Friday, December 30, 2011

Ron Paul Claimed An AIDS Patient Is ‘A Victim Of His Own Lifestyle’ In 1987 Book

By Igor Volsky/Think Progress

In recent days, Ron Paul has tried to distance himself from damaging newsletters from the late 1980s and 1990s by attributing racist and anti-gay statements to ghost writers and disavowing the most incendiary sentiments. “It wasn’t a reflection of my views at all…I think it was terrible,” Paul said of the letters, which blamed AIDS on the gay community and likened black people to criminals. “It was tragic, and I had some responsibility for it, because the name went out in my letter. But I was not an editor. I (was) like a publisher.”
But despite his denials, CNN’s Peter Hamby reports that Paul included many of the controversial ideas in his 1987 book, “Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution after 200-Plus Years.” That work — published under Paul’s name — attributed AIDS to the gay “lifestyle” and suggested that victims of sexual harassment should simply quit their jobs:
In one section of the book, Paul criticized people suffering from AIDS or other contagious diseases for demanding health insurance coverage. “The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim – frequently a victim of his own lifestyle – but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care,” Paul wrote. [...]
“Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity,” Paul wrote. “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.”
Indeed, Paul did not disavow authorship of the newsletters until 2001 and defended their contents throughout the 1990s. For instance, in 1996, “Paul said statements about the fear of black males mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson” and explained that his comments on blacks contained in the newsletters should be viewed in the context of “current events and statistical reports of the time.”
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