Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

Gotcha Journalism Shouldn’t Stop at the Gotcha

We all know Ron Paul has a newsletter problem. Much has been written of Paul’s refusal to directly answer questions about his controversial newsletters. (The newsletters from 20 years ago rely heavily on racial stereotypes to describe urban life and people of color.)

“I didn’t write them, I disavow them,” Paul has said numerous times.

That is until Saturday night’s GOP debate, when Paul flipped the question. Someone must’ve sat him down and given him some talking points.

While he still didn’t answer the question, he did change the subject. To something many of us who care about racial justice want to talk about.

“I’m the only one up here and the only one in the Democratic Party that understands true racism in this country. It’s in the judicial system. And it has to do with enforcing the drug laws. The percentage of people who use drugs are about the same with blacks and whites, and yet the blacks are arrested way disproportionately. They’re prosecuted, imprisoned, way disproportionately. They get the death penalty way disproportionately.

How many times have you seen a white rich person get the electric chair or get execution? But poor minorities have an injustice. And they have an injustice in war as well.  Because minorities suffer more. Even with the draft, they suffered definitely more. Without a draft, they’re suffering disproportionately. If we truly want to be concerned about racism, you ought to look at a few of those issues and look at the drug laws which are being so unfairly enforced.”

I definitely don’t support Paul’s candidacy nor, generally, his views. And, thankfully, he doesn’t have a chance to win. But everyone is right on at least one issue. And now Paul on to something about the new Jim Crow. Let’s hope journalists don’t stop at the gotcha and follow up on what he’s saying about the nation’s prison industry. And let’s start a conversation about it.

As always, if you want to start a national conversation on the New Jim Crow, click the like button above and comment below.

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