Rand Paul’s (R-KY) public relations tour is meant, in part, to assuage the narrative that he’s a racist. This narrative is based on things like Paul being against Civil Rights and his knowingly hiring a secessionist who cheered the assassination of President Lincoln. So he found himself joking on the radio Tuesday morning that his train went through Baltimore and he’s glad it didn’t stop.
Being a Republican, Paul knows he can fix erase the facts surrounding the narrative that he’s a racist with some sweet talk, without changing a thing about his policies. If he just tells black people he is not a racist, they will believe.
This explains why the Republican presidential candidate went on the Laura Ingraham show Tuesday and cracked wise about the protests in Baltimore and said it was not appropriate to discuss the “root cause” of the protests at this time, and then blamed the “lack of fathers and lack of moral code” for the protests (that’s Southern Republicans for “black people”, FYI):
I don’t know if there is an answer from the federal government. It obviously. It’s a local problem primarily, but you have to have enough show of security, enough show of a police force to deter the kind of action. I think once it happens it sort of spirals out of control, and it’s depressing. It’s sad. It’s scary. I came through the train on Baltimore last night (sic). I’m glad the train didn’t stop. (laughter).
But the thing is, is that really, there are so many things that we can talk about that I think it’s something we talk about not in the immediate aftermath, but over time. You know, the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in society, and this isn’t just a racial thing.
It goes across racial boundaries, but we do have problems in our country and you see this and you that we’re close to the tipping point and closer to the tipping point than many think, so there are a lot of things that can be done, but there can be no excuse for the behavior.
Lest anyone get the idea that Paul is being a racist, he assured Ingraham, “This isn’t just a racial thing.”
OH. Just “lack of fathers” and “morals”, which is how Republicans describe African American families. Also known in GOP circles as “welfare moms”. Yes, plenty of conservatives have already blamed welfare for the riots, which makes no sense if they want to blame black people because there are more southern rural whites on welfare but whatever. We can’t keep running after facts in a Republican narrative or we’ll get motion sickness.
What Rand assures us is that we must not discuss the root cause of the protests, which is the entire purpose of protests, unless we were to blame the lack of fathers. In that case, we should talk away.
Thus we get to: It’s single moms’ faults that police are killing black men. This Paul feels is the appropriate discussion to have rather than discuss police violence against black people and inherent racial bias.
The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday morning:
Fifteen police officers were injured in a clash with school-age children that began around 3 p.m., and two remain hospitalized, police Col. Darryl DeSousa said in a press conference Monday night. Earlier, police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said one officer was unresponsive and others suffered broken bones.
The incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a “purge” to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending downtown. Such memes have been known to circulate regularly among city school students, based on the film “The Purge,” about what would happen if all laws were suspended.
Kowalczyk called the demonstrators “lawless individuals with no regard for the safety of people that live in that community” and said they would be identified and arrested. Police said via Twitter many of the rioters were juveniles and urged parents to bring their children home.
Rand Paul is saying that these school children lack fathers and morals.
In truth, the violence erupting in Baltimore can’t be hung on the peaceful protesters of police injustice in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. But it can be hung on anger. And while it is wrong and it is not productive, it is the inevitable result of relentless injustice. We are assured of this inevitability by Republicans, actually, who argue that they must have the rights to own any gun with no background check in case the government comes after them. They need the right to murder the government for liberty. That is the Republican argument against reasonable gun laws.
The real irony here is that the “everyone carry a gun with no background checks for liberty against big government!” crowd, the people who say this even after the slaughtering of innocents — statistically carried out by young, white men by the way — these people have an issue with protesters looting and getting violent as they protest what they see as government abuse via the police.
If the looters were all white and they were protesting the continuous murdering of white men by mostly black police, Republicans would deem the protesters to be warriors of liberty “for Christ” and claim martyrdom. Republicans have repeatedly justified breaking the law in order to fight things they don’t like, including affordable healthcare for all. They call this righteousness.
But when black people protest being murdered by the government, Republicans declare that they lack morality. Not the best way for Rand Paul to make the argument that he’s not a racist.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.