Democrat Charles Booker misleads with racially charged assault charge against Rand Paul

A Democrat running for Congress against Senator Rand Paul puts a noose over his head and misleadingly claims the Kentucky Republican opposes efforts to criminalize lynching in what is sure to be a controversial campaign.

Charles Booker, a former state legislature who is the Democratic nominee for the US Senate in Kentucky, released video Wednesday attacking Paul for defying an anti-lynching law in 2020. The ad doesn’t mention why Paul opposed the law or that he co-sponsored a new bipartisan version of that legislation that year that later became law.

The ad, titled “The Pain of Our Past,” includes a content warning for “strong imagery.” It features Booker, who is black, recounting a historic lynching photograph and images of a noose hanging from a tree.

“The pain of our past lingers to this day,” Booker says in the video. “In Kentucky, as in many Southern states, lynching was an instrument of terror. It was used to destroy hopes of freedom.

“It was used to kill my ancestors,” he says, appearing on screen with a noose around his neck. “Now, in a historic victory for our Commonwealth, I have become the first black Kentucky to receive the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.”

“My opponent?” He continues as an image of Paul appears, grimacing. “The person who compared expanded health care to slavery. The person who said he defied the Civil Rights Act. The person who single-handedly prevented an anti-lynching law from becoming federal law.”

“The choice couldn’t be clearer,” Booker says as the camera snaps back at him. “Are we moving forward together? Or will we let politicians like Rand Paul hold us back and drive us apart forever?

“In November we choose healing,” he explains, untying the noose from around his neck. “We will choose Kentucky.”

Booker posted the ad on his social media pages early Wednesday morning and has since received over 300,000 views on Twitter.

His attack ad contains several references to controversial comments Paul made during his two-year career in the US Senate, but it provides no context for what Paul said and misleads viewers.

Booker’s charge that Paul opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, is based on comments Paul made in a Interview 2010 at the Louisville Courier Journal before being elected to the Senate. The Journal asked Paul, a libertarian Republican, if he had voted in favor of the landmark Civil Rights Act that outlawed segregation in public spaces and private business establishments and outlawed racial discrimination in the workplace.

Paul said he was against racial discrimination but indicated he opposed government encroaching on the freedoms of private enterprise.

“I despise racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to ever ban someone from your restaurant, but at the same time I believe in private property,” Paul said in 2010. “But I think there should be absolutely no discrimination that gets public funding, and that’s mine In my opinion, most of what the Civil Rights Act was about.

democrats echoed Paul’s comments and accused him of opposing civil rights legislation, but Paul has since repeatedly said he supports the civil rights act and abhors racism.

Booker’s ad also accused Paul of comparing “enhanced healthcare to slavery,” a charge that the believes the Louisville Courier Journal refers to statements he made in a 2011 Senate speech against Obamacare.

“In relation to the idea of ​​whether or not you have a right to health care, you need to be clear about what that means. I am a doctor. You have the right to come to my house and recruit me. “Paul said back then.

“They will not only enslave me, but also the janitor in my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses,” he added.

As for the claim that Paul opposed anti-lynching legislation, while it’s true that in 2020 he upheld a law that would make lynching a federal hate crime, that’s not the whole truth. Paul said then that lynching should be “universally condemned,” but rejected the wording in the bill that included nonfatal injuries as lynching.

“If you call something anti-lynching law but have a new conspiracy charge against someone who has easy bruising, we don’t think that’s appropriate. And someone has to read those bills and make sure they do what they say they’re going to do instead of just being a big PR effort and then everyone’s up in arms and want to thrash anyone who wants to read the bill and they actually make the bill stronger,” he told reporters.

He offered an amendment to the bill that would have added a “standard for grievous bodily harm,” but the Senate did not accept his proposal.

In 2022, Paul was a co-sponsor of an updated version of this bill with Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.), who addressed his concerns and passed with bipartisan support.

“It wasn’t a popular stance to slow down this law, but I wanted to do it because I thought it was the right thing to do,” he said told the Courier Journal in an interview on March 1. “And in the end I think compromise language will hopefully keep us from jailing someone for a crime that isn’t lynching.

“We just wanted to make sure the punishment was appropriate to the crime and I think it’s just good news that it finally worked out,” he said. Democrat Charles Booker misleads with racially charged assault charge against Rand Paul

Laura Coffey

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