So is Ron Paul a racist, or what?
If his long history of bigotry doesn't sway you, including those racist newsletters, how about the fact that white supremacists thought he was "one of us":
Ron Paul was a hot topic this week on the talk radio show hosted by prominent white supremacist Don Black and his son Derek. Mr. Black said he received Mr. Paul's controversial newsletters when they were first published about two decades ago and described how the publications were perceived by members of the white supremacist movement. Former KKK Grand Wizard and Louisiana Congressman David Duke also phoned in to explain why he’s voting for Mr. Paul.
"Everybody, all of us back in the 80's and 90's, felt Ron Paul was, you know, unusual in that he had actually been a Congressman, that he was one of us and now, of course, that he has this broad demographic -- broad base of support," Mr. Black said on his broadcast yesterday.
Mr. Black is a former Klansman and member of the American Nazi Party who founded the "white nationalist" website Stormfront in 1995. He donated to Mr. Paul in 2007 and has been photographed with the candidate. Mr. Paul has vocal supporters in Stormfront's online forum. Mr. Black has repeatedly said he doesn't currently think Mr. Paul is a "white nationalist."
Mr. Paul's newsletters contained threats of a "coming race war," worries about America's "disappearing white majority" and warning [sic] against "the federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS." He has since denied writing the newsletters, which appeared under his own name.
"I didn't write them, I disavow them, that's it," Mr. Paul said in a tense CNN interview.
On Monday, Mr. Black said he originally believed the newsletters were written by Mr. Paul.
"They went out under his name in the first person and most people receiving these newsletters, including me, thought he really did write them," Mr. Black said.
Ba-zoom. (Or, as they say in the tennis world: game... set... match.)
Lesson for today:
Not all bigots come dancing around a burning cross wearing silly white hoods or marching down the Champs-Elysees waving swastika flags. Some of them are leading figures in the Republican Party, enjoying long and successful political careers, poised to do extremely well in Iowa (whether the GOP "mainstream" likes it or not).
For more on Paul's bigotry and conspiracy-theorizing craziness, see this piece by James Kirchick (who wrote the first piece linked above) at the Times.