Best Confession

Jack Hunter Admits He Was Blind to His Own Racism

Staff Pick

Last year was a rough one for former City Paper columnist Jack Hunter. First, the conservative website the Washington Beacon outed the Rand Paul aide as a Confederate-flag-lovin', Abraham-Lincoln-hatin' neo-secessionist who'd said quite a number of racially inflammatory statements during his time as a so-called right-wing shock jock, something that might fly around here, but on the national stage, well, it was an embarrassment. Eventually, Hunter resigned from the Paul camp and announced that he was no longer going to go by his Southern Avenger moniker. He shut down his website and disappeared from the public eye. Months later, Hunter emerged with a confession in Politico. In it, Hunter admitted that during his days as a radio commentator, he'd been blind to his own racism, noting that listening to his old commentaries, "was painful ... because it sounds awful to me today, so I could only imagine what it sounded like to African Americans in 2000. I recall making equally insensitive comments about illegal immigrants and Muslims. Whenever I put on that wrestling mask, I took on a persona that was intentionally outrageous and provocative. I said many terrible things. I disavow them." In the end, Hunter confessed that the Paul family helped him see the error of his ways: "[T]oo many Republicans have dismissed the idea that racism is actually a problem. When I was Rand Paul's social-media director, I noticed that whenever my boss would make a statement about racial injustice in our legal system, some conservatives bristled at the suggestion that our government was somehow mistreating African Americans. The same conservatives who say they believe government treats everyone badly were not willing to see how that was true for black Americans. They either don't see it or don't want to see it. I used not to see it. For that, I am very sorry. If Republicans are going to make inroads with minority voters, they had better open their eyes too."
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