In fact, the only way to not be rascist is to be an all out liberal and vote for Obama. How much of a problem is rascism in this country in 2012....oh thats right, its not except in the minds of liberals, it is actually funny how easily they are distracted from any thing that matters.

Gay marriage/rascism/the imaginary lack of womens rights, all matter diddly squat when our nation is about to go bankrupt, when we cease to exist, and basic services disappear, the color of your skin wont matter.

We are on the verge of collapse if yall hadn't noticed. I guess, all the Obama and Romney supporters are okay with that though?

Jan. 18 2012 09:52 PM
anna dc from wilmington, nc

don't listen to anyone trying to shed anything but the bright, shining light on Ron Paul that he deserves. we need to vote this man into office before he dies on us and our hopes are lost. True freedom fighter, I support Ron Paul for President!!

Jan. 18 2012 05:21 PM
tim prussic from Scappoose, OR

A friend linked me to this article so I could learn about the controversy surrounding RP's supposed racist comments. Having read the little article, I don't feel like I learned ANYTHING about RP, the comments, or the controversy. All I learned is that the Ron Christie doesn't want Ron Paul to be head of the GOP and President of the United States. Lame article.

Jan. 17 2012 03:19 PM


Jan. 17 2012 03:10 AM
facts and freedom from new york city

this is smear. Dr. Paul is a true libertarian believing in freedoms for everyone with no group privileged or penalized. His only mistake was being to lazy to edit this paper. But to conclude he is racist is PREPOSTEROUS! He is more outspoken of minority abuse when it comes to courts, imprisonment, and the drug war than all of the other candidates combined. He focuses on individualism; not collectivism, therefore is the pinnacle of freedom for all. And yes, 9/11 was terrible and terrorists should be killed; BUTTTTTTT U.S. foreign occupation is the #1 reason terrorists hate us. When you investigate a murder you aren't looking to justify it, but you do look to find motive. common sense.

RON PAUL 2012.

Jan. 15 2012 11:52 PM
Jonas Grumby from San Francisco, CA

Ron Paul racist? LOL! He's nothing compared to Rick "Ku Klux Klan/Frothy Mix" Santorum. Just watch this video:

Jan. 15 2012 02:29 AM from bkk

nice and good post i like it thank very much for your post

Jan. 14 2012 06:11 AM

News regarding the newsletter flap. James Kirchick just released the name of the only by-lined author from his pdf files of the newsletters. Why didn't he do this 4 years ago? Paul isn't believed by many when he says he didn't exercise sufficient editorial control. New Republic and Stephen Glass, anyone? The irony is that the original piece was written by Kirchick for, you guessed it, The New Republic.

Jan. 06 2012 08:58 AM
David Hogg Adams from USA

While I strongly agree with Ron Christie's views on the deleterious effect of 'racisim', I am deeply concerned about his taking 'word bites' out of old speeches without a contextual contrast of some sort.

Come on Ron, help me out here and frame your arguments with more there an 'un-edited' version.


Jan. 04 2012 11:06 PM
this is crazy.... from NH

Handbook for Human Ownership:

Jan. 04 2012 04:29 AM
Joey McNeill

Why don't you ask the "Blacks for Ron Paul" and see what they think. He seems to like them just fine and they love him.

Jan. 03 2012 10:52 PM

how can he be racist when he only emphasizes the protection of all people and the protection of civil liberties? in COUNTLESS interviews he has denied this, he has been friends with the president of NAACP for years, and it wasnt something he said, it was something published in a paper. it was an oversight, and a mistake, if there was a perfect, spotless politician out there, i would love to see it.

Jan. 03 2012 07:19 PM

Every neocon and Democratic pundit has been ripping Ron Paul for two continuous weeks for everything from not wanting to bomb Iranians to not waking up imagining he was President to innuendoes about 10 sentences found in 10,000 pages of a 25 year old newsletter. Before the Iowa results come come out later tonight, I'm going out on a limb to predict that it will knock 5% off his polling numbers and he won't come in #1 in Iowa. That isn't too bad. Other candidates who have been scrutinized have lost 50% of their support instead of 20% of their support. I doubt that Ron Paul will get the Republican nomination but having attracted such a huge percentage of young people to his ideas at four year intervals has doubled his support since 2008. All those young people will be taking over the Republican Party by 2016 as its fading neocon leadership dies off. Therein lies the victory of Ron Paul

Jan. 03 2012 06:48 PM

Damn, the NegroeConz are way off the Bantustan.

Jan. 03 2012 05:59 PM
missey from NEW JERSEY


Jan. 03 2012 05:51 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

Let's get specific here, because this word "racist" means so many different things to different people, we really don't know WHAT it means anymore...

Ron Paul is quite comfortable
- Negatively generalizing about black people, implying that the negative phenomena is somehow inherent.
- Writing such things and/or having on his staff someone who holds these views who he trusts enough to write such things in his name.
- Voting against anti-segregation regulation without addressing at all how state-sanctioned terror against black people should have been dealt with.

Ron Paul sees black people negatively and as a monolith, and is under-concerned about terrorism against them. Even if some calculated, strategic vote for this substantially limited man could somehow be justified, it's unclear how any informed, reasonable black or progressive person could embrace him with any enthusiasm.

Jan. 03 2012 02:25 PM

"to say nothing of his belief that the U.S. brought 9/11 upon itself due to our foreign policy"

The Pentagon, CIA and 9/11 Commission all concluded that our Middle East involvement directly led to the 9/11 attacks is well documented and called "Blowback". Try doing your job sometime. Yellow journalism at its best.

Jan. 03 2012 01:24 PM
Painful Truth from Atlanta, GA

If you allow statements to be published in your name, you are responsible for those statements. This is not rocket science; except to those that have an agenda.

And even if Ron Paul did not write the articles (which I don't beleive), the fact that he would allow such egregious statements to be made in his name, scares me as to how he would handle being President of the US.

Not buying; he's yet another right-wing racist taking his turn at exposure.

Jan. 03 2012 01:03 PM
Mike Dar from Augusta

Clear Channel Communications which is owned by Bain capitol(Romneys company) shared with Thomas H. Lee Partners. They have 100 Fox Station under Contract..Fox+Bain own 1/2 the Media. Both buyout leverage co.s(combined 100 bill assets) We remember Refco? How about MF Global?
Thomas H. Lee Partners ownes MF global. Remember the hard drives removed from Romneys Governotorial computers?
People better come to understanding that the Dec 14th meeting in New York this year with the Primary dealers JPMorgan, Blackrock ect was when Romney got final approval from the Federal Reserve for the Presidency. Wall Street is going to get a pass on ever being held responsible for it's action, past present or future. Like Greece or Italy and other countrys Bankers now directly run the Govt. There is no Democracy in a Banker run social order. Leverage is what got the world to where it is at, and The Federal Reserve will blow out the dollar to help the Banks all over the World.
And Romney will be saying 'everything is fine' as our ship goes down. Sad thing is his greed and hunger for power will not allow him to see, he is just another Jon S. Corzine, another ex Govenor, 'Ex Banker-Private equity'
who will be taken to the woodshed by the Bankers. Like Obama or Corizone, Romney thinks you can swim the Sharks. America is about to sleep with the fishes

Jan. 03 2012 08:15 AM

The author take care not to print the entire statement;
“I think we can assume that 95 percent of the black men in that city [Washington, D.C.] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

He actually said "if we are to believe the NYPD....."

This is the kind of bottom feeders who get press love to do.
And yes Ron Christie I am talking about you.

Jan. 03 2012 01:30 AM
Fate2012 from Washington DC

Only in america - someone who supports peace over war, is labeled as "extremist".
Only in america - someone who will end war on drugw, and release the majority of blacks from prison, back to their family, is labeled as "Racist".
Only in america - someone who will bring an end to neverending Inflation, boom and bust business cycles, is labeled as naive in monetary policies.
Only in america - someone who gets more contributions from active duty military and vets, than all other candidates combined, is labeled as an isolationist.
Only in america - someone who puts America before Israel is labeled as anti-semtic.

Thats how media, owned by Big Corporations and Wall Street, is trying to steal our future.

Jan. 02 2012 11:52 PM

Proof that Ron Paul is racist!!

Jan. 02 2012 07:30 PM

Don’t be fooled by the mainstream media’s disingenuous disinformation campaign to marginalize Ron Paul’s pro-peace, pro-Constitution message and widespread support from every age, ethnicity, social class and religious background.

Freedom brings us together.

Do the votes in the Iowa Caucuses matter?

What do grass-roots African-Americans really think about the “vicious racist” Ron Paul?

What do active duty service men and women really think about the “isolationist appeaser” Ron Paul?

What do veterans really think about the “uncaring and uncompassionate” Ron Paul?

What do women really think about the “hateful misogynist” Ron Paul?

Jan. 02 2012 07:25 PM
Terry Johnson

Im a 30yr old black male who can be identified as a democrat i am voting ron paul over obama or any other candidate he is the only person who believe the drug war is against its own people the foreign policy is a mess i am a Christian and support Israel but dont support violence across seas israel is holy land and God WILL protect it we dont need to send americans to engage in killings

Jan. 02 2012 12:25 PM

Ron Paul as a racist.
Does this settle the question, one way or another?

Jan. 02 2012 12:25 PM
Rafal from Poland

I do not understand how you can call somebody a racist based on the text that was not written by that person? Does it make any sense? Try to think and look for answers digging deeper than the Fox news etc.

Do you want to see the stupidity of the mainstream media? There you go:

People similar to these two women are trying to sell you a story that Ron Paul is a racist and you are buying it, and probably you think that you are an educated person. So sad.
Who are you people?

Jan. 02 2012 11:53 AM
DH from Boston, MA

If Ron Paul simply disavowed those remarks without leading an exemplary life, I wouldn't have given him a break. But, I do because his entire life is antithetical to the newsletters. He has had a successful medical practice, has raised a huge family and been a Congressman for a long time. If he were truly racist, wouldn't we have at least someone who would be a victim of Ron Paul's racism in his medical practice, or one of his children/grand-children would make racial comments, etc. Before you throw around the racist charge, why don't you at least someone victimized by Ron Paul. I have one evidence to the contrary,

Who do you think is out there trying to clean up the war on drugs? Who do you think is the most civil rights friendly candidate? Come on, your charges don't hold water against the actual life that the man has led. Sure, it points to his organization deficiencies but no one is perfect. BTW, Reagan violated the 11th commandment many many times. Pay attention to his Presidential election of 1976.

Jan. 02 2012 11:52 AM

A Ron Paul presidency means that tens of thousands of African American men will be returning to their families, communities and churches. They can begin working and re-building their lives. That is precisely what will happen when Ron Paul ends the Drug War, pardons non-violent drug offenders, and returns narcotics policy back to the states.

A Ron Paul presidency means that the bombs and drone missiles will stop dropping on Arabs, Africans, and Asians.

A Ron Paul presidency means that the Federal government will no longer threaten the interests of gays who want to pursue marriage in their respective states.

No Republican or Democrat (not even Obama) is promising these things; they neutralize the “Ron Paul is a racist” charge, and they expose Obama (and the GOP) for the damage they have allowed the War on Drugs to do to African American communities.

Jan. 02 2012 11:49 AM
Norma Links from Santa Monica, CA

AFter fighting for liberty for all people for over thirty years, it is dishonest to portray Paul as racist based upon a few sentences he did not write in his newsletters - sentences he disavowed. Additionally, to Paul's credit, he took responsibility for not maintaining proper oversight that might have prevented those inflammatory remarks from being published. There is overwhelming evidence in all the publications, speeches, comments and emails he has written over the years that this man is not a racist, and to keep dwelling on a few sentences that he did not write is so unfair that I wonder what else is behind this anti-Paul rhetoric: change is a scary thing to the establishment and they will drudge up and spin whatever negativity they can to protect their base and their way of life. Ron Paul 2012!

Jan. 02 2012 11:49 AM

"These are not comments to be dismissed or explained away as an off-the-cuff remark by a politician taken out of context."

Who is doing that?

He has said time and time again that he did not write those articles, he occasionally wrote articles about financial matters like monetary policy and the gold standard.

Maybe you should educate yourself about libertarian principles and actually listen to what he ACTUALLY SAYS every day in speeches and his bestselling books, not some sentence that he didn't even write.

"No form of political organization is immune to cruel abuses like the Jim Crow laws, whereby government sets out to legislate on how groups of human beings are allowed to interact with one another.
The only way racism can be overcome is through the philosophy of individualism, which I have promoted throughout my life. Our rights come to us not because we belong to some group, but our rights come to us as individuals. And it is as individuals that we should judge one another.
Racism is a particularly odious form of collectivism whereby individuals are treated not on their merits but on the basis of group identity. Nothing in my political philosophy, which is the exact opposite of the racial totalitarianism of the twentieth century, gives aid or comfort to such thinking. To the contrary, my philosophy of individualism is the most radical intellectual challenge to racism ever posed.
Government exacerbates racial thinking and undermines individualism because its very existence encourages people to organize along racial lines in order to lobby for benefits for their group. That lobbying, in turn, creates animosity and suspicion among all groups, each of which believes that it is getting less of its fair share than the others.
Instead, we should quit thinking in terms of race and recognize that freedom and prosperity benefit all Americans." -Ron Paul, ‘The Revolution: A Manifesto'

Jan. 02 2012 11:42 AM

Mitt Romney refuses to release tax returns“It’s time the biggest-taxing senator in Washington shows the people of Massachusetts how much he pays in taxes,”
Bain Capital's Outsourcing hurt Americans
Mitt Romney, we all know, is one of the founders of private equity firm Bain Capital.

Under Romney, Bain was certainly able to turn around struggling companies and make them profitable. Of course, it’s easy to become profitable when you send the jobs overseas to workers that make thousands of times less than American ones.

Please watch ...then ... post this -> to every news outlet in Iowa and New Hampshire.
THEN "everywhere you can".

Also very INTERESTING :NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -A word of advice to prospective American Idol contestants: support RON PAUL.
One day after she announced her support for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Twitter,sales of pop singer Kelly Clarkson's most recent album were surging Friday on Amazon .com.

Sales of Clarkson's album Stronger.... shot up .... 442% between Thursday and Friday afternoon on Amazon, moving the album from 38 to 7 on Amazon's sales list.

This proves millions of Americans NATIONWIDE support RON PAUL ...... and even in this economy financially support others that support him ...

SMALL businesses would be smart to advertise support .. our .. NEXT PRESIDENT .. RON ......... PAUL

Jan. 02 2012 11:38 AM

How racist is a prison population of half minority do to a drug war?

Jan. 02 2012 11:35 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


About It's A Free Blog

Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a blog, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Supported by

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public.  Learn more at



Supported by