Ron Paul on MLK—David Frum

Ron Paul has not always had kind things to say about MLK.

Paul J. Richards / AFP/ Getty Images

Ron Paul often boasts of his consistency. But there’s one opinion that has evolved substantially over the past two decades, and that is Paul’s position on Martin Luther King, whose birthday is commemorated today. Just one more reminder over what was said then, and what is being said now:

“I was among the first to bring you news, about a year ago, that the Rev. Martin Luther King plagiarized his doctoral dissertation. The January 1991 issue of Chronicles magazine tells the whole sordid story, but to scoop them, the Wall Street Journal ran a ‘sensitive’ story. And now the New Republic reports that it, the WSJ, the Washington Post, and the New York Times knew about the plagiarism long ago but chose to suppress it. So much for our free press.

“We know that King is a Marxist and a world-class adulterer. But there is yet another charge, and this appears in black columnist Carl Rowan’s new book Breaking Barriers (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991).

“While Rowan was head of the U.S. Information Agency under LBJ, he found out about the FBI bugging of King’s multifarious sexual activities. Documented on tape: a sexual relationship between King and his fellow Christian minister, Ralph David Abernathy. See Rowan’s book for the exact words, which I cannot bring myself to quote. Am I glad I voted in Congress against an expensive federal holiday for this man.”

February 1991.

“He [King] was also a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.

“King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys. The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him years before.

“And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?

“Congratulations to Arizona! Who could doubt that the result would be exactly the same if the other 49 states could also vote on a holiday for this affirmative-action saint?”

December 1990.

“Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”

February 1990.

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“[O]ne of my heroes is Martin Luther King.”

January 2012.