Ron Paul Opposes Civil Rights Act

May 14th, 2011 at 2:32 am | 54 Comments |

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The Hill reports:

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) suggested Friday that he wouldn’t have voted in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act if he were a member of Congress at the time.

Paul, the libertarian Texas Republican who formally announced Friday that he would seek the presidency for a third time, said he thought Jim Crow laws were illegal, and warned against turning strict libertarians into demagogues.

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews pressed Paul during a TV appearance on whether he would have voted against the ’64 law, a landmark piece of legislation that took strides toward ending segregation.

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of getting rid of the Jim Crow laws,” Paul said. He explained that he would have opposed it “because of the property rights element, not because they got rid of the Jim Crow laws.”

Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), faced criticism during his campaign for Senate last fall because of similar remarks he made, also during an appearance on MSNBC. Rand Paul had advanced a similar argument about property rights, and, under political pressure, issued a follow-up statement in which he voiced support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and would not support any efforts to repeal it.

Some libertarians argue that the government overstepped its authority in the landmark legislation, which sought to ban discrimination by private businesses and organizations. Paul sought to draw a distinction between holding that opinion and supporting the segregation and other tools of discrimination that the ’64 law sought to abolish.

“This gimmick, it’s off the wall when you say I’m for property rights and for states rights, and therefore I’m a racist,” said the Texas congressman. “That’s just outlandish.”

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54 Comments so far ↓

  • valkayec

    As a white military brat who spent several years living in the South, pre-Civil Rights, I can honestly say Rand is a fool or an idiot. I don’t know which. The racism in the South was egregious, disgusting and a stain on our society. The only way that stain was going to end was through Federal Law. Period.

    Sometimes, as apparently unknown to both Pauls, society has to make and enforce laws for the betterment of the commonweal even if those law reduce some people’s individual freedoms to act as they wish. That’s the compact made when one chooses to live in a society or community of others. But of course understanding this concept requires one to understand history and sociology. I’m not convinced these Randian Libertarians are educated in or understand either.

    • JimBob

      The south was no more racist than Boston. That said, Paul is right. For example. A lesbian bar wants to ban men because they’ve been coming in and spoiling the party. They weren’t really doing anything wrong, but just their presence was making the women uncomfortable and many stopped coming in so business suffered. The owner of that bar should have the right to ban men.

    • Rossg

      Which is Rand Paul, a fool or an idiot? Perhaps in this case – both. Some people can be viewed as “educated idiots” whereby they go through many years of higher education, yet maintain the same basic view they had as a child. After all, education should challenge your views, and quite possibly alter them.

      Neither Ron, or Rand Paul seem to process their positions beyond the first level of intellectual analysis. Ron Paul recently argued that laws are not needed against heroin or cocaine, simply because law-abiding citizens do not need to be told what is bad for them. And, after all, use of these items harm only the user.

      What he failed to see is that the laws came about once it was shown that others profit by the production/distribution of these items. Viewed this way heroin and cocaine are much like murder or thief, which benefit one party, at the expense of others.

  • rbottoms

    What a f*cking idiot.

    “This gimmick, it’s off the wall when you say I’m for property rights and for states rights, and therefore I’m a racist,” said the Texas congressman. “That’s just outlandish.”

    Sorry, you are a racist and so is your dildo son.

    Thank you Jesus for Paul Ryan’s destroy medicate pledge, and the enthusiasm the GOP presidential candidates have for working overtime to make independent voters flee.

    Obama is blessed by his enemies.

    • JimBob

      Bottoms, you’re the racist son. You see everything through rose colored glasses.

      • busboy33

        “You see everything through rose colored glasses”

        Yes . . . thank goodness we’ve got you to keep us grounded in the non-racism of the American South in the 1960s. I totally remember all those black kids getting spit on and beaten in lunch counters in Boston.

      • grayarea

        The world has changed substantially in the last year and you still cant understand the value of legislation enacted 60 years ago. Can you see the relationship between our debt and the invasion of Iraq, or can you see WMD’s in Iraq and Russia from your backyard? Can you see the growth in China, the middle class uprising in the Middle East, and the fact that 60% of the under 30′s sided with the Dems in 2008…ps you even that you have a black president. The world is not Alabama.

  • CentristNYer

    I’m not so convinced that Paul is at heart a racist, and without actual proof, I think that’s a charge best left alone for now. But I do think he and his son are tremendously naive if they truly believe that our nation’s entrenched race problems could have been addressed without the intervention of the federal government via the Civil Rights Act. This is the problem with being slavish to a political philosophy. The Pauls’ purist libertarian approach to governing sounds nice in concept, but extremely chaotic in practice.

    • busboy33

      Although Ron has some . . . questionable . . . publications in his past, let’s assume he isn’t a racist. Let’s assume he is so wedded to theoretical principals that he follows them regardless of any factual realities.

      Unfortunately, in my mind that makes him a very, very dangerous person to be president. I think Anarchy is a beautiful concept in theory, but I would absolutely never vote for anybody that wanted to try it in practice. Reality is a messy, messy place. Pure philosophy of any kind does not work very well.

      Heck, just look at math. There is no such thing as a perfect square in reality. Mankind will never be able to make a perfect right angle. There will always be some billionth or trillionth of a rounding on the corner . . . such is the nature of physical matter. What is perfect in theory has to be blunted when it moves out of the clouds onto the ground.

      I do admire the Pauls for their vision and their faith. But I want a leader that can keep the trains running, not one that spends the afternoon navel gazing and wondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I’m against the targeted killing of people. I am against murder. Killing bin Laden was both of these things . . . and I wholeheartedly support it. Sometimes, you have to compromise — that’s what grown-ups do. If Ron Paul is unwilling to compromise his theoretical beliefs, regardless of the need, then as far as I’m concerned he will not get my vote because he would be a very, very bad President.

  • rbottoms

    I’m not so convinced that Paul is at heart a racist, and without actual proof

    That’s the point of not actually saying nigger anymore.

    [blockquote]MACON, Ga. — Republican Newt Gingrich told a Georgia audience on Friday evening that the 2012 presidential election is the most consequential since the 1860 race that elected Abraham Lincoln to the White House and was soon followed by the Civil War

    Gingrich also blasted Obama as “the most successful food stamp president in modern American history.”[/blockquote]

    You kind of whisper it.

    “Hey white people, President ***nigger*** gives food stamps to THEM”.

    We are just barely out of a fucking depression. What were people supposed to do, eat dirt?

    God help me I despise the GOP.

    • JimBob

      bottoms, you’re dumber than a load of bricks.

    • CentristNYer

      I just think that “racist!” is an easy charge to throw around and in the absence of something more substantive, I really can’t judge what’s in their hearts — and neither should others. I take them at their word that their governing philosophy is one that opposes virtually all forms of federal intervention into what they see as private commercial concerns. That’s a legitimate stand to take without being accused of racism, but it’s also a wholly unrealistic way to govern a modern, interconnected and peaceful society.

      As Graychin says below, Lord save us from the ideologues!

  • rbottoms

    Silly me, I thought Mike Huckabee was different.

    I guess they all are until it comes time to go on the not quite formerly traitorous states tour.

    They’re dirty, dangerous, and we know who THEY are.

  • Graychin

    I don’t think that Ron and Rand Paul are racists. I doubt that they would participate in harassment of minorities. The problem with both of them is that they they will follow their silly Ayn Rand ideology wherever it leads, no matter how ugly that place is.

    If their ideology leads us back in to Jim Crow racism, then so be it. They really don’t care. The ideology must come first.

    It’s the same phenomenon that made the Soviet Union such a mess. Preserve the ideology at all costs, and ignore the obvious facts proving that Communism doesn’t work.

    Lord save us from the ideologues.

    • JimBob

      Property owners should have the right to discriminate. See my example above.

      • Watusie

        JimBob, if the company you work for was sold to a new Chinese owner, and the new boss came around to your cubicle, took a look at you, and announced that you were being fired with immediate effect because he didn’t want any middle-aged white men in his company, and he’s going to replace you with a hard-working Asian-American – well, lets just say you’d be on your way very quickly to your lawyer, and to your local FOX News studio.

        • busboy33

          That’s different . . . that’s racism against white people. That’s the bad kind.

  • JimBob

    No I wouldn’t. I’d say good riddance. I wouldn’t want to work for a company with that sort of attitude. Other middle aged white men would be fired as well. Word would get out and the new Chinese owners would soon recognize their policies have harmed the bottom line.

    • Watusie

      Ha – good one.

    • CentristNYer

      JimBob // May 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      “I wouldn’t want to work for a company with that sort of attitude.”

      The fact is that without the Civil Rights Act, that toxic attitude would still be prevalent, not the exception. Your naive faith in the marketplace to punish racist attitudes is belied by the fact that discrimination was quite commonplace for decades before the Act was passed. Call it social engineering if you like, but we have a much healthier, more productive and more civilized society because of it.

      • rbottoms

        These Libtards think it’s about us being pissed because we couldn’t get a sandwich at a lunch counter.

        College educated men and women were relegated to low wage jobs unable to rise to the top of any profession.

        While white men left the service after World War II to buy homes in the suburbs that in time would rise in value sufficient to send their kids to school or start their won business, we were denied equal housing or even access to loans to buy the property in the first place.

        We were lynched for not knowing our place, teenagers were being murdered for trying to vote, children were being blown apart in churches because their parents had the temerity to demand our constitution, the one these freaks go on about all the goddamn time, apply to every one.

        The same paranoid assholes demanding non-existent Sharia Law be banned, who wet themselves every night over terrorists under their bed can’t get it through their thick skulls that 15 million of their citizens were being terrorized right here by thugs wearing the uniform of the law.

        Lyndon Johnson did more to save this country than Marin Luther King.

        A desperate, disenfranchised people having no redress of their grievances would have burned more than our inner cities to the ground.

        America’s future was Belfast and Kosovo.

        Johnson knew he was dooming the Democratic Party to electoral retaliation as the Dixiecrats scattered like roaches to become Republicans. And he did it any way.

        Fuck Ron Paul and any party that would have him.

    • Non-Contributor

    • Non-Contributor

      They did that to women for many many years and it never hurt their “bottom line”.

  • rbottoms

    The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act are the only two things that kept the United States from becoming Bosnia.

    I came of age at a time when we would have had to decide between being second class citizens and going to war for our rights. I wouldn’t have put up with Jim Crow and the crap my father did. Johnson’s political sacrifice of the Democratic party and Dr. King’s lessons and his own sacrifice were what kept the USA from having it’s own IRA.

    Instead of masked freedom fighters kneecapping police the worst racial friction you are likely to encounter now is a rude clerk at Target.

    This wasn’t some thought experiment, this was an entire country oriented against giving full, unfettered access to the vote, jobs, and economic advancement against 15 million of its citizens. Paul and his knot head son had the advantage of going into any profession they chose, access to capital, investment, and political advantage.

    They had a 150 year head start over millions of people who were held back from everything this country offered to its white citizens. If the government hadn’t finally given it, we would have risen up and taken it by force.

    Ron Paul can shove his “principled” stand against ending America’s apartheid up his ass.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    He is a fool and idiot, you can be one without being a racist, you can also be one and be a racist, if the end result is that the racist wins what is the difference?
    And property rights my ass. Private clubs can discriminate, you have to be a Roman Catholic to be in the Knights of Columbus, in addition you have to fulfill other requirements. No one has any problems with that. This is not about property, it is about public spaces and the harmonious functioning of society. JimBob is perfectly happy to be advantaged by racist policies as long as he claims it is “choice” but if that “choice” goes against him, well he is gonna get his shotgun and kill himself some $%& for disrespecting him. The Pauls, simply put, have no imagination with which to imagine what life would be like not being well to do and white.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    lets not forget Ron Paul is 75 so thank God this is his last go round

    • Rossg

      This is not Ron Paul’s last stand – see Rand Paul; 2010 Kentucky Senate Race. You’ve probably heard the saying “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

  • Rob_654

    I don’t think Paul is a racist – he just believes that a private business should be able to let whoever they want in the door – and then if that business wants to discriminate they are welcome to and then everyone else has the right to not go to that business if they don’t like the policy.

    However, we live in a country where people get to vote and apparently not a lot of politicians have viewed allowing this type of policy have viewed it as a way to garner enough votes to get elected in many places.

    I may agree with Paul on some issues but I would *never* vote for him, if for no other reason than this issue alone – and being in a free country I and others get to decide that choice based even in a single issue.

  • rbottoms

    It’s not about being able to patronize your stupid business.

    When that old Fayetteville, North Carolina (Ft. Bragg) cracker told me he did serve niggers in his bar it didn’t materially affect my life. It pissed me off that I was in the uniform of this asshole’s country defending him and all his other Klan buddies, and it obviously hurt because I still remember it.

    It had everything to do with not being able to vote without being killed.

    It had everything to do with those businesses, banks and real estate offices who colluded to wreak economic terrorism on blacks keeping us financially disadvantaged and inferior forever. We were financial serfs, we were held back not by our abilities but by de facto & de jure distortions of the constitution which should have applied to all and didn’t.

    My father fought to save humanity from Nazism and the horror of the attempted cleansing of an entire race. He did it even though his home state was practically feudal in nature. He did it despite having to ride in the Jim Crow car back from receiving his commission as an officer.

    He did it because he was born in a time when you had to take shit or die.

    His children and others like us were not prepared take this shit a singe minute longer.

    The Civil Rights Act and The Voting Rights Act were part of a necessary overhaul of America’s treatment of a hated minority. Being able to eat a burger in some racist’s restaurant was a side effect of freeing us from tyranny and terrorism.

    It also had the side effect of not making us take up arms to secure the freedoms every man and woman is born with. One way or another America was going to change, these two acts along with Dr. King’s preaching of non-violent resistance is all that stood between a conflagration that would have consumed everyone.

    Ron Paul insults the sacrifice Lyndon Johnson made to free us. Fuck him and fuck his philosophy. He and his idiot son are racist in action, so they are racist by definition.

    • Carney

      Your emotion blinds you from understanding important and relevant distinctions.

      In truth, you don’t WANT to do the hard work of thinking and understanding. It’s much more enjoyable for you to give in to anger and hatred, and to rail against those you have been taught, or whom you have taught yourself, to despise. To lump bombing little girls and state laws forcing people apart, with a business owner choosing to do business only with people he is personally comfortable with.

      • Rossg

        I am bewildered. If I am a person of color (though I am not), and I wish to travel across several counties of my home state, possibly even into another state, is it really necessary for me to have to consider where I might be able to obtain food, fuel or a place to sleep for the night, before I embark on my journey? Giving every person the ability to decide which members of the “public” they will interact with (provide service to) is not a free society; it is a closed, dark, demeaning, repressive, inhibitive, hostile, backward and stunted society. Surely, we cannot be thinking of going back to that time. And we surely cannot be thinking of electing national leadership that will reimpose such attitudes on the nation.

      • rbottoms

        To lump bombing little girls and state laws forcing people apart, with a business owner choosing to do business only with people he is personally comfortable with.

        Economic terrorism is still terrorism.

        Can you bastards imagine what it did to a man of my father’s pride and education to have to factor in whether he would be humiliated in front of his children as he looked sought food and lodging when he drove us from Indiana to New York one summer long ago?

        Ron Paul and his worthless son can eat shit.

    • Rossg

      I recently finished reading Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom.” Mandela started out with the view that passive resistance was the way to achieve things. After a few year’s, wherein this approach was found to have abjectly failed, he turned his mind to the use of force. Of course, this is what got him sentenced to life in prison.

      Well before finishing the book, I came to the realization that the reason Mandela finally came to this latter view is that the government of South Africa so fully embraced apartheid, as did the state-controlled media, that he felt he had hit a stone wall. I believe this total control of the state made his struggle vastly different from that here in the USA.

      While our central government may have too long taken a hands-off approach to discrimination, the media (which is truly not state-run, as the Beckites might suggest) was free to cover the unrest and peacful resistence. If this had not been the case, the struggles of the 50′s and 60′s would probably have turned out differently.

      I recite all this as preface for saying that I do not want to see this country take a step backward. And, more so, I do not want to see us give more power to those political forces that may actually be thinking in the manner of that father/son duo: Ron and Rand Paul.

  • connor25

    This article shows how much the GOP has devolved from becoming the conservative party since 1964. I find it hard to believe that half a century ago, a majority of the party supported the 1964 CRA in Congress and the Senate. Everett Dirksen must be doing a facepalm up above.

    I think Paul actually did mention he was against it at an earlier point in the 90′s and I learned that he wrote racist articles. His son isn’t all that different, I mean he said the same thing back when he was running.

  • Rabiner


    “Property owners should have the right to discriminate. See my example above.”

    Because the right of the individual to discriminate outweighs society’s need to not have discrimination in private companies that provide goods like say ‘gas stations’. Whats a black man to do if the only gas station in his rural community won’t serve ‘colored’ people?

  • Carney

    I find it fascinating how leftists who rail about “theocrats” imposing morality on others have no problem imposing their own racial morality.

    It’s one thing to overturn state-mandated discrimination. It’s a whole nother thing to ban private discrimination.

    • rbottoms

      Tough shit.

      Racists lost that argument 46 years ago, kindly suck it already.

      I enjoy the GOP doing everything it can to keep blacks & now Latinos from ever voting for them. You’re not doing enough to get that message across. Your new bumper sticker ought to be, ‘Civil Rights, Fuck That!’. I can see it now, Trump/House Negro 2012′

      • Houndentenor

        I have heard this kind of talk all my life, but until recently the GOP did it’s best to keep these nutjobs away from a microphone. The rational, level-headed Republicans have left the building. The lunatics are now running the asylum.

  • PatrickQuint

    busboy33: “Reality is a messy, messy place. Pure philosophy of any kind does not work very well.”

    Beware the man of integrity. If you’re not careful, he’ll do what he says he will.

    Paul emphasizes a “live and let live” ethics. Essentially, you can do whatever you want so long as you don’t hurt anyone (physically) or damage their property. This extends to things like needlessly putting others in danger (re: drunk driving, yelling “fire” in a crowded auditorium). The kind of discrimination that article 2 of the Civil Rights Act restricts activity that neither causes nor risks bodily harm, and does not cause property damage. So Paul, going on “live and let live” ethics, says that discriminatory denial of service should be permitted among private citizens.

    Ron Paul is not racist, just misguided. Any ethical theory, taken on its own, will lead to monstrous results. Even the Golden Rule. All of these principles require partners.

  • rbottoms

    Paul emphasizes a “live and let live” ethics.

    Well I emphasize a, white people enslaved us for 400 years, fought a civil war to be able to keep doing it, engaged in economic terrorism and barbaric often hooded guerrilla warfare for another 100 after they lost that war, and that it took the federal government’s intervention at gunpoint to make the motherfuckers stop ethic.

    All of these principles require partners.

    Well the black partners decided not to form an American IRA and turn the entire country into Belfast in revenge, so one side of the “partnership” has done quite enough.

    How’s the other side doing?

    Martin Luther King
    Amadou Diallo
    Patrick Dorismond
    Oscar Grant
    Abner Louima

    I think the GOP side of the partnership can go fuck itself.

    To those just tuning in, gosh why are you so profane and angry?

    We. Had. A. Deal.

    The deal was Voting Rights and Civil Rights enforced and the racists have to shut the hell up or pretend to. Donald Trump, Ron Paul and Rand Paul and reneging on the deal.

    We won’t go back.

    Not no way, not no how.

    • JimBob

      Violins are playing for the professional victim.

      • rbottoms

        Michael Donald, RIP 1997

        We will not go back, not one inch. Not one micron.

        • busboy33

          wonder why JimBob didn’t come back with a snappy comeback, some more “the South is no more racist than Boston” crap?

        • rbottoms

          We’re asked to be understanding, that these people’s grandparents and great-grandparents were products of their times. Ask Elie Weisel if he gives a shit about hurting the feelings of some kid in college in Stuttgart.

          No, he’d say the same thing I do: fuck your grandparents.

          You want understanding, get a dog. Whites have been fed 30 years of victimization from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage types. Dimwits who couldn’t get into Ivy Tech rail about college affirmative action.

          The reality that 95% of the Fortune 500 is still run by the same people who were always were at the top is seen as so unfairly tilted towards THE BLACKS, tm, that every loser with a grudge thinks Acorn and the Black Panther Party controls the country now.

          Are there gripes on both sides, you bet.

          But the Civil Rights Act is a bit of glue used to hold this country together.

          Chisel away at it at your peril.

  • PatrickQuint

    rbottoms: “Well the black partners decided not to form an American IRA and turn the entire country into Belfast in revenge, so one side of the “partnership” has done quite enough.”

    You seem to have misunderstood my use of “partners” in that sentence. I meant that “live and let live” is not adequate all by itself. It needs other principles to temper it into a workable ethical theory. In terms of domestic policy, I like “equality of opportunity” as a candidate.

    rbottoms, your rants are so profane and often display such a lack of coherent thought and comprehension that I sometimes suspect that you’re actually some KKK dick or skinhead trying to make black people look bad by reinforcing the stereotype of the angry stupid black man. Once in a while you express an impartial and intellectually watertight critique of Republican social policy instead of vitriolic raving, and I do like those posts. I wish those would come out more often.

    It’s very hard to shame someone into agreeing with you under any circumstances, and nigh-impossible with the anonymity offered by comments sections on the internet.

    As Sun Tsu recommended, you should offer your opponent a means of retreat. Enemies who see no means of escape will fight to the death, while those who see a way out might take retreat. In this context, if you offer your opponent a way to agree with you while keeping face, they may just do that. If you say that they are *evil,* then they can’t be seen to agree with you because that would mean agreeing that they were/are *evil.* If you say that Republicans are universally evil and despicable, then they will not give you an inch, and you end up shooting yourself in the foot by making the policies you recommend harder to pass through government.

    You’re clearly sick of the racist BS… and your raging at all this racist BS is making more of it. If you keep insisting that Republicans are and can only ever be racist, then eventually all the people who aren’t racist will leave the party, and the racists are the ones left holding the power and influence.

    • rbottoms

      As Sun Tsu recommended, you should offer your opponent a means of retreat.


      I fully understand the concept of an intellectual exercise. On this subject you don’t get to have one.

      You’re clearly sick of the racist BS… and your raging at all this racist BS is making more of it. [/blockquote]

      I didn’t create the problem.
      Unhinged? Yeah, a little bit. Fifty-six years of this crap will do that to you.

      I won’t tolerate it, not even a little bit. Not even a tiny bit.

      The GOP started this when they went down the birther path, when Donald Trump vaulted to the front of the GOP pack using it. My message to people like yourself and Mr. Frum, work harder, protest louder, change your party.


  • _will_

    let it go JimBob. I’ve lived in the deepest South for my entire 34 years, and yes, it’s still worse here than just about anywhere in the US.

  • rbottoms

    I bet you’re thinking, this is over the top fear, America has changed, things will never be that bad for blacks again.

    At the same time the owner of this site is forced to beg the leaders of his chosen party to not drop a nuclear weapon on our financial standing in the world for the sole purpose of making Barrack Obama easier to beat in 2012.

    They are willing to throw millions of people out of work, encourage foreign investors to flee the dollar for other currencies, and jack up our debt by trillions all because they cannot tolerate a black man as president. It’s a debt bomb whose fuse gets lit tomorrow.

    I think that is a perfect example of the kind of hate and insanity that has fueled racism in this country for the last 100 years.

    They hate Obama more than they love their country’s long term standing in the world.

    I find the potential for catastrophe very easy to believe in, the evidence is there for anyone to see.