Sen. Rand Paul gave a great interview to MTV News at the SXSW conference. He was asked a few polite but candid questions about race relations and white privilege and gave some pretty good answers:
I think there's privilege. I don't think it's so much racially based anymore. It happens to be that maybe there is more poverty in the African American community, so there is still a difference that's racially based, but the good thing is I think we've gotten beyond sort of the legal separation, the legal sort of problems. I think there is a problem in the criminal justice system, though, in the sense that the War on Drugs has unfairly incarcerated a disproportionate amount of African Americans and Hispanics, but also poor whites.
The interviewer also asked about the racist fraternity chant at the University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter. Paul admitted, refreshingly, "I guess I just don't know what goes on at college campuses. There are still probably vestiges of [racism]."
Paul, unlike many of his Republican rivals, has made a genuine effort to reach out to communities previously ignored by the GOP and talk about issues facing them. This interview is, I think, good evidence that the effort has paid off, at least in terms of making the senator more comfortable and polished when asked to discuss such topics.
Watch it below.