From Ta-Nehisi Coates:
To those who dimly perceived something wrong, something that could not be put on a placard, or could not move the party machine, men such as this become something more than political operators, they become symbols. Substantive charges against them, no matter the reasons, are dismissed. The movement they represent means more. But as sure as the followers of Farrakhan deserved more than UFOs, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, those of us who oppose the drug-war, who oppose the Patriot Act deserve better than Ron Paul
Coates gets it all wrong. Yes, Farrakhan spoke to a particular need stirring in black folks back in the day, but that’s not analogous to the fervor for Ron Paul . Ron Paul isn’t speaking to one group. He’s speaking to disparate groups. Which is why you see racists, OWSers, and African Americans on the Paul bandwagon (I didn’t see many white folks on the Farrakhan team).
Coates compares Ron Paul to Farrakhan and says, “Substantive charges” against Paul are dismissed. No, not really, not in the case of many liberal Paul supporters anyway. They’re weighed, but not dismissed. They’re weighed against the very same Obama offenses that Coates mostly whitewashes on his own blog. Believe what you like, but there IS a difference between weighing and dismissing.