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Rand Paul Argues GOP Case to Skeptical Students at Historically Black College

“Howard University Doesn’t Support White Supremacy" read a protester's sign as the senator said the story of emancipation is the history of his party.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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April 10, 2013 - 4:50 pm
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WASHINGTON – In a speech at Howard University today that touched on education, federal prison sentences, and economics, Sen. Ran Paul (R-Ky.) pitched himself and the GOP to African-American youth, giving a history lesson to students about minority rights and the Republican Party.

Paul became the first elected Republican office holder to speak on Howard University’s campus in recent years. The last Republican leader to speak at the university was former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele in 2004, and before that, Colin Powell in 1994.

Paul delivered his speech to a full auditorium at Howard University’s School of Business. The Kentucky Republican presented his message of freedom and economic opportunity, and shared with the audience, mainly composed of students and faculty, the importance that minority rights has held in the Republican Party throughout the nation’s history.

The senator tried to lighten the mood at the beginning of his speech by saying that he would call his trip a success if the university’s newspaper printed that “a Republican came to Howard but he came in peace.”

Paul highlighted the history of the GOP’s involvement in the civil rights movement, mentioning his party’s role in championing African-American rights.

“The story of emancipation, voting rights and citizenship, from Frederick Douglass until the modern civil rights era, is in fact the history of the Republican Party,” said Paul.

The Republican Party has always championed individual freedom, resulting in a majority of African-Americans voting Republican from the Civil War to the civil rights movement. But at one point, according to Paul, the Republican Party lost the black vote after African-Americans languished behind white Americans in every measure of economic success.

“The Democrats promised equalizing outcomes through unlimited federal assistance while Republicans offered something that seemed less tangible – the promise of equalizing opportunity through free markets,” said Paul.

Paul cleverly emphasized his recent efforts to reduce mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which often result in long prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

“I am working with Democratic senators to make sure that kids who make bad decisions such as nonviolent possession of drugs are not imprisoned for lengthy sentences,” said Paul.

Speaking about his bill aiming to reduce mandatory sentence laws, Paul said he does not want laws that disproportionately affect young people and, in particular, the black community.

“In every neighborhood, white, black or brown, there are kids who are not succeeding because they messed up. They had kids before they were married, or before they were old enough to support them, or they got hooked on drugs, or they simply left school,” said Paul. “Republicans are often miscast as uncaring or condemning of kids who make bad choices.  I, for one, plan to change that.”

Paul presented his ideas by telling the audience that while Democrats promise to equalize outcomes through unlimited government assistance, Republicans promise “free markets, low taxes, and less regulation” that will create more jobs.

“I take to heart the words of Toni Morrison of Howard University, who wrote: ‘If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,’” said Paul.

“What I am about is a philosophy that leaves you to fill in the blanks,” he continued. “I come to Howard today, not to preach, or prescribe some special formula for you but to say I want a government that leaves you alone, that encourages you to write the book that becomes your unique future.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Quote: "When a student said that he wants a government ready to help him, not a government that will leave him alone, Paul gave a response summarizing his philosophy."

The first part is what's wrong with our country today. They want the government and they want a big one. They do not understand self-reliance, self-respect, and individualism, three of the main factors that built this country.

I pray for the future.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Young and more conservative Republican lawmakers should be much more aggressive in approaching the so-called minorities. It is very simple - go and talk to people about what you believe in. Don't try to please them, but just be yourself. Some will reject you, some will be indifferent, and some will listen and try to understand. It never hurts to be open and talking straight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
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Well this will all be solved via religio-ethnic cleansing in a balkan civil war soon enough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paul's detractors in the black community are laughing that he's trying to educate black's about black history.

I'm laughing at the idea that being black and thinking about race a lot equals a PhD in history. As is always the case with bigots who try and hide, they assert they are not believers in what they actually do believe - race matters - it endows and it takes away.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
History doesn't care that black people suffered from slavery, racism and oppression any more than it cares about other races that suffered similarly. What the future cares about is what people of any color bring to the table in regards to their skills, abilities, and productivity. Technology and human capital has gone global. The centuries old dominance of white people is coming to an end. That does not mean a place at the table will be given to those who suffered under white domination; the future doesn't care. Regarding the black predicament in the U.S. the black electorate decided to place their economic, academic and political prospects in the hands of one party rather than pit the dominant white parties against one another to further black interests. The results are a done deal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was thinking about the kid who said he wanted a government that "helps." Somebody should tell that kid that government "help" is never conducive to freedom. The more you depend on the government, the easier it is for the government to control your life. Government "help" is not free. It's always a loan, and it will come due someday. As we've seen lately, people like Obama have no qualms about saying "You owe the government, America. Now pay up."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Although, when it goes the other direction, it does work, like GI Bill. But with things like that, no one is owing the government, it is the government owing citizens for a job well done.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, with the GI Bill, You pay the governmet up front and the potential costs of that help are made amply clear when you sign on the dotted line. You aren't taking out a loan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whoever does not embrace the doctrine of "White Guilt", a philosophy espoused almost immediately following the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, will be punished. It helps keep the established "black leadership" in control and also enables white politicians to gain credibility for their "lack of racism." In other words, it is used as a currency and will not be jettisoned until the black community at large rejects it. And that may not happen for a very long time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The thing is, blacks rejected Fredrick Douglass and his teachings nearly a 100 years ago. He was scorned in his later years of life.

They want big government, not freedom.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps Douglass understood the futility of using victimization as a foundation for building a future for the newly freedmen and freedwomen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes - Douglass warned back then of the Al's and Jesse's that would use victimization to keep black people down and bitter and never lift their lives up to their full potential.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
True, because with few exceptions, that Old Guard is still trying to fit their message and narrative of decades ago to the present. They are ossified and calcified and slow as mud. It isn't that change comes to them slowly; it doesn't enter their minds at all, save as slogans.

You know, Alan West should do this same act at Howard and other traditionally black venues; same with Herman Cain and Ben Carson. It might do the overall narrative good, for them to see actual, honorable, functional, successful black men for a change, rather than a ranting, manipulative, cynical fool such as a Sharpton.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dang, sorry - that was a response to Whatmeeworry. Apologies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I bet you that his speech hit more people than people think. It's tough coming out as a Black Republican, much less a Conservative/Libertarian. I know friends who have lost friends because of their political beliefs, it's very tough to come out when the backlash is incredible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Part of our messaging needs to address the assumption in the black community that expanded federal power has led to black freedom and prosperity. Too many people see the Union Army, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act as the catalysts for black liberation. However, this are the distal causes of black prosperity. A more proximal cause is the destruction or escape of government power over individuals. These powers were wielded by the state governments.

The federal government did its job and protected the rights of citizens from state governments. The great migration constituted the escape of Southern blacks into a more tolerant North, which led to the Harlem Renaissance. The federal government now has enough control over the state governments to ensure liberty, but now has too much control over individuals, eroding liberty. Black communities, especially education, has been in decline ever since the Great Society. Statists control of education has led to terrible urban schools, and welfare has crippled black (and rural white) families, leaving them powerless to overcome the schooling deficits.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Precisely, BB. Sometimes I like to point out the reason Jim Crow laws were "needed": Because if there hadn't been government force against it, race-mixing and free dealing - in business, employment, scholarship, even romance - would have happened between black and white inevitably. Only a racist fool would have refused a black customer's money or a black employee's talent - and then where would all the racist fools be? So the racist fools organized to use the coercive power of Gubmint to protect their advantage. Some things don't change...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Howard University supports Black Supremacy."

FIFY
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No, they don't (well some might). They believe that blacks are the perpetual victims, and the only escape from victimhood is an expansive government, not personal liberty and empowerment. To the academic left (certainly not just traditionally black schools), liberty means that the permanent exploiters will always take advantage of the permanently exploited.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I played basketball at a public school. Deep down inside they are insecure and fear that they are unable to compete with other races intellectually. I do not believe this to be the case, but I have seen it in their eyes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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