Double Standards And The Reverend Wright

Rep. Ron Paul, the presumptive frontrunner of the Iowa caucuses, has come under fire again for racist material that appeared in a series of newsletters, written he says by someone else and published under his name nearly two decades ago. Paul has disavowed the letters’ content repeatedly in numerous interviews.

The newsletters’ racially incendiary content were first made public by James Kirchick, a pro-war, neoconservative writer critical of Rep. Paul’s anti-war, libertarian politics. Kirchick has collected some of Paul’s newsletters over at The New Republic and wrote about them in run up to the 2008 election. Paul disavowed those remarks in January 2008 when they surfaced again on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, but CNN and Blitzer are back again now.

CNN had this exchange with Paul earlier this week.

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Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s ties to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright are a non-issue again this election year. Why? Reverend Wright was named among the Simon Wisenthal Center’s top ten anti-Semites of the year this week. “The state of Israel is an illegal, genocidal place… to equate Judaism with the state of Israel is to equate Christianity with [rapper] Flavor Flav,” Wright told a Baltimore audience in June of this year. But don’t expect to get any questions for Obama from the media about Wright being named to that infamous list.

Don’t expect Obama to have to talk about Wright at all. As I have written elsewhere, in depth, Obama’s pastor for 20 years preached anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, advocated bizarre pseudo-scientific racial ideas, opposed interracial marriage, praised communist dictatorships, denounced black “assimilation,” and taught Afrocentric feel-good nonsense to schoolchildren. Obama’s pastor actually believes that HIV/AIDS was created by the American government to kill black people. He recommends books written by, and for, anti-Semites.

If Ron Paul’s disavowed newsletters are fair game then Barack Obama’s best-selling books ought to be fair game as well. Try, for example, this one.

“It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That’s the world! On which hope sits!” (Dreams for My Father, 293).

Unlike Paul, who can credibly claim he never said anything racist, Obama can’t. You can listen to him say those awful words about white people in his audio-book.

Similarly, Obama’s past has been unexplored, especially his romantic past. On page 211 of Dreams From My Father, Obama explained how he broke up with a white girl he was dating because “she couldn’t be black.” I’d like to know her side of the story. Wouldn’t you?

Or how about Vera Baker‘s? Ms. Baker was a fundraiser for the Obama for Senate 2004 campaign. She was rumored to have hooked up with Barack Obama in a hotel room in May 2004. The National Enquirer has launched an active investigation and Baker is said to be living in Martinique. She has retained counsel, ostensibly to help field the press inquiries. Critics may scoff at the National Enquirer, but they did expose the John Edwards scandal and critics may scoff at rumors but rumors felled the campaign of Herman Cain.

We need a media that is willing to take a hard look at all of the candidates again, not just the ones they helped to elect.

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