Rand Paul lets down Jon Stewart with this one
Jon Stewart’s seemed to have regained his voice after his shock of the non-indictment of the cop that killed Eric Garner. His skit attempted to show that indeed unlike what many Americans would like to convince themselves of, police getting off with murdering Black men is systemic.
Jon Stewart complained that many have attempted to make excuses to justify two of the latest murders. The description of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown as big, hulk-like men with connotations of superhuman physical abilities is probative. These were false justifications to put the minds of many at ease.
Jon Stewart segued to the most ridiculous take by a leading politician. Rand Paul has been attempting to build bridges between his sect in the Republican Party and the Black community. He should be praised for that. After all, he is one of the few politicians Republican or Democrat who have talked about tackling the Prison Industrial Complex and the disproportionate incarceration of minorities. He has spoken against Black men disproportionately losing their right to vote as well.
Much of that goodwill building is in question with his comment about the Eric Garner case. “I think there is something bigger than just the individual circumstances,” Rand Paul said. “Some politician put a tax of five dollars and eighty five cents on a pack of cigarettes. So they have driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police to say, ‘hey we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.”
Really Senator Rand Paul? You use the tragedy of police officers indiscriminately killing yet another Black man to promote a low or no tax philosophy? Is the tax really bigger than policies that do not punish the taking of a life? Jon Stewart’s reaction was epic.
These types of comments are reasons why it is difficult for many to accept that the current leadership has any answers to solve the systemic problems with police. Activists are likely the only ones that can cure the metastasized cancer of all types of prejudice in our society at large that will mitigate these real problems.