MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Debate moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to explain his controversial newsletters written under his name in the 1990s, which included offensive statements and stereotypes about African Americans.
Paul responded by pointing to his admiration for African American civil rights leaders, saying they had libertarian tendencies.
"More importantly, you ought to ask me what my relationship is for racial relationships," said Paul. "And one of my heroes is Martin Luther King because he practiced the libertarian principle of peaceful resistance and peaceful civil disobedience, as did Rosa Parks."
He then discussed what he views as the "true racism" in America:
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.
Ryan Grim has more here on the drug war and race.