This weekend is the National Urban League's annual conference here in Cincinnati, and of course this close to Kentucky, GOP Sen. Rand Paul just couldn't resist showing up to Randsplain to us black folk why Republicans are the bomb diggety. Or something. Very few people wanted to hear what he had to say.
So when Republicans ask blacks to give their party a second look, they have a hard time finding an audience. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky confronted this on Friday when he appeared at a highly publicized speech to the National Urban League Conference to see row after row of empty chairs. The space did not look much fuller after one of the organizers urged people seated near the back to fill in the front rows.
He pushed forward, quoting Malcolm X: “Nobody can give you equality or justice. If you’re a man, you take it.” And he sounded empathetic as he described the arrests of three young black men as they waited for a bus. Their apparent crime, he said, was “waiting while black.” And he delicately acknowledged what was perhaps the biggest cloud hanging over his visit: hiscomments in 2010 in which he suggested that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encroached on individual liberties. He told the crowd he supported the law unequivocally.
The speech in Cincinnati was his latest before a mostly black crowd, and it was a demonstration of how Mr. Paul — however improbably — has become the only major figure in his party who seems eager to keep going back to African-Americans to appeal for support even if his approach unsettles some fellow Republicans.
That Malcom X quote rings pretty hollow when Paul has attacked President Obama and Attorney General Holder for "overstepping their Constitutional authority". It rings even more hollow given the fact that Paul has voted against Democratic jobs bills, immigration bills, climate change legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act and efforts to increase the minimum wage, all things that would help African-Americans...and all Americans for that matter. It's great that he wants to do something about sentencing laws for drugs, but even if he actually had a change of heart on the Civil Rights Act, he's still publicly come out against the Voting Rights Act.
He wants to court the black vote. He just doesn't want too many of us to be able to vote.
Rand Paul isn't interested in justice or equality. Rand Paul is interested in Rand Paul.
So no, I have zero interest in what he wants to say or do. I don't trust him, and as my senator, he's never given me reason to trust him, and I will work to see he is no longer my senator in 2016.
Take your Rand Paul "well actually" baloney elsewhere. I'm the one who has to live with him representing me, and he most certainly does not. He's still a conservative Republican, end of story.