Rand Paul aide's past as 'Southern Avenger'
July 9th, 2013
02:09 PM ET
9 months ago

Rand Paul aide's past as 'Southern Avenger'

(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.

"Sen. Paul holds his staff to a standard that includes treating every individual with equal protection and respect, without exception," Paul's communication's director Moira Bagley said in response to the inquiries Tuesday. Hunter's past associations were reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication.

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.

The character "Southern Avenger," which Hunter describes on his website as an "anonymous super hero/ pro-wrestler persona," wears a mask printed with the Confederate flag.

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."

The Free Beacon's article notes that in an interview, Hunter said he no longer holds many of his past views.

Paul, who is considering a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, has spent much of his trips to early voting states this year encouraging a more welcoming attitude among Republicans. He told a crowd of New Hampshire GOP activists the party needs to "grow bigger."

"If you want to be the party of white people, we're winning all the white votes. We're a diverse nation. We're going to win when we look like America," he said in May.


Filed under: Rand Paul
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Jeff in Virginia

    Tigers don't change their stripes- they just lie about them and the public in Kentucky is dumb enough to fall for it.

    July 9, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "do you have the right to gloss over your own party? "

    What party? I don't have a party. Just because I rabidly oppose the complete and utter nonsense the GOP/Teatrolls want to subject the country to does not make me a Dem.

    July 9, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. John in Brooklyn

    I see. When Southerners say "libertarian", they really mean "anti-American, racist". Thanks for the civics lesson, Senator Paul.

    July 9, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Seth A Drekin

    Wouldn't really call myself a fan or supporter of Rand Paul, but this really isn't relevant. Regardless of this man's views, it is Paul's action by which Paul should be judged. He has called for Inclusion and Equality. A lot more than you can say for most Republicans. Hating people because of their Hate does not make you better than them. Racism cannot be eliminated by intolerance, it must be bread out over decades with educating the Youth.

    July 9, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Some said Rand and Lew Rockwell were the ones that wrote the racist newsletters for his dad... looks like they might be right.

    July 9, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. it must be said

    The first and real Southern Avenger was Democrat and KKK member Robert Byrd.

    July 9, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Tony

    @frank fl
    I am a black man do you think that i will get caught anywhere near where he does those lectures i do not want to be a statistic when it comes to being hanged from a tree

    July 9, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Steveo

    @The Real Tom Paine

    -Steveo

    @Sniffit

    Apparently, when it comes to Randroid and Rondroid, the hood doesn't fall far from the head
    --
    Really Sniffit? Did you not embrace the late Sen. Robert Byrd. His hood was real, You are making up the hood for Rand and all because you just don't like his politics. You have every right not too BUT do you have the right to gloss over your own party? I guess you do BUT not without a loss of credibility!

    Racial double standard? In certain cases true. Rappers use the N-word and make millions, others use it and simply make the news. Oh btw, I am a black man!

    The article says Hunter no longer held many of his past views. We heard the same about Byrd. Again, who did you embrace? Who did your party embrace?
    ***********
    Does it not strike you as odd, and perhaps convenient, that Hunter's views " changed" when he went from be a fringe radio personality to a position of actual responsibility? Byrd changed as much of the country changed, so his evolution on racial issues is a little more plausible. Hunter was a nobody until he went to work for Paul: the question really should be, why would Paul feel confortable having a person with a controversial past on his staff unless he was confortable with those views on some level?
    ---------------
    Perhaps Tom but at the same time, did Byrd really change because the country changed? George Wallace changed because he became a Christian. The whole of politics allows a change of heart for some type of gain. Of course that is not everyone! The president "evolved" just before an election! That is the nature of politics. We just choose who we believe based upon party! Is Hunter really telling the the truth or playing game of politics? I have no idea and doubt that any of us do but take a look at the reponses. DEMS lean no, GOP lean yes! Our response is all politics! We play the same game, minus the power!

    July 9, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. rs

    hmmm....really? I guess gay marriage, marijuana legalization, and health care are all issues you would consider settled as well?
    __________________________
    I think if you check, the Right's action against Gay civil rights doe seem to be settled now. The process will move forward until gay marriage is a fact. The courts are not going to stop it now. Same with the ACA- it has been before the court and survived. If nothing else, being the ONLY first-world nation without some sort of universal health care means the ACA or some thing like it is inevitable. The Marijuana stuff is tricky, no doubt. If federal statutes change however- all bets are off.
    But what's your point? Rand Paul is a blithering idiot linked to a seccessionist. As long as the Right supports idiots it will lose.

    July 9, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Steveo

    @Jeff in Virginia

    Tigers don't change their stripes- they just lie about them and the public in Kentucky is dumb enough to fall for it.
    ------------
    Interesting comment. Then explain the Obama evolution!

    July 9, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. rs

    Wouldn't really call myself a fan or supporter of Rand Paul, but this really isn't relevant. Regardless of this man's views, it is Paul's action by which Paul should be judged. He has called for Inclusion and Equality.
    _________________________
    he has called for the end of the Civil Rights Act, and he and his party are rapidly trying to dismantle voting rights. He has called for "inclusion" and "equality" for Whites.

    July 9, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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