The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rand Paul Should Avoid Use Of Race In His Speeches; Liberals Should Give Him "NO Quarter."

Be aware of the Chameleon. You know Rand Paul!
Do not allow false messages to tip your
psyche into allowing him in the Gate."

Rand Paul continues to traipse around the country campaigning for the 2016 GOP nomination for president. Paul is a seriously misguided man, despite comment from certain pundits on the right that his message "reverberates," (Michael Steele, former RNC Chair).  

His message may "reverberate" among fringe liberals who may very well subscribe to libertarian ideology. He may also attract attention among liberals who abhor NSA meta-data gathering. The quirky Senator from Kentucky may be the current front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2016, but he fails to seep into the psyche of people who know Paul for what he is. He is an angle player who has spoken publicly as against Civil Rights legislation, against freedom of access for some Americans based on property rights), and he has visual history that informed liberals will not forget.

Jack Hunter, a former staffer for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who was outed as conservative mascot “The Southern Avenger” ....

Back to Paul for a moment. Since Paul is opposed to the government legislating on who business owners rights to deny service.  Am I to believe that Paul was in favor of the Arizona "deny LGBT service" vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer? How about by implication Paul's tacit approval of reinstating rights of companies to develop and maintain "Men Only" health club? How about moving back to the Masters denying Tiger Woods the right to tee-off?

Thus, Paul would have a lesser problem with what you are about to see and hear than many in the nation.

My point in the previous comments relate to Paul's gall and temerity, as he rolls-out criticism of President Obama as a tool for his political ambitions. Even more Gaulish, are those who know Paul's history, and still will join him in applause as he goes about his phony political appearances.  Paul should restrict issues related to race to his well documented past. He should do so while recognizing he may fool some fringe progressives and fringe conservatives, but he lives on a small island of Paleozoic Era bigotry.

The Daily Kos published a piece that address the Paul visit to Berkeley and his comments about the nations 44th President far better than can I.  I will admit one point.

Paul is definitively interjecting race into his politicking. His choices are clear and do not surprise as he and his father have deep and documented roots in issues of race. As Paul interjects race, he should keep-in-mind J. Edgar Hoover even spied on Richard Nixon and just about anyone from the Oval Office to any 1960s activist. Yet, he chooses to wave the race flag as a tool against President Obama. The criticism you are about to read and digest could have been accomplished well shy of foraying into issue of race. An issue he of all politicians should avoid.

Paul's remarks as he tested the waters of pointing a finger at Obama and lacing the finger-pointing with racial messages. "The nation's First African-American President should be conscious...."  

Does Paul not realize his words clearly denote exercise of "white privilege?" Did his supposedly highly educated audience, not recognize the use of "privilege" when it need not have been exercised?

Huffington Post March 19th, 2014
During an interview with The New York Times, Paul brought up the government's response to dissent in the 1960s, when leading civil rights advocates, including Martin Luther King Jr. 

"The first African-American president ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying," Paul told Times reporter Jeremy Peters. "Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon, antiwar protesters were spied upon." 
"The possibility for abuse in this is incredible," the senator added. "So I don’t care if there’s never been any evidence of abuse with the NSA. They should not be collecting the data."
Read more after the break below
Since the little Libertarian bigot went there and received no major backlash, he took his criticism a bit farther. I am only slightly reticent about use of the word racist today. I do firmly believe Paul is a racist and fine cut from an apple that fell directly below the Ron Paul tree. 

Last weeks visit to the highly liberal campus of UC- Berkeley.
 “I find it ironic that the first African-American president has without compunction allowed this vast exercise of raw power by the N.S.A. ... Certainly J. Edgar Hoover’s illegal spying on Martin Luther King and others in the civil rights movement should give us all pause.”

The Daily Kos (Re-blog via Cretive Commons Licensure)  SUN MAR 23, 2014 AT 08:00 AM PDT
Rand Paul speaking to his father's supporters at a
Rand Paul, expert on being black.
Yep, you read that right. Rand Paul went there. Here's how he did it: “I find it ironic that the first African-American president has without compunction allowed this vast exercise of raw power by the N.S.A. ... Certainly J. Edgar Hoover’s illegal spying on Martin Luther King and others in the civil rights movement should give us all pause.” In an interview prior to giving this speech on privacy, Sen. Paul was even more direct in telling the president what he, as a black man, ought to be doing:
"The first African-American president ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying...Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon."
Overall, Paul's remarks at Berkeley represented a strong and thoughtful criticism of the NSA's domestic surveillance operations, which are unquestionably out of control. Furthermore, the Obama administration specifically deserves to be not only criticized but held accountable for what has gone on under its watch. I have no problem with Sen. Paul or anyone else doing so. Having said that, Rand Paul crossed a line.
Look at what Paul did here. Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and other civil rights leaders were real black men. They fought the system, 'cause that's what real black men do. They weredangerous, dangerous enough that The Man himself—in the form of J. Edgar Hoover—had to break the law to spy on them (imagine the theme from Shaft playing as you read this). Clearly, Paul is saying that Hoover's spying was wrong, he's identifying with King and Ali, not Hoover. But what Paul's also saying is that President Barack Obama, well, he's Hoover. He's certainly more Hoover than he is King or Ali. A real black man—Paul clearly says even if he didn't use those exact words—should have known better, or, in the words Paul did use, a real black man should have been "a little more conscious." Because Rand Paul knows what it means to be a real, "conscious" black man.
Almost as soon as he emerged on the national stage in 2004 with his message of cross-racial American unity, some have questioned whether Barack Obama is actually "black enough." Most of the time, the people asking that question have been black. But Rand Paul fancies himself a truth-teller, someone who can talk about race and talk to black people in a way that less brave white politicians aren't willing to do. He's scoring points with the media (the headline of a news article—not an opinion piece—about the NSA speech characterized Paul as a "rising star") as someone who will go before audiences most conservatives avoid, and will say things others won't say. In reality, however, he's just another whitesplainer.
Please follow me beyond the fold for more.
"Whitesplaining" is a term of relatively recent origin. It can too easily be overused, employed by some to discourage white people from talking about certain topics rather than actually engaging with the content of what they are saying. No one, simply by dint of their race, should feel that they have nothing of value to say on a topic of such importance as racism in America. However, whitesplaining is supposed to be used to call out a white person for telling black people how they should feel or act, or how they should see a certain situation (i.e., "is it racist or not"), or condescendingly lecturing black people about black life in America. Rand Paul has here engaged in a textbook definition of whitesplaining. And it's not even the first time, as the students at Howard University (and anyone who heard his remarks there) can attest.
Now, Barack Obama has spoken on countless occasions about the special responsibility he feels as a black president to address issues that disproportionately affect African-Americans. He's also repeatedly said that he is the president of all Americans, and he takes his positions based on what he believes is best for the country as a whole. On the matter of the NSA, I'm not convinced that the black community today (as opposed to, say, during the years of Martin Luther King or the Black Panthers) is affected more by dangerously excessive domestic surveillance than any other community, but Rand Paul isn't seriously making that argument. He's just using Obama's blackness for his own political gain.
Let's turn Paul's thinking around on him. Born in Pennsylvania, Rand moved to Texas at age five and stayed there through college (at Baylor), and since then has continued to live exclusively in the South (North Carolina for medical school and residency at Duke, and Kentucky for his medical practice). If Barack Obama—due his being of the same race as those black people persecuted for centuries—should feel a special responsibility, then I would suggest that Rand Paul, as a Southern white male who shares the racial and regional background of the worst of those doing the persecution, should also feel some special responsibilities to protect the civil rights of the persecuted.
Yet, Rand Paul has a long history of criticizing and even opposing major elements of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Now, to Paul's credit, he has also done some very good things more recently, like join the push to allow ex-felons to regain the right to vote. Rand Paul is not Rush Limbaugh, to be sure. But, to use one of my favorite phrases, that's an awfully low bar to clear.
If Rand Paul wants to criticize President Obama on the NSA and domestic surveillance, he should have at it. There's plenty to criticize, and Paul isn't alone. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Martin Luther King, Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali are all black men who fought and struggled to make this country a better place. Do any of you think that Rand Paul, were he an adult in 1964, would have been standing with Martin Luther King instead of with Barry Goldwater, who ran for president in that year on a platform that opposed the Civil Rights Act? Rand Paul's contemporary arguments against that law parrot those of Goldwater, so we know exactly where and with whom Paul would have stood.
Barack Obama has a lot to answer for when it comes to the NSA. However, the president certainly does not have to answer to Rand Paul when it comes to whether he is black enough.


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