Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, two of the country’s leading (and very mainstream) black intellectuals have a fascinating talk about Ron Paul. One of my favorite parts is the way they rather delicately refer to the general weirdness of the Israel lobby’s extreme influence on American discourse (between 3:00 and 6:00)—though so far as I know neither man has made writing about the Mideast any kind of priority. Also revealing and impressive is their dismissive attitude towards the “Ron Paul is a terrible racist” camp; they view Paul as certainly implicated in the newsletters and find them unfortunate but seem to perceive (and why shouldn’t they have some sixth sense about this?) that racism is not at all an important part of who Ron Paul is. I have to admit, though I’ve read and admired Loury and McWhorter’s pieces for many years, there is something about this video which makes me almost choke up with gratitude for America’s civil rights movement.
From the video:
LOURY: [Paul asks] ‘Why do you want to go bomb Iran?’ Can you give me an answer other than genuflection at some politically-correct nonsense? Will you please tell me why you’re going to war with Iran, rather than this anti-Islamic hyper-pro-Israeli pandering? That’s completely contemptuous of the people listening to this political discussion that you would talk in those terms.
So he deserves to be refuted rather than written out because he farted in church… He’s very important to the political discussion.
McWHORTER [echoing]: Suppose a child asked you, ‘Why are you going to bomb Iran?… Why are we so concerned with not ruffling the feathers of Israel?’ Just a child… Ron Paul’s…capable… of asking questions like that… It’s sad that a person who asks questions on that level and is not afraid to and is clearly somebody of intelligence could not be elected….