Twitter Outraged as Ron Paul Tweets, Then Deletes, Comic With Racist, Anti-Semitic Caricatures

Libertarian stalwart and former congressman Ron Paul is currently fending off accusations of racism and anti-Semitism after tweeting, and then quickly deleting, a cartoon featuring racist and anti-Semitic stereotypes.

At 11:10 a.m. on Monday, Paul sent out a tweet with the following caption:

Are you stunned by what has become of American culture? Well, it’s not an accident. You’ve probably heard of “Cultural Marxism,” but do you know what it means? …More here:

Spotted–and archived–by Twitter user @MildGiraffe, the controversial tweet also contained a link to Paul’s Facebook page. But, of course, it’s not the caption or the link that’s gotten Paul into hot water over the tweet. The image appended to Paul’s post contains racist caricatures of various minority groups combining together to punch Uncle Sam with a combined fist bearing the Soviet Union’s red and gold hammer and sickle.

Without delving too deeply into each image, suffice to say the cartoon relies on long-understood-to-be-racist stereotypes and tropes regarding people of Jewish, Asia, Hispanic, and African-American backgrounds. The import of these depictions is clear, though perhaps not the general idea Paul and/or the artist originally hoped to convey.

(Note: the cartoon identifies right-wing cartoonist Ben Garrison as the author of the image. Law&Crime reached out to Garrison’s company, Grr Graphics, to ascertain whether Garrison drew the image. In an email, Tina Garrison said, “NOT a Ben Garrison cartoon–not even close to Ben’s style. There are many Troll cartoons adding racist and anti semitic images and leave Ben’s signature on them to make him seem anti semitic.”)

The idea of “Cultural Marxism” is a conspiracy theory which has recently been adopted by the alt-right. The phrase “Cultural Marxism” originally referred to a broad critique of mass media by leftist professors who believed the effects of such media were detrimental to society as a whole. The conspiracy theory accuses those same analysts (and their intellectual heirs) of using mass media to stage a prolonged attack on Western values.

Paul’s use of the image in question appears to fall in line with the conspiracy theory version of “Cultural Marxism” due to its suggestion that interracial alliances pose some form of collective threat to American culture and values. As noted, Paul quickly deleted the original tweet. After being called out, he posted the same message with a somewhat less controversial image: the phrase “Political Correctness” being rubbished with a Ghostbusters-style cross out sign.

Law&Crime reached out to the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity for comment on this issue, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.

Update: Mid-afternoon on Monday, Paul’s official Twitter account posted a message from Paul himself. This message attempts to explain the controversy. In the post, Paul says he is not personally in charge of his social media accounts and that once he noticed the cartoon, it was taken down:

[image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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