Ron Paul and Louis Farrakhan - Birds of a Feather?
In trying to get a handle on the mania around
The need was real. And the man who best perceived that need,
In the late '80s and early '90s, Farrakhan beguiled young African-Americans. At the height of his powers, Farrakhan convened a national meeting of black men on the Mall. (Forgive my vagueness. The number is beside the point. It was a group of dudes.) The expectation among some media was violence. What they got instead was a love-in. I was there. I don't know how to describe the feeling of walking from my apartment at 14th and Euclid, down
During Farrakhan's peak years, national commentators generally looked on in horror. They simply could not understand how an obvious bigot could capture the imagination of so many people. Surely there were "good" Civil Rights leaders out there, waging the good fight against discrimination. But what the pundits never got was that Farrakhan promised something more -- improvement, minus the need to beg from white people. Farrakhan promised improvement through self-reliance -- a tradition stretching back to our very dawn. To our minds, the political leaders of Black America had fled the field.
As surely as
To those who dimly perceived something wrong, something that could not be put on a placard, and could not move the party machine, men such as these become something more than political operators; they become symbols. Substantive charges against them, no matter the reasons, are dismissed. The movement they represent means more. But as sure as the followers of Farrakhan deserved more than UFOs, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, those of us who oppose the drug war, who oppose the Patriot Act, deserve better than
We are faced with a candidate who published racism under his name, defended that publication when it was convenient and blamed it on ghostwriters when it wasn't, whose take on the Civil War is at home with Lost Causers, and whose take on the Civil Rights Act is at home with segregationists. Ostensibly, this is all coincidence, or, if it isn't, it should be excused because
But the dispatches must be honestly grappled with: It must be argued that a man who could not manage a newsletter should be promoted to managing a nuclear arsenal. Failing that, it must be asserted that a man who once claimed that black people were knowingly injecting white people with HIV, who fundraised by predicting a race war, who handsomely profited from it all, should lead the free world. If that line falls too, we are forced to confess that
Let us stipulate that all politicians compromise. But the mayhem and death which attended the talents of
But every man is a prophet until he faces a
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Ron Paul and Louis Farrakhan - Birds of a Feather? | Politics
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