White supremacist Thomas Jefferson took his own pleasures with the female slaves that he owned. Strom Thurmond, supporter of Jim and Jane Crow, and Dixiecrat, had a black mistress and "love child." A large percentage of African-Americans, as hinted at by our varying hues, have rapist's blood from white on black violations across the color line flowing in our veins. Interracial sex is part of the cultural and political typography of the United States. Consequently, these are common matters.
The Daily Mail's story about the relationship between Paul Ryan and Deneeta Pope is rich with entertaining details. Ryan was/is a gym rat. Pope was an attractive young scholar and cheerleader while in college, and to my eyes, a woman with many potential suitors. Ultimately, the Daily Mail has provided its readers with a solid human interest story. It tries to locate Paul Ryan's life trajectory relative to a story about interracial relationships, and is grounded in the bigger question of how a white man who is the vice presidential candidate for a racist political party could have been in love with an African-American woman.
The relationship and the negative reaction he said he suffered from his so-called friends were a formative experience in the political evolution of the VP pick who described himself as a 'big, big fan' of Martin Luther King and is a staunch advocate of civil rights.
But Pope, an I.T. specialist and realtor living in Chicago, denies that they experienced any racism as a couple. Pope also said that while their relationship was not very serious, they have remained friends through the years.
'It tells you the kind of guy Paul is when you learn that he has remained friends with all of his friends that he met in college.' Michael Steel, campaign spokesman for Ryan, confirmed to MailOnline on Thursday that 'Mr Ryan dated Ms Pope in college' in the 1990s.
In a 2005 interview, Mitt Romney’s future running mate said that he had been confronted with racism personally, because he had dated an African-American and also had a brother with a black wife. I have a sister-in-law who’s African American,’ he told Milwaukee Magazine.People are complicated and contradictory in their ways. My answer on these matters is a simple one: a person can enjoy having sex with someone who is a member of a group which they despise, have animus towards, or otherwise look down on. These are not complicated matters.
‘My college sweetheart was black,' he added.
‘I just experienced some ugly comments, some racist views from people who I thought were friends of mine.'
There is a second problematic here as well: if Paul Ryan is such a principled anti-racist who had his eyes opened to the realities of bigotry and prejudice because of his relationship with a black woman, how can he be a party to Mitt Romney's race-baiting, Southern Strategy 2.0, efforts to use white racial resentment and hostility to defeat the country's first black President? The layers of Ryan's hypocrisy are deep.
The Daily Mail offers some details on a semi-related matter that are for more compelling and important as we assess Ryan's fit for the White House, and if he would be an advocate for the Common Good.