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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   (55)
All Comments   (55)
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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
Forgive me for not being perfect yet but Rand Paul look like he was made to face baby face but the state of Texas beat it out of him. I think I prefer Barbra Streisands sins to Rand Paul's righteous. Does he ever smile?
He makes me want to flee to the mountains instead of a pleasant appearance there
"Somewhere there is a place for us"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZKX2J6nofE
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
The GOP made themselves the crime and justice party for decades perpetuating the very punishment models for which snared the minority populations at a disproportionate ratio and never took no actions of interest! The dem on the other hand took interest and became their advocate.

“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,”

Until the 30s the black folk had a lesser unemployment rate than the whites. What happened and why? Did anything happen to that "opportunity" Paul spoke to? Post WWII was the GI education bill equitable for all blacks? Was employment opportunity for the Post WWI veterans of 1,000,000 equitable for black educated under the GI bill or not? What was the GOPs political initiatives for the black verterans and or the black population post WWII and beyond for blacks suffering the loss of their once very low unemployment?

http://www.nber.org/digest/dec02/w9044.html

What was the black wage sacle in comparison to the white wage scale Post WWI and beyond? What was the GOPs political initiatives in this regard?

I could go on and on but the point is rather simple! The generations of today, are not far removed from the generations just previous to WWII and those those following WWII. Neither is the historic academic recording of that era! The majority of the balck population Northern and especially Southern have largely remained in that era of socio-economics in spite of indicated "opportunity" and government subsidies.

Was divorce, fatherless and or motherless homes of children the cause of the blacks demises in the latter 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s? Did food stamps and welfare really "cause" the socio-economic demise the black population Post WWII or were those benefits it in reaction to a great underlying cause?

You see, Paul don't have a clue how to approach the black community honestly because, as I said, he is clueless of historical facts of the black community and the GOP! Hes the wrong GOP evangelist!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Until the 30's? Try the 50's and as whites were moving upwards in education and training black people were filling the jobs left vacant by that mobility thus increasing their own economic base. It was in the 60's that democrats began dismantling the black family structure with welfare and the great society. They have NEVER recovered.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks but, I think I'll stick with the facts!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If only you could use English to explain your alleged facts, instead of Ramblish.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The GOP will never win the general black vote until the time that it loses the social conservatism planks. Implicit in these planks, and you can read it here on this site daily, is approval of the language where so-cons equate blacks with low info voters, obamaphone users, obese welfare queens, and drug gangs.

To move into the future, the GOP needs to concentrate on areas where the GOP can win -- energy, jobs, infrastructure, and so on. Advocate changes to law such that more nuclear plants can come online. From there make changes to utility law such that rates can come down and are market based. The GOP needs to lose the judgemental, statist authoritarianism of the social conservatives. When the GOP is not statist in any way, that will be when the voters can see the Dems for the statists THEY really are. Right now the voters are seeing two choices of statism. One is tax crazy yet progressive. The other is simply regressive in all key ways.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The GOP will never win the general black vote until the time that it loses the social conservatism planks."

The stupidity of the radical social-cons is just amazing! The per captia ratio of blacks who are 'practicing' Christians, at least equal in the capacities of whites, well supercedes that of whites -- as does most minorities. The central churches of most Christian religions strongly support the democrats social issues with only a couple or three issue exceptions. The sadest part is how the social-con religious right and moral majority folks actually defile the very teachings of the God they profess to represent in their commenting on here. Racist, arrogant, pridefull and......their applications of the constitution in the same manner they use their bibles to cherry pick self serving versuses out of context.

For the GOP of today, they don't have a rational platform of even their traditional capitalist plank muchless any rational social issues. They are literally lost in all their infighting for party ideological dominanace. And they want to go and blow smoke to sell themselves to some adversarial voting block of the population? Insanity!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We tried that last time and reporters would ask abortion questions out of thin air.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The GOP *stupidly* got roped into adding abortion as an official platform plank, so reporters asking whether a candidate supported an official position is hardly "thin air." By not having the national political party having an official position on the subject, the reporter has no basis to ask the question unless it's a smear attempt.

When you have an official position on pink bunnies, you may expect reporters to ask you about pink bunnies. It is not unfair if they do so, and they are not making it up out of thin air.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can't help it that many blacks are those people, but there are also a lot of trailor trash who are those people, too. There are also a whole lot of illegals who are those people.

If blacks come here and read that we think they all are those people, then that means two things:

1.) Blacks themselves know they have a cultural problem.
2.) Blacks are also inclined to believe that everyone who thinks about those things thinks automatically about black people.

I taught urban school. My students are all types. I had a lot of blacks, a lot of hispanics and lesser numbers of whites and asians, but many of them were those people and if I had to guess based on their behavior and what I saw of their parenting or lack thereof, most of them were going to remain those people although a few had a shot at making it out or at least being decent people although staying poor, and those students were distributed evenly across all the ethnicities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, the black thing I spoke of earlier is but the tip of the perceptual iceberg. Social conservatives nattering about illegals doesn't help either. Combine illegals and obamaphone nonsnse and it paints all *republicans* (not conservatives; after all, they are only a portion of the GOP) as closet racists. Remove the social conservative part of the equation and the only statists left are, well... left. It makes it simple to vote. Currently the vote is all about which version of statism people find less threatening.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you sure? Blacks tend towards social conservatism. Who do you think shot down California's Proposition 8?

They are as social conservative as the GOP. But they are heavily invested in civil service and free government cheese, which is a Democrat thing, and when it comes down to it, most people put wallets over values.

What we need are a million black small business owners. That would change them over to economic conservative.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"What we need are a million black small business owners. That would change them over to economic conservative."

Actually, there has been concerted efforts to increase black owned business for a long time with a lot of money throown at it. You would think that with a realative high degree of community segregation that it would be a rational solution. Here the problem that defeats it every time. The very same thing that creates a high degree of recidivisim among convicted felones who are released right back into the environment in which they come from and sought crime as a means of existing. The overwhelming majority of segregated black communites are failed economic centers for a reason. Theres NO economic base from which to build on! Businesses cannot be sustained in such economic environments no matter how educated in sound business principle one may be. Detroit, a classic example today! They've lost their economic base thus, all the blocks of empty commercial properties all over and around the city! Poor people = poor communities. You want to see racism? Build a million new small black business in the more wealthy white communities who have an economic based within or near and see how long they sustain. Been tried!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Blacks may be social conservatives but they are full-on plantation democrats. Look at all the black pastors that were against gay-marriage suddenly all on board. The plantation is more important than their values.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The GOP political party needs to avoid all possible connection with statism so that a choice between statist vs non-statist is clear. Black voters may be social conservative in some aspects, but to borrow a phrase from Clinton: "it's the statism, stupid." And no I didn't call you stupid (it's a phrase) and yes I think it really can be that simple. Most things are, once you peel back layers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1,000,000 = black veterans
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
The very last persons you want to evangelize for the GOP is a blackman or balck woman!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I dunno, Zeke. I understand what you're saying, but it's the thing that's been missing from the GOP's message.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A few of the most universally respected black personalities have spent a long time in their lives trying to lift up the black population with a new pride and values system and all have failed. Note! I didn't say their efforts and messages was rejected -- rather, they failed. Its pretty much akin to the cause of high recidivism rates for felons released from prison and sent right back into the same socio-economic environment where their crimes were the most popular means of survival. So much of the black population is geographically landlocked in the nations poorest communities and parts of communities. You don't just pack you pillow case and waltz down the road to a more wealthy white community with no economic means for housing, food, untilities, etc. and stand on the street corner and announce you've come to be more like you people. There are very, very small numbers of exceptions -- even with HS diplomas and college degrees in hand. Just ponder this! How many blacks with good college degrees and advanced college degrees, rise up beyond middle management in the business world on a per captia basis to whites and other nationalities? Messaging, muchless possitive messaging to lioft up a segement of the population, has to correlate to something that can easily be validated. All that said theres no excuse for the lack of sound parenting and learning sound values, but if that lacking stems from generaational conditioning, of giving up, it is a horrible thing to reverse in even a century of time.
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
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