Monday, January 14, 2008

Racist Rantings in Old Newsletters Aren't the Only Skeletons in Ron Paul's Closet

Maverick GOP Candidate Hotly Insists to CNN He Didn't Write Anonymous '80s and '90s Screeds in Newsletter That Bears His Name, But He Admitted Being the Author in a 1996 Newspaper Interview -- And Why Is His Campaign Being Openly Supported By (and Accepting Donations From) Avowed White Supremacists?

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will have many more questions to answer than those asked during Thursday night's Fox News Channel-sponsored South Carolina Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach. Paul has suddenly come under fire after old newsletters bearing his name and containing anonymously written racist rants were revealed last week by CNN and The New Republic magazine. But that's not all: Several prominent white supremacists are openly supporting Paul's candidacy -- including an avowed neo-Nazi who claims that Paul has "extensive" connections with numerous white-supremacist groups. (Photo courtesy Fox News)

(Updated 1:00 p.m. EST Friday, January 18, 2008)

By Skeeter Sanders

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul have complained for months that the mainstream news media have engaged in a conspiracy to keep him out of the public eye by ignoring his maverick campaign.

Now, however, they may be wishing that the media had continued to ignore him, for the Texas congressman -- who's made a name for himself as the only candidate in the GOP field who staunchly opposes the Iraq war -- is suddenly in the eye of a very unwanted media hurricane.

The New Republic magazine and CNN have uncovered a series of newsletters published in Paul's name in the late 1980s and early 1990s that contain numerous racially-charged articles -- including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went "to pick up their welfare checks."

Paul adamantly insisted to CNN that he wasn't the author of the screeds, but in an interview with a Dallas newspaper in 1996 -- while running to regain his congressional seat he gave up more than a decade earlier -- he admitted having written them and insisted that his writings were being taken out of context.

White Supremacists Backing Paul's Presidential Campaign

The Texas congressman, who also vehemently denied being a racist, has an even bigger problem than the newsletters: Several prominent white supremacists have endorsed Paul's candidacy -- one of whom gave his campaign a $500 donation and another of whom is insisting in a statement posted on a far-right-wing Web site that the candidate has "extensive involvement in white nationalism" and is a "closeted" white nationalist himself.

Among the self-described "white nationalists" backing Paul's candidacy include former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke -- whom the national Republican leadership, including then-President George H.W. Bush, loudly repudiated in 1991 when he ran unsuccessfully as the GOP nominee for governor of Louisiana.

Bill White, leader of the American National Socialist Worker's Party, claims in a posting late last month to the Web site of the far-right-wing Vanguard News Network that "Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review" and other far-right groups at an Arlington, Virginia restaurant on a weekly basis.

Jesse Benton, a spokesman for Paul’s campaign, angrily denied White's claims, telling the Internet edition of The New York Times that neither Paul nor his aides ever attended these restaurant meetings, nor has the Texas congressman ever "knowingly" met White.

Norman Singleton, a congressional aide to Paul, acknowledged to the Times, however, that he met White at a dinner gathering of conservatives "several years ago," after which Singleton expressed his "indignation" with White's racial views.

Paul's Denial to CNN Is Contradicted by '96 Interview With Dallas Newspaper

CNN acknowledged that all of the bigoted rants published in the copies of the Ron Paul Political Report newsletter obtained by the network were written anonymously and that the author's identity could not be determined. In an interview broadcast Thursday on CNN's "The Situation Room," the maverick GOP presidential candidate insisted that he didn't write any of the offensive articles and has "no idea" who did.

"When you bring this question up, you're really saying, 'You're a racist' or 'Are you a racist?' And the answer is, 'No, I'm not a racist,'" Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, insisting that he never read the articles. "I do repudiate everything that is written along those lines," he said, adding he wanted to "make sure everybody knew where I stood on this position because it's obviously wrong."

But in an interview with The Dallas Morning News published on May 22, 1996, Paul not only acknowledged writing in a 1992 issue of his newsletter that "95 percent of the black men in Washington, D.C., are semi-criminal or entirely criminal," he defended his writings by insisting that they were being taken out of context by his critics.

"It's [the criticism] typical political demagoguery," he told the newspaper. "If people are interested in my character ... come and talk to my neighbors."

Paul made his admission after copies of Ron Paul Political Report were being circulated among Texas Democrats in the heat of the 1996 election campaign, according to the Morning News.

In a separate interview with the Houston Chronicle, a spokesman for Paul's congressional campaign attempted to downplay the explosive nature of Paul's writing, telling the newspaper that his statements about the fear of black males "mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has decried the spread of urban crime."

But despite the controversy, Paul won the election and has remained in Congress since.

Newsletter Articles Railed Against Gays, Israeli Lobby and Dr. King

The controversial newsletters include rants against the Israeli lobby, gays, AIDS patients and the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- who was described as a "pro-Communist philanderer." The national holiday honoring what would have been Dr. King's 79th birthday will be observed next Monday.

One newsletter, dated June 1992 in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots, says "order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks." The riots -- the worst in the city's history -- were triggered by the acquittal of four white police officers of criminal assault charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King, a black motorist whom officers had initially stopped for speeding.

The Rodney King case was the most notorious in a decades-long series of racially-charged incidents that poisoned relations between the Los Angeles Police Department and the city's African American community. The officers were later found guilty in federal court on charges of violating King's civil rights.

Another anonymously-written rant in the newsletter says, "The criminals who terrorize our cities -- in riots and on every non-riot day -- are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are. As children, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppression is responsible for all black ills, to 'fight the power,' to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy as possible."

In his 1996 interview with the Morning News, Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He told the newspaper they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation.

He did not deny writing that, "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be." When asked by the newspaper what he meant by that, Paul responded, "If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them."

Other Articles Make References to Paul's Texas Hometown

Other excerpts in the Ron Paul Political Report refer to Lake Jackson, Texas, where the candidate lives -- references that could lead readers to believe that the articles were written by Paul himself. In an October 1992 article, the newsletter describes "carjacking" -- literally hijacking cars, often at gunpoint, from motorists while the driver is behind the wheel -- as the "hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos."

The article goes on to offer advice from others on how to avoid being carjacked, including "an ex-cop I know," and says, "I frankly don't know what to make of such advice, but even in my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas, I've urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self-defense, for the animals are coming."

In his interview with CNN, Paul insisted he would never use such language. "People who know me, nobody is going to believe this," he said. "That's just not my language. It's not my life. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, [Mahatma] Ghandi -- they're the heroes [of my life]."

That CNN and The New Republic were able to obtain copies of the newsletter -- the title of which was changed in 1993 to the Ron Paul Survival Report -- is something of a coup. The newsletter, produced during the 12-year period in between Paul's two stints in Congress (from 1979 to 1985 and from 1997 to the present), had only about 7,000 subscribers, and Paul, not surprisingly, had steadfastly refused to make copies available to the media.

Indeed, so obscure was Paul's newsletter that a Lexis/Nexis search for the publication by the liberal-leaning opinion site Daily Kos -- which posted passages from the article on the L.A. riots far more incendiary than those quoted by CNN -- turned up nothing.

Paul Campaign Won't Return $500 Donation From White Supremacist

The credibility of Paul's denials of being the author of the racist rants in his newsletters is undermined, however, by his campaign's refusal to return a $500 donation from Don Black, an avowed white supremacist, after the donation -- contained in a campaign finance report on file with the Federal Election Commission -- was made public on December 18 by The Associated Press.

Campaign spokesman Benton told the AP that the Texas congressman's camp doesn't monitor who its donors are -- nor does it return donations from donors deemed controversial. "Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights," he said.

"If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money,"Benton insisted. "Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom -- and that's $500 less that this guy [Black] has to do whatever it is that he does."

Black, a former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, said he supports Paul's stance on ending the war in Iraq, securing U.S. borders and his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. "We like his stand on tight borders and opposition to a police state," Black -- who runs a white-supremacist Web site and said he's been a "white patriot" for more than 30 years -- told the Palm Beach Post.

Paul, who finished a distant fifth in last week's New Hampshire GOP primary, has nevertheless become an Internet phenomenon in the current race for the Republican nomination -- much like Howard Dean on the Democratic side four years ago -- raising tens of millions of dollars from a devoted online voter base, many of them young people drawn to his libertarian views on social issues and his outspoken opposition to the Iraq war.

Unlike Dean, however, this isn't Paul's first run for the White House: He previously ran in 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party while remaining a registered Republican. The most striking difference between the Texas congressman and his GOP rivals is his advocacy of a "non-interventionist" foreign policy, a position long associated with the Libertarian Party and denounced by his rivals as isolationist.

Neo-Nazi Claims Paul Is a 'Closeted' White Nationalist

But if the controversy over the racist newsletters and support from white supremacists wasn't bad enough for Paul, the candidate has a much more serious public-relations problem that could destroy his political career, let alone his White House candidacy: Claims by the avowed neo-Nazi Bill White that the congressman is a "closeted" white nationalist himself.

"I have kept quiet about the Ron Paul campaign for a while, because I didn't see any need to say anything that would cause any trouble," White wrote in a statement posted on the Vanguard News Network Web site. "However, reading the latest release from his campaign spokesman, I am compelled to tell the truth about Ron Paul's extensive involvement in white nationalism."

White claims that "Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet" with members of several far-right "white nationalist" groups, including "the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others" at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, "usually on Wednesdays."

The American National Socialist Workers Party leader branded as "ridiculous" dismissals by Paul's aides of white nationalism as a "small ideology" and that white activists are "wasting their money" trying to influence the candidate. "Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position," White insisted.

"I don't know that it is necessarily good for Paul to 'expose' this," White continued. "However, he really is someone with extensive ties to white nationalism and for him [Paul] to deny that in the belief he will be more respectable. . .is outrageous."

Ex-Klansman Duke Endorses Paul -- But Says He Should 'Defend Whites More'

The "Stormfront" that White referred to in his posting is a white-supremacist Web site, which welcomes postings to the "Stormfront White Nationalist Community." The site, which bears the motto, "White Pride World Wide" on its home page, was founded and is operated by Black.

Black and fellow ex-Klansman Duke co-anchor an Internet-only radio show, "Stormfront Radio," on the site. In their latest Webcast, now online, Black and Duke discuss "What Ron Paul Must Do to Win." There's an interesting twist in their partnership in white nationalism: Black is married to Duke's ex-wife, Chloe Hardin, who divorced Duke in 1984.

In a posting on Stormfront's discussion page, Duke also endorsed Paul, declaring that his campaign "is good for America and the political process."

Explaining why he's backing Paul, Duke writes that "People such as Ron Paul shake up the system, and Paul takes a lot of correct positions, such as opposition to the Iraq war, opposition to foreign aid to Israel and the rest of the world, as well as having unrelenting support for the civil liberties of the American people."

But Duke went on to criticize Paul for not doing enough "to defend the heritage and interests of European Americans," particularly on the issues of illegal immigration and affirmative action.

On immigration, Duke urged Paul to "Hit immigration harder, and not by commercials showing some anchor babies in hospitals -- people feel naturally sympathetic to babies and mothers. Show pictures of the many illegal alien criminals who have raped, kidnapped and killed American citizens who our government has not prevented from entering the country."

And on affirmative action, Duke wrote that if he was Paul's campaign manager, he would "expose and hit the massive racial discrimination against European Americans in so-called affirmative action and the bald-faced lies of 'equal opportunity,'” accusing the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of being "an agency solely dedicated to racial discrimination against better-qualified white applicants, companies, employees and students."

# # #

The Ron Paul Interview With The Dallas Morning News

Paul's interview, which is in the Morning News' archives, can be accessed online only through a paywall established by the newspaper.

However, here is the 1996 article in its entirety, written by Morning News reporter Catalina Camia of the newspaper's Washington bureau:

WASHINGTON - Dr. Ron Paul, a Republican congressional candidate from Texas, wrote in his political newsletter in 1992 that 95 percent of the black men in Washington, D.C., are "semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

He also wrote that black teenagers can be "unbelievably fleet of foot."

An official with the NAACP in Texas said the comments were racist and offensive.

Dr. Paul, who is running in Texas' 14th Congressional District, defended his writings in an interview Tuesday. He said they were being taken out of context.

"It's typical political demagoguery," he said. "If people are interested in my character . . . come and talk to my neighbors."

Dr. Paul, an ex-congressman and former Libertarian Party presidential candidate, defeated Rep. Greg Laughlin, R-West Columbia, in April for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House.

An obstetrician from Surfside, he faces Democratic lawyer Charles "Lefty" ! Morris of Bee Cave in the November general election. Mr. Morris, who said he was familiar with the writings in question, declined to comment about the specifics.

"Many of his views are out on the fringe," Mr. Morris said. "But voters in the 14th District have to characterize these the way they see it. His statements speak for themselves."

According to a Dallas Morning News review of documents circulating among Texas Democrats, Dr. Paul wrote in a 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be."

Dr. Paul, who served in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, said Tuesday that he has produced the newsletter since 1985 and distributes it to an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers. A phone call to the newsletter's toll-free number was answered by his campaign staff.

Dr. Paul also said he did not know how his newsletter came to be ! included in a directory by the Heritage Front, a neo-Nazi group based in Canada. The newsletter was listed on the Internet under the directory's heading "Racialists and Freedom Fighters."

No one answered calls to the Heritage Front, which lists only a hotline connected to a tape-recorded message in the Toronto telephone directory.

Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP, urged Dr. Paul to apologize for his comments about blacks and asked Republicans to denounce their nominee.

"We need someone who can represent all the constituents of Texas, not someone who is negative or engages in stereotypes," Mr. Bledsoe said. "Someone who holds those views signals or indicates an inability to represent all constituents without regard to race, creed or color."

About 11 percent of the population in the 14th District, stretching from near Austin to the Gulf Coast, is black.

Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be r! ead and quoted in their entirety to avoid


Dr. Paul also took exception to the comments of Mr. Bledsoe, saying that the voters in the 14th District and the people who know him best would be the final judges of his character.

"If someone challenges your character and takes the

interpretation of the NAACP as proof of a man's character, what kind of a world do you live in?" Dr. Paul asked.

In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

"If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them," Dr. Paul said.

He also said the comment about black men in the nation's capital was made while writing about a 1992 study produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank based in Virginia.

Citing statistics from the study, Dr. Paul then concluded in his column: `Given the inef! ficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

"These aren't my figures," Dr. Paul said Tuesday. "That is the assumption you can gather from" the report.

# # #

Volume III, Number 6
Copyright 2008, Skeeter Sanders. All Rights Reserved.


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Anonymous said...

Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, who has known Ron Paul for 20 years, unequivocally dismissed charges that the Congressman was a racist in light of recent smear attempts, and said the reason for him being attacked was that he was a threat to the establishment.

Asked directly if Ron Paul was a racist, Linder responded "No I don't," adding that he had heard Ron Paul speak out about police repression of black communities and mandatory minimum sentences on many occasions.

Robert Lindsay said...

Great job, Skeeter! You're doing great. I'm an independent journalist too and I think we see eye to eye on a lot of things. At least I hope so anyway.

willwinters said...

In response to:

I see this as two issues - both of which I am torn on. Let me attempt to explain why.

Ron Paul has stated that he would take funding from white supremacists because he would much rather put the money to use for his causes than for “bad” causes of the white supremacists. Frankly, this makes me feel uncomfortable. I believe I understand what he is trying to say but the concept of taking the money is not for me.

If we look at Ron Paul as a strict constitutionalist, the format he is running on, the concept of freedom of speech would prevent him from speaking out against white supremacists supporting his campaign. Yes, he can say that his views are not the same and that he has no affiliation with the groups, but he is not going to/cannot tell someone not to support him. It’s their right to support him and if he doesn’t like their view, it is still their view.

This doesn’t bother me frankly. God knows how many people extreme groups are supporting other candidate. If the Black Panthers were supporting Obama it wouldn’t bother me if he didn’t speak out against it.

You raise a very good point on the newsletters. While he did not write them (please note I have not seen them 1st hand, so I cannot confirm the content) they were in his name. As such, he should be responsible for the contents of the letters.

Even if one questionable event took place, and he quickly acted, issued an apology, and ensured that no other editor would allow such remarks I would understand. The problem is this appears to have happened multiple times.

So, bottom line - I don’t see the being supported by white supremacists as an issue. While I do not agree with their views in any way they are still free to support who they want. The news letters as a major problem that raise the credibility question.

Thanks for sending the comments! You bring up some good points and I appreciate the discussion.

Zee said...

I guess people aren't intimidated by Ron Paul's chances and thus leave him alone. However, as a recipient of oodles of cash from young no-doubt mostly white male internet idealist-morons we have a responsibility to note there is NO excuse, none, for publishing 12 solid years of racist screed and then weakly, lamely claiming someone else wrote it. RON PAUL'S NAME was on that racist swill for 12 years. All the moRons online who gave money to him need to be on their knees, vomiting, crying, snot running down their shirts sobbing and begging for forgiveness for supporting such a cowardly racist, and I have not even touched on his many sexist stands, as well. And may the moRons never be forgiven no matter how hard they beg. Let them JO and never have the opportunity to reproduce. Their kind need to be confined to barren islands. Libertarians can bugger off and build their own roads and mate...rarely at most... with whatever mentally feeble female they can scrounge up.

willwinters said...

Zee - you hit is right on the head!

endor said...

First, I agree that it is chicken shit for Ron Paul to plead ignorance of what was being published over more than a decade in his newsletter under his name. That kind of management style should disqualify anyone from holding presidential power.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the remarks that have upset a number of people.

Skeeter writes that Paul's newsletter described Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a "pro-Communist philanderer."

Are you claiming that it’s not true? Or are you offended that someone would say such a thing publicly?

According to King's biographer and sympathizer David J. Garrow, "King privately described himself as a Marxist." In his 1981 book, The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr., Garrow quotes King as saying in SCLC staff meetings, "...we have moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution.... The whole structure of American life must be changed.... We are engaged in the class struggle."

King also surrounded himself with communist advisors such as Bayard Rustin, Jack O'Dell, and Stanley Levison. Birds of a feather.

King’s philandering has been described by Rev. Ralph Abernathy, who was King’s right-hand man in the Southern Christian leadership Conference. See his book And the Walls Came Tumbling Down. King’s sexual affairs are discussed by history professor David Garrow in his book Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King’s philandering was well-known to the FBI, which had him under surveillance. Unfortunately King’s FBI file was placed under seal until 2027. My prediction is that when the time comes, a new reason will be found to keep those records under wraps to prevent the truth from coming out. Powerful forces in this country have a vested interest maintaining the myth of “Saint Martin.”

King's plagiarism has also been abundantly documented. It will, of course, be a cold day in hell before the PC liberals who run Boston University revoke King's PhD for his academic dishonesty.

In Paul’s newsletter the following statement appeared. “The criminals who terrorize our cities -- in riots and on every non-riot day -- are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are…”

Do you disagree with the statement? According to the US Department of Justice, blacks commit 72% of the armed robberies, 51% of the murders, and 35% of the rapes. Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery. Google The Color of Crime, Race, Crime, and Justice in America, Second, Expanded Edition, 2005 by The New Century Foundation.

Skeeter writes that “The controversial newsletters include rants against the Israeli lobby…”
So what’s the problem? Should the power and influence of the Israel Lobby be off-limits in public political discourse? Read The Israel Lobby by Walt and Merscheimer. I for one am sick of our government’s unconditional support for the Israeli apartheid state. I have no interest in helping them oppress the Palestinians, or in fighting their wars.

And finally, liberals and neocons are supposedly upset because Don Black gave Paul’s campaign $500. So what? Freedom is a popular message that appeals to people across the spectrum. By contrast, Hillary’s campaign rakes in millions from the military contractors, and it goes generally unremarked.

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