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Rand Paul: ‘I Mostly Blame Politicians’ for Ferguson Tragedy

Senator Rand Paul has already reacted to the Ferguson grand jury decision and the ensuing violence with a new Time Magazine op-ed in which he says rather candidly, “In the search for culpability for the tragedy in Ferguson, I mostly blame politicians.”

Paul has made issues like criminal justice reform and the war on drugs political priorities for him, so Paul calls Brown’s death and others like it evidence that “something is wrong with criminal justice in America.” He writes about how the war on drugs has disproportionately affected black communities and so has “created a culture of violence and put police in a nearly impossible situation.”

And Paul offers a middle-of-the-road view on crime and violence in communities like Ferguson:

Can some of the disparity be blamed on a higher rate of crime in the black community? Yes, but there is a gnawing feeling that simply being black in a high-crime area increases your risk for a deadly altercation with police.

Does bad behavior account for some of the interactions with law enforcement? Yes, but surely there must be ways that we can work to prevent the violence from escalating.

It’s worth noting here that Hillary Clinton has not yet publicly commented, not just because both she and Paul are 2016 contenders, because the contrast between the two on such issues has led to some surprise words of praise directed Paul’s way. For example, just yesterday Al Sharpton credited Paul for his focus on issues that Democrats haven’t focused much on, and a column from H.A. Goodman in yesterday’s Huffington Post was titled “I Applaud Hillary for Visiting Ferguson and Meeting Al Sharpton. Oh Wait, That Was Rand Paul.”

You can read Paul’s full op-ed here.

[image via Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac