As I’ve written here and elsewhere, there’s an intriguing and not-well-documented connection between extremist white supremacists and more mainstream expressions of what Joe refers to as the ‘white racial frame.’ Most of the time, whites tend to disavow any connection to extreme groups, so I’m always intrigued when these ruptures appear, particularly at the level of presidential politics. And, this week the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Ron Paul is keeping a $500 donation from Don Black, white supremacist founder of “White Pride World Wide,” the largest white supremacist online portal.
“As Paul’s campaign explained, it plans to keep the money because that will reduce the cash Black has to spend on spreading his controversial ideology by $500.
And, according to the campaign, another good will occur. Paul will have $500 more with which to spread his libertarian message of freedom from big government, including his opposition to the Iraq War.
One freedom Paul has comes from the unlikelihood he’ll receive his party’s nomination. If he were a real threat to be the Republican nominee, he would’ve given back the money immediately since no top tier candidate would want to take a chance on losing the big prize because of the kind of controversy surrounding this kind of controversy.
But a lot of money is given to candidates by supporters with views out of the mainstream, views many other Americans would find objectionable. That’s a given. The only difference is that Black doesn’t hide his views.
Still, the unwritten rule in politics is that when you find yourself getting money from someone controversial because of what they do or say, someone with views repugnant to most Americans, you give their cash back like it’s radioactive.
Paul’s approach is certainly unorthodox, like so much about the man. That doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. And because it’s so different a way of handling such a situation, it presents an opportunity for a discussion about what’s right and wrong in such situations. In short, it makes you think.”
So, according to Mr. James, Ron Paul’s “unorthodox” approach gives us all something to think about. Alright, let’s think about this. What could be wrong about accepting a donation from Don Black? Maybe it’s the fact that it suggests an implicit endorsement of his views. Perhaps the discussion to have, and not the one on anybody’s presidential platform, is the one about the centrality of racism in the U.S. and how we go about dismantling it, or at the very least, taking some small steps toward dismantling white supremacy by having a serious discussion about reparations. Unforunately, I don’t think that’s the kind of conversation that Ron Paul’s actions are going to facilitate, if the comments over at The Swamp are any indication, such as this one:
With all the black on white murder, rapes, carjacking, home invasions, etc, racist organizations like the Nation of Islam, Zebra murders, racist NAACP shysters, 250,000 black on white murders since MLK marched on DC, don’t tell me about racism. The black man and his left wing anti-white white shysters who run our media and banks are the racial genocidists. How much money is being sent to the mulatto Obama from racist Nation of Islam? How many racist dollars were given to Richardson from the racist La Raza? Screw the news – a revolution is happening on the street and white people are rising to oppose the civil and human rights abuses by africans against us – march march march!
Of course, this is not what all the comments are like, but I think it gives a sense of the sort of “conversation” sparked by Ron Paul’s candidacy; and, to paraphrase Mr. James, it makes you think about the ways the easily-disavowed extremist white supremacists are connected to mainstream political campaigns and reporting about those campaigns.