• Musings On The War On Drugs And Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul's interests in removing federal oversight from a number of arenas happens to dovetail neatly into what many progressives want, and the end of the War on Drugs happens to be one of them. The problem comes when Paul supporters expect black Americans to join the R[evol]ution in lockstep solely for one major benefit of the end of the War on Drugs: the possible end of mass black American incarceration for minor drug-related offenses. But that is not guaranteed to happen without addressing the underlying cause of mass incarcerations (hint: it doesn't involve drugs).

    What's with the assumption that ending the drug war will somehow put an end to the excessive policing of people of color? Ending the drug war will not magically make the police go away. Sure it might reduce their presence for a while, but they'll find a way to get back under some other pretense. It doesn't reduce the root cause of the problem: racism.

    The above comes from commentator Throcky at We Are Respectable Negros, who hit on a very big flaw in the "Paulbot" argument for unwavering black American support. Until the specter of racism in law enforcement and justice system policies are addressed, and until the socioeconomic issues that drive local, state and federal governments to engage in a soft genocide of blacks, the situation will never be resolved to anyone's satisfaction. Ending the War on Drugs won't end the War on Blacks.

    At this point, I have to wonder if the people supporting Ron Paul are just backing him in hopes of one day being able to smoke a joint or hit acid without being bothered by law enforcement.

    Meanwhile, the rest of Chauncey DeVega's post on Ron Paul and the black-and-white thinking many seem to have when it comes to racism offers plenty of eye-opening points. For instance, DeVega gives a great example of why binary thinking does not lend itself well when it comes to people's thoughts and opinions. Yes, Ron Paul is progressive on many issues, including the aforementioned War on Drugs, the War on Afghanistan and many other foreign/social policies, but his strident disdain for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his former ties to unsavory white supremacist figures and the allowance of his name to be used on a series of racially bigoted newsletters for decades points to a man who is not unlike DeVega's example, Hinton Rowan Helper. Helper may have been firmly against slavery, but he was a staunch supporter of the notions that blacks were simply inferior to whites. A product of his time, perhaps, but his recorded views are so strident as to make others wonder if his beliefs are indeed genuine, down to his very core.

    As DeVega points out, a man can be right in many respects and wrong in others. No binary thinking here. Ron Paul could be a man who thinks little of blacks, yet happens to support a few policies that would at least temporarily ease their circumstances. Discussing this with a fellow white who happens to be ultra-sensitive to the prospect of, for the lack of a better phrase, being made to lose his feeling of "whiteness":

    Primarily, the bar for what constitutes racism has been set so high that even the most obvious examples of racial animus have to be couched in careful terms lest an "innocent" white person be branded a bigot.

    Branding someone a bigot is one of the highest forms of social insult to be suffered by most whites. Therefore, in discussions of ethnic relations involving white and black Americans, blacks have to tread lightly, lest they slight their white brethren's notions of "whiteness" by making them feel as though they are criminally culpable in black suffering, when they believe themselves to be above such.

    Politics isn't acting. You "publish" things under your own name, be it in a newsletter or just with the poorly chosen words that fly out of your mouth, time to time, and you make a statement to the world: "I stand by this."

    That comes from commentator Abstentus. Ron Paul's supporters are unwilling to admit that by allowing his name to remain on an racially inflammatory newsletter, he was effectively endorsing the content found therein. If he did not want to be associated with said content, he would have had his name removed from the newsletters post haste and drafted a sternly worded retraction that further explained his disdain for and distance from the newsletter, the staff and the content therein.

    Instead, his supporters play head games in hopes of tricking those who are slow on the draw to join the Ron Paul R[evol]ution. If Ron Paul was genuinely for black Americans, he wouldn't have any need for his supporters to run game on black Americans who weren't watching closely.