Posts Tagged ‘Civil Rights Act of 1964

19
May
10

Dr. Rand Paul, Civil Rights Patriot

Yesterday, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Dr. Rand Paul won the Republican primary election in Kentucky for U.S. Senate. Today, those of us outside of Kentucky have begun our introduction to a man who is, according to Catholic Online, “…the real article; a man guided by principle, not party; a man loyal to ethics, not party bosses.

Dr. Paul is a Libertarian. It is a political viewpoint that I share in a diminished form, so I can relate to his views – views that emphasize individual liberties over governmental influences. {Friends who know me: Do not be confused. ‘Libertarian’ and ‘Libertine’ are utterly different and mutually exclusive. Do not assume that my strengths in one quality are matched in the other.}

Today, our introduction to Dr. Paul included his views on important historical events, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I listened to his interview on the Rachel Maddow Show. (It was on this show that he first announced his candidacy.) The interview was prompted by an interview he gave to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Dr. Paul was unequivocal in describing himself as a staunch advocate of civil rights. He absolutely believes that the federal government should not discriminate, as per the terms of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As a Libertarian, Dr. Paul advocates that such legislation is only appropriate in restricting government. Individual citizens and businesses should not be incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 1964 using the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution). Several states and their Republican officials have recently expressed the same view regarding federal reform of health care – that such reform should not be forced upon states using the Commerce Clause and its practical extension, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and that states have the right to decide individually if they will be subject to the federal government’s regulation.

Dr. Paul says that private conduct is properly controlled by the free enterprise system. It is clear to me that this is true. If a public business chooses to accomodate only customers of specific races or religions, another business can accomodate both those and other races or religions. The second business will surely prosper in comparison to the first. It will have a economic advantage which intelligent business people will recognize and choose to incorporate.

I was born in 1950, so I had a little direct experience (in addition to lessons from history) with how this worked before 1964. Springfield had some businesses which were, for example, ‘Whites Only‘. Those businesses, and similar ones which existed in virtually every city and town in former Slave States and many Northern ones, must have suffered significantly for their policies. Springfield might be a poor example of this, because there were not many non-white residents after the famous 1906 lynchings (concluded on the Public Square) prompted much of Springfield’s non-white citizenry to move away – immediately. I’m sure that, wherever they choose to live after 1906, their economic influence guaranteed that they would be served equitably by businesses. They would also not have had to fear a repeat of such injustice as the 1906 lynchings or similar lynchings which occurred as often as daily in the South of the late 1800’s.

At the least, groups which are discriminated against by businesses may actually form competing businesses. They have every economic, free-market, incentive to do so – and they often did before 1964. It is obvious from this the Dr. Paul is completely correct, and that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 accomplished (for private business) nothing but an artificial interference on an efficient mechanism for insuring just and equitable treatment of all citizens.

Just as I am not a 100% Libertarian (we must balance our views to some degree), neither is Dr. Paul. He does advocate implementing a consitutional amendment (with supporting state and federal legislation) to totally outlaw abortion. There does not seem to be a free-market mechanism to achieve the outcome he seeks, so he recognizes the practicality of government involvement.

Dr. Paul has the heart of of a true civil rights advocate and moral leader. He says, for instance, that if he had been old enough, he would have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the struggle for equal rights.

Thank you, Dr. Randal Howard “Rand” Paul. That’s real white of you.

Postscript
Will Allen, Horace Duncan, and Fred Coker,
lynched in 1906 by a mob of 2,000,
were falsely accused and were innocent.




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All original material Copyright James R. Stone 2010, except where specifically noted. Some images licensed under Creative Commons, or GNU Free Documentation License, or unlicensed and public domain.

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