A brand new batch of Ron Paul newsletters raises questions for the libertarian Republican — as well as a host of embarrassing fresh passages to go along with such classics as “the coming race war” and “the federal-homosexual cover up on AIDS” from earlier reports.
Ron Paul claims “probably ten sentences out of 10,000 pages” were objectionable in his long-published newsletter series, even as he denies having ever written the content in question (or even having seen most of it). But, as TPM has reported and a new collection of Ron Paul newsletters posted by The New Republic confirms, racism, homophobia, and fringe conspiracy theories seem more like the newsletters’ raison d’etre than a rare aberration. In fact, even short promotional letters for the publication name-checked many of the most toxic passages.
Once again, contempt for African Americans and warnings of a “race war” are central themes in the most recently released materials. One issue warned “every honest American should be armed” to prepare for the coming violence.
“Today, gangs of young blacks bust into a bank lobby firing rounds at the ceiling,” one issue read, continuing: “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held as responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult, and should be treated as such.”
Another issue from 1993 defended Marge Schott, who used to own the Cincinnati Reds, after she notoriously referred to her players as “million-dollar niggers.”
“Remember the thought crimes from the novels of Orwell and Huxley?” the article reads. “It’s not fiction in America if the case of Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott is any evidence.”
In one 1988 issue, the newsletters suggest Israeli involvement in a terrorist attack in Berlin, foreshadowing a similar suggestion in a previously released issue that Israel may have been behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Gays and especially AIDS victims were frequent targets, with a boatload of junk science cited to back up its hateful claims. Newsletters claimed the federal government was lying about how AIDS was transmitted and suggested it could be passed on through sneezes, breathing, or even contact with mail or delivery packages. An advertised book purported to tell the “the true and horrifying story of the witch-lesbo-feminists who are running America.”
Then there are the usual conspiracy theories: FEMA camps set up to intern Americans, suspicion that Bill and Hillary Clinton murdered their friend Vince Foster, secret societies running the world, etc.
TPM reached out to a Paul spokesman as to whether the candidate stands by his assertion that only eight to ten statements in the newsletters were offensive within a large body of work but did not receive an immediate reply.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.