Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama: Why Has the Media Forgiven One But Not the Other?

Ron Paul can’t catch a break. Not only has the contender for the Republican presidential nomination failed to win a single primary or caucus in the 2012 election cycle, the man just can’t seem to be able to shake himself free of the stigma of the racism-tinged newsletters that appeared bearing his name in the 1990’s. While Paul denies again and again that he was the author of writings that appeared in the newsletters bearing his name, the media refuses to let the issue go. How can Paul deny writing these letters or even knowing that this was the sort of material appearing under his name? Good question; it’s a question for which Paul has yet to provide a satisfactory answer.

But hold on just a moment. Paul isn’t the only presidential contender to ever make some suspicious moves when it comes to handling issues related to race. When Barack Obama was residing in Illinois he attended church services at Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side. I have attended services at Trinity in the past, albeit long after Obama had stopped attending and moved on to the US Senate. President Obama attended services under Pastor Jeremiah Wright for over 20 years and had such a close relationship with Wright that he referred to him as his “spiritual adviser”. According to what Wright has said in the past, black people should not say”God Bless America” but “God damn America”. Pastor Jeremiah Wright also said that the US brought the 9/11 attacks on itself in part because of the terrorism the US inflicted on other countries in the past.

As Pastor Wright became more and more vocal with his controversial statements, Team Obama took moves to distance themselves from Wright. Obama publicly repudiated Wright’s statements and finally, when he felt he had no further choice, resigned his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ.

The only difference between Ron Paul and Barack Obama that I can think of is that Obama, unlike Paul, acknowledged his mistake and then distanced himself from his former pastor. Ron Paul on the other hand continues to plead ignorance. Until Paul can say he made a mistake in writing those newsletters and/or allowing them to be published under his name, the media will keep begging the question and the public will continue to withhold forgiveness.

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