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Black Voices Stand with Rand

By: Contributor - May 13, 2015, 12:31 pm

EspañolPolitics in the United States hasn’t been the same since former Congressman Ron Paul launched his bid for presidency in 2007.

As his son has made it to the Senate and is now campaigning to be the Republican candidate for president in 2016, the elder Paul’s message of liberty continues to resound, fostering a small-government culture among student groups and young adults. As more and more young adults get to know the younger Paul, they also begin to warm to the idea of a small-L libertarian in the White House.

But among minorities, namely Blacks and Latinos, Rand Paul’s influence appears to be growing unlike ever before.

Recently, I interviewed Ray Ahmed, the founder and national director of Freedmen PAC, a political action committee that focuses on candidates whose policies will help to “restore the black family.”

Freedmen PAC gets behind candidates such as Rand Paul, who they believe will "restore the black family." (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/FreedmenPAC/photos/a.1557567034491467.1073741825.1557388117842692/1557699394478231/" target="_blank">Freedmen PAC</a>)
Freedmen PAC gets behind candidates such as Rand Paul, who they believe will “restore the black family.” (Freedmen PAC)

According to Ahmed, the message of liberty is easy to sell, but “the Republican Party hasn’t done the best job” of trying to grow the party by promising liberty. Further, to Blacks and Latinos, liberty often sounds racist. After all, that’s a word often repeated by white men within the GOP.

But as the idea of reforming the criminal-justice system promoted by the younger Paul is widely spread, more Blacks begin to understand that liberty is, in fact, what US Americans of all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds need to finally break free from the government’s ever increasing grip.

As stories like Freedmen PAC’s hit the news, more people like Zuri Davis begin to take it to prominent news sites online to discuss their support for a Republican candidate.

Antonia Okafor is one of them.

According to the young Republican, Rand Paul is her candidate, not only because he supports certain policies that promote more economic freedom and less interventionism abroad, but also because he understands what minorities experience:

He is the first candidate to see a broken system that relies heavily on mandatory-minimum sentencing laws, and has pushed his party — our party — to see what a tragic problem it has been.

If Okafor, Davis, and Ahmed are all right, Paul will have a much easier time speaking to blacks across the country than Hillary Clinton.

“Many of these laws were promoted and expanded during Bill Clinton’s presidency in the 1990s,” Okafor said, including the no-tolerance approach to non-violent crimes. Since then “they [have] seriously damaged black and Hispanic communities.”

If what has been happening in places like Ferguson and Baltimore has any weight in 2016, Paul could have a real shot. Young Black Republicans rallying for him are doing what they can to make sure that’s the case.