Ta-Nehisi Coates draws a very apt comparison between what Ron Paul and Louis Farrakhan have offered their youthful supporters.

As surely as Ron Paul speaks to a real issue–the state’s broad use of violence and surveillance–which the America’s political leadership has failed to address, Farrakhan spoke to something real, something unsullied, which black America’s political leadership failed to address, Both Paul and Farrakhan, in their glamour, inspired the young, the disaffected, the disillusioned.

I’d never drawn this parallel in my own mind until reading this piece.  But when I think back to the early/mid 90s and my friends who were drawn into the orbit of the NOI, or who traveled to the Million Man March – they weren’t there for Farrakhan’s crank theories and anti-Semitism any more than most of Paul’s younger supporters are there for his effective support of homophobia and racism.

But as sure as the followers of Farrakhan deserved more than UFOs, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, those of us who oppose the drug-war, who oppose the Patriot Act deserve better than Ron Paul[.]