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Jack Hunter, Rand Paul's Race Relations Defender

Jack Hunter, Rand Paul’s former new media director, has authored a piece in Politico espousing that Senator Paul is the Republican Party’s new “Jack Kemp,” calling him a “revolutionary” when it comes to outreach to African Americans. Hunter, who has strong ties to Paul and co-authored his 2011 book, is an interesting one to talk about race relations, given his ties to neo-secessionist and confederate groups. In fact, Hunter has a long history of preaching extreme positions on racially charged issues, including comparing Abraham Lincoln to Hitler and saying of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, that his “heart was in the right place.” In his writings, Hunter has gone so far as to decry that “it’s a shame that” white Americans “are always denied fair treatment” because of the color of their skin. This is Rand Paul’s defender on race relations, ladies and gentlemen.

Background

“The Southern Avenger” Alter Ego

Jack Hunter, Paul’s New Media Director, Wrote Numerous Articles As The “Southern Avenger” That Praised John Wilkes Booth And Made Provocative Comments About Race. According to CNN, “Sen. Rand Paul’s new media director, who also helped the Kentucky Republican write a 2011 book, has a past as a pro-Southern secessionist assuming a ‘Southern Avenger’ persona while hosting a radio show. Jack Hunter, who has made a number of provocative comments about race, was also a member of the pro-Southern independence group League of the South before he came to work for Paul.” [CNN, 7/9/13]

Hunter Had Strong Ties To Rand Paul 

Hunter Was Also The Co-Author Of Paul’s 2011 Book, The Tea Party Goes To Washington.” According to The Atlantic, “In June, Rand Paul parted ways with Jack Hunter, an aide and co-author of Paul’s 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington, after the Washington Free Beacon revealed that Hunter used to be a neo-Confederate shock jock called the Southern Avenger, a columnist who compared Abraham Lincoln to Saddam Hussein, and the former chairman of the Charleston, South Carolina, chapter of the League of the South, a secessionist group.” [The Atlantic, 9/18/13]

Hunter Left Paul’s Office Several Weeks After His Writings Were Revealed. According to Politico, “Jack Hunter, the aide to Sen. Rand Paul who made headlines as the former ‘Southern Avenger’ radio host, has left Paul’s office to resume his career as a political pundit, the senator’s communications director confirmed to POLITICO Monday. Earlier this month, Hunter came under scrutiny for controversial comments he made about President Abraham Lincoln, Southern secession and Spanish-speaking immigrants.” [Politico, 7/22/13]

Hunter Had Ties To Neo-Secessionist And Confederate Groups

Hunter Was A Member And Official Of The League Of The South, A Neo-Secessionist Group. According to Salon, “Prior to that, Hunter was a prominent neo-Confederate and pro-secession activist, serving as a chairman in the League of the South, which, according to its website, ‘advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern states from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.’” [Salon, 7/9/13]

Hunter: “As A Member Of The Southern Secessionist Group The League Of The South, I Argued Seriously For The States Of The Old Confederacy To Break Away From The Rest Of The Union.” In an op-ed, Hunter wrote, “In my early 20s, I was a full-blown, right-wing radical. As a member of the Southern secessionist group the League of the South, I argued seriously for the states of the old Confederacy to break away from the rest of the Union. I differed little in temperament from most left-wing college radicals, but instead of wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, I would sport Southern revolutionaries like Thomas Jefferson.” [Jack Hunter Op-Ed – Charleston City Paper, 9/23/09]

In 2009, Hunter Wrote, “Whether Revisiting States’ Rights Or Going The Route Of Full-Blown Secession, It Would Be Far More Logical To Allow The Many, Very Different Parts Of This Country To Pursue Their Own Visions Than To Keep Pretending We Are All Looking Through The Same Lens.” In an op-ed, Hunter wrote, “If divorce is considered preferable to a marriage that can’t be fixed, might not divorce also be preferable to a political union that has failed as well? The Jeffersonian, decentralist philosophy and all-American radicalism I embraced fully in my youth makes even more sense today than in 1999. Whether revisiting states’ rights or going the route of full-blown secession, it would be far more logical to allow the many, very different parts of this country to pursue their own visions than to keep pretending we are all looking through the same lens.” [Jack Hunter Op-Ed – Charleston City Paper, 9/23/09]

While Hunter Was Working On Paul’s Book, He Wrote An Op-Ed Praising “The Soldiers Who Fought Under That Proud Southern Banner.” In an op-ed, James Kirchick wrote, “As late as 2010, while Hunter was working on Paul’s book, he also found time to praise ‘the soldiers who fought under that proud Southern banner,’ the Confederate flag. The column, headlined ‘How can Southerners defend the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?’ sought to draw a comparison between the supposed anti-‘imperialism’ of the old Confederacy and those Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan blowing themselves up at marketplaces and schools.” [James Kirchick Op-Ed – The Daily Beast, 7/23/13]

Said “John Wilkes Booth’s Heart Was In The Right Place”

Hunter: “Although Lincoln’s Assassin, John Wilkes Booth’s Heart Was In The Right Place, The Southern Avenger Does Regret That Lincoln’s Murder Automatically Turned Him Into A Martyr.” According to Politico, “Earlier this month, Hunter came under scrutiny for controversial comments he made about President Abraham Lincoln, Southern secession and Spanish-speaking immigrants. ‘Although Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth’s heart was in the right place, the Southern Avenger does regret that Lincoln’s murder automatically turned him into a martyr,’ he said in 2004,’ according to the original report in The Washington Free Beacon. ‘He later wrote that he ‘raise[s] a personal toast everyMay 10 to celebrate John Wilkes Booth’s birthday.’” [Politico, 7/22/13]

Hunter Wrote An Op-Ed Comparing Lincoln To Hitler. In an op-ed, Hunter wrote, “In declaring secession illegal, and the U.S. a consolidated state, Lincoln enacted the first income tax and the first draft, and supported internal improvements and nationalizing banks. Such centralizing, socialistic, and militaristic restructuring of America was certainly more comparable to the fascism that defined Hitler’s Germany than the agrarian-based economies and loose-knit state militias that defined the Confederate States of America.” [Jack Hunter Op-Ed – Charleston City Paper, 6/10/09]

  • Hunter: “Hitler’s Language And Actions Were Similar To Lincoln’s, Who Believed That State Sovereignty Was Foolish Compared To ‘Saving The Union.’” In an op-ed, Hunter wrote, “Hitler himself wrote, ‘National Socialism as a matter of principle, must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries.’ Hitler’s language and actions were similar to Lincoln’s, who believed that state sovereignty was foolish compared to ‘saving the union.’” [Jack Hunter Op-Ed – Charleston City Paper, 6/10/09]

Hunter Wrote That He Celebrates John Wilkes Booth’s Birthday Every Year. According to CNN, “The website noted articles written by Hunter praising John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, and an item in which Hunter writes that he toasts Booth’s birthday annually.” [CNN, 7/9/13]

Worried About Whites Not Being Afforded The Right To Celebrate Their Cultural Identity

Hunter: “Not Only Are Whites Not Afforded The Same Right To Celebrate Their Own Cultural Identity – But Anything That Is Considered ‘Too White’ Is Immediately Suspect.” According to CNN, “In articles unearthed by the Free Beacon, Hunter writes at length about racial identity, ascertaining what he says is a ‘double standard’ between white and black Americans. ‘Not only are whites not afforded the same right to celebrate their own cultural identity – but anything that is considered ‘too white’ is immediately suspect,’ Hunter wrote in 2004. ‘The term ‘diversity’ has become nothing more than a code word for ‘not white,’ and it’s a shame that just because we have fair skin, we are always denied fair treatment.’” [CNN, 7/9/13]