Top Rand Paul Aide Was Once the 'Southern Avenger'
Neo-confederate Jack Hunter has voiced support for Lincoln's assassination
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2013 3:39 PM CDT
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks in Washington, June 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – "John Wilkes Booth's heart was in the right place." That's a statement that top Rand Paul aide Jack Hunter wrote in a 2004 blog post as "the Southern Avenger," a persona he also adopted as a South Carolina radio shock jock from 1999 to 2012. And as the name and statement imply, Hunter has a long history of active involvement in both the pro-secessionist and neo-Confederate movement, the Washington Free Beacon reports. Tidbits from the blockbuster report include:

  • As the Avenger, Hunter was fond of wearing a mask with a Confederate flag on it.
  • Hunter was once chairman of the secessionist League of the South, a group the ADL describes as "implicitly racist." Hunter says they "were very explicit" that racism was "not what they were about."
  • In other commentaries, he compared the NAACP to the KKK, opposed Spanish-speaking immigrants, and wondered if "black kids simply act-a-fool more than white kids."
  • He also once likened the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings to 9-11. "In terms of scale and slaughter, the most colossal terrorist attack in the history of this planet was committed by the same country that often claims to be the greatest nation on it," he said.
  • As recently as 2009, Hunter said that when he read over his old radical writings he realized that, "I’m still just as radical or crazy, depending on your perspective. In fact, I might be getting worse."

Hunter, who co-wrote Paul's 2010 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington and advises him on foreign policy, now disavows many of those stances. "I just don't speak like that," he told the Free Beacon, saying he no longer supports Lincoln's assassination and that secession is "sort of a dead letter" issue. The revelations could prove problematic for Paul, potentially resurrecting the racism allegations that haunted his father's various campaigns, and his own dust-up over the Civil Rights Act.

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Showing 3 of 69 comments
Jul 10, 2013 4:05 PM CDT
Amazingly stupid? I think not. Merely normal S.O.P. for the tea baggers!
Jul 10, 2013 10:26 AM CDT
Ohhh Noooo....its RRRRAAAYYYSIZZZZMMM!!!! All you mushheads, who live in the comfort of your white suburbia, seem to think that racism is about batter-ram down your front door and rape your family. Somehow the mere association of working with someone who had at some point in their past had sympathetic views to those who opposed Lincoln is an automatic indictment eviscerate Paul's character. Nevermind the fact that Paul is one of the extremely few politicians who is actually articulating and fighting substantial constitutional problems facing America. Every accomplishment and goal, no matter how much it might benefit everyone in society, is ignored and discarded at the possibility of a whiff of someone else's that aren't even explicitly racist. It's time to stop pandering to these petty distractions. Racism, for all intents and purposes, is dead in America. Yes, some foolish individuals will hold blanket views for groups of people, but that will never change and its impact on most everyone's life is negligible in comparison to big government abuses that continue to pour over the American public. And as a side note, all you people who think Lincoln is Christ reincarnate need to do a little research into the man who is championed as the ender-of-slavery. Lincoln is recorded as having said he would have liked to ship all of the American blacks back to Africa if he had the option. He also suspended Habias Corpus and committed other constitutional violations. At the time there was wild dissatisfaction with Lincoln's actions on both sides of the Mason-Dixie line. There were plenty of reasons, slavery arguments aside, for people to criticize and condemn Lincoln and anyone of those reasons could be what Paul's aide disliked about Lincoln.
Jul 10, 2013 9:10 AM CDT
I, for one, am not going to forget that Rand Paul filibustered 13 hours for my right to know whether or not my government thought it had the right to drone me over American soil. As of last month, we found out that the FBI is using drones to surveillance Americans: Is it really that much of a stretch to think they'd start bombing us the way they do Yemen? Let's also remember that Sen. Mark Udall has been trying to bring attention to the NSA spying scandal for years now: His brother, Randy, is the hiker who went missing and was later found dead last week. But the timing of these things is all just coincidental. I'm sure these Senators would have had scandals/tragedies whether or not they helped ramp up the heat on our warrant-less spying, indiscriminate-droning government. Or would they? If the government is watching you all the time...can't they find any words, friends, relatives, or activities in your humdrum life to turn upside-down, twist inside-out and make into a scandal if they wanted? Think about it, then Google Red Herring. I think you'll find that what one of Rand Paul's aides supposedly said or thinks, whether racist SOB or not, is far less important than having a few liberty-oriented Senators challenge everything our bureaucracies are doing right now...