Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race

Barack Obama,Drug War,Fascism,Justice,Law,Left-Liberalism,libertarianism,Race,Racism,Ron Paul

“Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey—would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Predictably, BBC News had taken a more analytical look at the “unrest in Ferguson,” pointing out that liberal outrage had centered on what the left sees as racial injustice. Libertarian anger, conversely, connected “the perceived overreaction by militarized local law enforcement to a critique of the heavy-handed power of government.”

As its libertarian stand-bearers, the BBC chose from the ranks of establishment, libertarian-leaning conservatives. Still, the ideological bifurcation applied was sound. With some exceptions, libertarians have consistently warned about a police state rising; the left has played at identity politics, appealing to its unappeasable base.

As refreshingly clever as its commentators are, BBC is inexact. The very embodiment of political opportunism, Sen. Rand Paul has managed to straddle liberal and libertarian narratives, vaporizing as follows:

“… Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. …”

The senator from Kentucky is considered “one of the leading figures in today’s libertarian movement.” Even so, on matters libertarian, Rand Paul is a political pragmatist; not the purist his father is. Alas, Rand has imbibed at home some unfortunate, crowd-pleasing habits—the leftist penchant for accusing law enforcement of racism. In 2012, in particular, during the debate between Republican presidential front-runners, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Ron Paul lurched to the left, implicating racism in the unequal outcomes meted by American justice:

“How many times have you seen the white rich person get the electric chair?” he asked. “If we really want to be concerned with racism … we ought to look at the drug laws.”

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists. …

Read the rest of the column. “Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is now on WND.