Two weeks ago Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and the Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Kentucky, appeared on the Rachel Maddow show to clarify statements he had made, which seemed to suggest that he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For 20 minutes Paul and Maddow engaged in a less-than-graceful pas de deux on the theme of discrimination and private property rights.
Maddow asked Paul whether he believed private business people had the right to discriminate against black people, or any other minority group. Paul responded that once you allow the government to dictate how citizens can use their private property, it ceases to be private. Maddow pressed the issue, asking if the government had the right to force Woolworth’s to serve black customers at its lunch counter. Rather than say, “Yes,” Paul responded with an argument about the second amendment.
In less than an hour, candidate Paul was able to do what the Obama administration, the New York Times, and even the lying members of the Congressional Black Caucus could not do. Within minutes of the end of the interview, the blogosphere was atwitter with claims that the true goal of the Tea Party was to roll back big government in order to undo the gains of the civil rights era and return this nation to the days of “separate but equal.” And now they have the video to prove it!
Of course, believing that free people ought to have the right to do what they please with their private property does not make one a racist, neither is it an “extreme” view. I would argue that the belief that there is some inherent value in one’s race that makes one a better jurist, teacher, or more deserving of admission to college is racist.
It is interesting that those so distraught over Rand Paul’s philosophical ramblings have failed to point out the hypocrisy on the part of Progressives.
The new left is appalled--appalled!--that Paul might suggest that in a free market society that supports private property rights, a business owner has the right to decide with whom he will or will not do business. However, leftists are remarkably silent—even supportive of—community activists urging their black neighbors to “buy black;” Jewish and Islamic merchants who only buy from Jewish and Islamic venders; universities with segregated dormitories and graduation ceremonies; racial preferences in college admissions, or racially gerrymandered electoral districts.
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