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Do We Really Want To Go There Again? May 20, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in politics.
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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 that forbids discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, or religion is arguably one of our greatest achievements as a nation. It signaled the end of Jim Crow laws and other formal impediments to minority group participation in American pubic life. But apparently many Americans disagree.

Kentucky’s Republican Senate candidate  Rand Paul has a long history of opposition to the Civil Rights Act  because he claims it infringes on private enterprise. In fact he recently told Rachel Maddow that businesses have a right to refuse to serve black people. (See also this letter to a Kentucky paper in 2002.)

But now that he has become a Senate candidate he has chosen to lie about his beliefs. Via Steve Benen:

This afternoon, a spokesman for the Paul campaign told Greg Sargent, “Civil Rights legislation that has been affirmed by our courts gives the Federal government the right to insure that private businesses don’t discriminate based on race. Dr. Paul supports those powers.”

Of course, The Civil Rights Law also prohibits discrimination in employment so apparently Paul would be perfectly happy if businesses refused to hire women, or Italians, or heaven forbid Christians.

It makes you wonder what else Paul opposes. As Steve Benen writes:

If we follow the logic he’s already articulated, Paul must necessarily oppose the minimum wage, for example. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, in light of their burdens on private companies, would be equally problematic. Social Security must be out of the question. Child-labor laws would obviously be a problem, as would workplace safety regulations and OSHA.

I would be willing to bet he doesn’t favor those nasty regulations designed to prevent oil rigs from dumping millions of barrels of oil into the ocean either.

It is not at all obvious that, in Kentucky, Paul will be punished at the polls for his extreme views. But the rest of the country is not Kentucky.

Republicans have been pushing the envelope on racial politics for many  years. Will Rand Paul now become the poster boy for the Republican Party?

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



1. Asur - May 21, 2010

We should stop beating around the bush and just require people to be nice to each other by law.

We could even ritualize all interpersonal interactions in order to create an objective standard for determining when someone was in violation of the Nice Law.

This sounds like a great idea.

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