Memo To Rand Paul On The Civil Rights Act: The Issue Is Not Segregation—It`s Anti-White Quotas

Latest polls show Rand Paul ahead
in the Kentucky Senate race, despite continued

hysteria
about the Republican nominee`s mild
criticism of parts of the

1964 Civil Rights Act
[CRA]. But the whole episode
tells us a great deal about the liberal mindset—and
about the limits and shortcomings of the Ron Paul and
tea party movements.

Rand Paul is the son of
Ron
Paul
and espouses many of the libertarian views of
his father. With the backing of his father`s supporters
along with the more

mainstream Tea Party movement
embodied in

Sarah Palin
, Rand Paul won in a landslide victory in
the Republican Primary over

establishment
favorite and Kentucky Attorney
Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

As a libertarian, Paul

opposes compulsory anti-discrimination laws
,
specifically aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that
applied to private institutions. This should not have
been the surprise it obviously was to the political
class—it`s simply a matter of

freedom of association
and is

axiomatic for libertarians
, as even the fashionable
television libertarian John Stossel has bravely

said
.

The hysteria began when, in an
interview with the
Louisville Courier Journal
, Paul stated that a
private institution with no government funding should be
allowed to discriminate because,
“In a free
society, we will tolerate boorish people who have
abhorrent behavior.”
[Rand
Paul embroiled in Civil Rights controversy over remarks
made on Courier-Journal video interview
, by
Joseph Gerth,
Louisville Courier Journal
, May 20, 2010]

For some reason, Paul then decided
it was a good idea to show up on the Rachel Maddow Show
to defend his statements. In her typically self
righteous manner, Maddow grilled him and asked him flat
out, “Do you
think that a private business has the right to say we
don`t serve black people?”

Paul responded frankly,
“yes”
and then qualified,


 “I would never
belong to any club that

excluded anybody for race.
We still do have private
clubs in w:st="on">America that can discriminate based
on race. But I think what`s important about this debate
is not written into any specific `gotcha` on this, but
asking the question: what about freedom of speech?
Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent?
Should we limit racists from speaking?”
[Paul:
No repeal of civil rights law
, by Manu Raju and
Jonathan Allen and Jonathan Martin,
Politico, May
20, 2010]

Of course, limiting speech is exactly what Rachel
Maddow and co.

want to do.
 

Paul then backtracked in a press release:

“Let me be clear:
I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly
agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to
stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the
abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws. As
I have said in previous statements, sections of the
Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds
when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been
settled by federal courts in the intervening years”

[Rand Paul Sets
the Record Straight
, Rand Paul for US Senate, May
20, 2010]

(Paul`s position here is weak. There are plenty of
other issues that have been
“settled by
federal courts”
that Paul wants to overturn, such as
Roe vs. Wade.
But I digress.)

Paul then backtracked even further on the Wolf
Blitzer show. He was asked:
“Did Woolworth —
Woolworth, the department store, have a right, at their
lunch counters, to segregate blacks and whites?”
He
responded:

"I think that
there was an overriding problem in the South so big that
it did require federal intervention in the `60s. And it
stems from things that I said, you know, had been going
on, really, 120 years too long. And the Southern states
weren`t correcting it. And I think there was a need for
federal intervention." [Paul
to Blitzer: "I Would Have Voted Yes" on Civil Rights Act
,
by Tom Bevan, Real
Clear Politics
, May 20, 2010]

Needless to say, Paul`s backtracking did him no favor
with the Democrats. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine huffed:

"Rand Paul`s endorsement of policies that would result in a segregated
America

is indefensible. … He thinks our civil rights laws
represent `government overreach,` and he would tolerate
a country which allowed

separate lunch counters
and discrimination in
housing and employment based on the color of someone`s
skin."
[Rand
Paul embroiled in Civil Rights controversy over remarks
,
by Joseph Gerth,
Cincinnati
Enquirer, May 20, 2010]

Obama Press Secretary

Robert Gibbs
puffed:

“I think the issues that, that many

fought for in the `50s and the `60s
were settled a
long time ago in landmark legislation and the discussion
about whether or not to support those, I don`t think,
shouldn`t have a place in our political dialogue in
2010.”
[White
House Says Rand Paul`s Civil Rights Talk `Shouldn`t Have
a Place in Our Political Dialogue in 2010`
, ABC News
,
May 20, 2010]

With Paul the nominee, most
Republicans are standing by him as a candidate. But they
are also going out of their way to proclaim their
support of the Civil Rights Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell`s (R-KY) press secretary released a statement,

“Among Sen. McConnell`s most vivid memories and most formative events in
his career was watching his boss

Sen. John Sherman Cooper
help pull together the
votes to break the filibuster and pass the Civil Rights
Act of 1964. He has always considered the law a
monumental achievement for the country and is glad to
hear Dr. Paul supports it as well.”

Even

Jeff Sessions
(R-AL,) perhaps the strongest
immigration patriot in the Senate called his statements
“wrong” and
that "I think
that was settled a long time ago, and the country is
better off."

Sen. John
Kyl (R-AZ) described Rand Paul`s exchange with Rachel
Maddow as
“engaging in a theoretical
debate… like you had at 2 a.m. in the morning when
you`re going to college, but it doesn`t have a lot to do
with anything.”
[Ron
Paul Finds Few Defenders in Senate
, by John
Stanton, Roll Call,
May 20, 2010]

My position: Bunk!

Contra Kyl, the negative
consequences of the Civil Rights Act do in fact “have
a lot to do”
with a lot of our problems today!

Contra Sessions, the country is
much worse off
because of the Civil Rights Act!

Freedom of association is one of
the most fundamental liberties derived from Anglo-Saxon
common law. Dismissing these concerns as mere
“theoretical
debate”
shows a complete disrespect for our
Constitution and founding principles.

Moreover, there are not just
theoretical reasons of principle, but very many reasons
in practice why the Civil Rights Act is a complete
disaster for this country.

Most vitally:
The Civil Rights
Act was almost immediately applied to enforce ant-white
quotas
. In 1971, the Supreme Court in


Griggs v. Duke Power Co.

decision interpreted the bill to bar anything that had a


“disparate impact”
on minorities, including
requiring a high school diploma.
 

Amendments to
Title IX
of the Act in 1972 also led to absurd feminist positions
such

as banning Father Son Baseball games.

 

In the 1980s, the courts reversed
some of the most egregious interpretations of the Act in


Wards Cove Packing Co.
v.
Atonio
and

Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins
. But these changes
were effectively nullified by the Democratic-controlled
Congress in the 1991 Civil Rights Act. (So much for
issues being
“settled”
by the courts). Bush I`s

signing this Democratic legislation
was the final
straw that led to Pat Buchanan`s

fatally damaging primary challenge to him in 1992.

Moreover,
beyond issues of race, the Civil Rights Act and the
subsequent court decisions to justify it set precedent
to allow to give the federal government virtually
unlimited power to interfere in the private sector. Thus
the feds justified their right to interfere with private
businesses through

a fantastic interpretation
of the Interstate
Commerce Clause of the Constitution. For example, in


Katzenbach v. McClung,


the courts forcibly integrated
Ollie`s
Barbecue. This family-owned restaurant was right in the
center of Alabama—but because some of its ingredients
were produced out of state, they ruled that it was
engaging in “interstate commerce”, with, for example, Kelloggs of Battle Creek,
Michigan.

Even if someone believes that the
Federal Government has the right to ban racial
segregation, the fact that this particular Act led to
legalized anti-white discrimination and dramatically
increased the power of the federal government should be
more than reason enough for any conservative or
libertarian to oppose it.

But Republicans are so afraid of
being seen as critical of the Civil Rights Act that they
can be scared into supporting the inevitable anti-white
consequences.

Thus in 2004, on the 40th
Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Delegate
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced

H Res 676
to commemorate the Act. Holmes Norton`s
resolution not only celebrated the initial Act—it also
celebrated the Amendments added in 1972 and 1991.
Every single
congressman but one
voted for the
resolution—including otherwise Politically Incorrect
leaders such as Steve King,

Charlie Norwood
, and

Tom Tancredo.

The single exception: Ron Paul.

Randolph Bourne famously said that

“War is the health of the state.”
 In
the last fifty years, racial egalitarianism has been the
health of the state. Failure to oppose state enforced
racial integration and egalitarianism undermines to
oppose big government in all spheres. The Left
understands this, but most conservatives and
libertarians do not—or are too cowardly to admit it.


Jonah Goldberg
noted the reason why liberals obsess
over Rand Paul`s remarks is that they

“won
that argument, politically and morally. This is a fact
liberals never stop reminding us, and themselves, about…
How many activist groups insist that their plight is
sublimely analogous to the civil-rights struggle? How
many times did the Democrats try to make health-care
reform a continuation of civil rights? `When this body
was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to
everyone regardless of the color of their skin,` Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) intoned as he
tried to ram health-care reform through, `some senators
resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear
today.`”
[Rand
Paul`s Civil Rights Act Comments Revisited
, by
Jonah Goldberg, National Review, May 26, 2010]

This is true—but only because
conservatives such as

Bill Buckley,
who
once
opposed
the Civil Rights Act, made complete 180s in
search of social approval from the Left.

What Goldberg apparently does not
recognize is that if liberals were both
“morally and
politically correct”
in supporting the Civil Rights
Movement, then the government has the moral and
political right to interfere in our private affairs.

The
New York Times`
Sam Tanehaus bemoaned the Tea Parties implicit
“repudiation of politics [Read: Federal government]
and its capacity to effect meaningful change.”
He
goes on,

“However attractive it may be just now to depict all political conflict
as a neatly bifurcated either/or, with the heroic
individual pitted against the faceless federal
Leviathan, the truth is that legislative battles over
civil rights laws were waged within government, and
between competing incarnations of it, federal vs.
state.”
[Rand
Paul and the Perils of Textbook Libertarianism
,
by Sam Tanehaus,
New York Times,
May 21, 2010]

Unless Rand Paul and the Tea Party
Movement addresses the issues of race, there is
absolutely nothing you can say to counter Tanehaus`
argument.

With the passage of more than forty
years, other problems with the CRA are becoming plain.
All ethnicities are not equal in abilities and
tend
to prefer their own company.
Forcing integrated
equality is impossible, and refusing to recognize this
fact will allow the government to continue to come up
with new ways to intervene.

Moreover, blacks and Hispanics are
much more likely to be employed by the government, on
welfare,
or not paying taxes. These groups have absolutely no
reason to support limited government. The more we import
and politically empower them, the less libertarian our
society will become.

Rand Paul is in a perfect position
to take a stand. Kentucky is 88% white and only 7%
African American. The marginal black population will
vote Democrat regardless, and the majority white
Democrats and Independents are blue collar folks who are
not going to be morally outraged over this issue like
Rachel Maddow or the
New Republic.

As the
Atlantic
`s Marc Ambinder noted,

“Older, whiter people turn out in midterm years. I was impressed with
Democratic turnout for the primary, but I really don`t
know whether it will be sufficient to produce a swing`
vote that would be, or could be, offended by Paul`s
self-conscious identification with the Tea Party or with
extreme libertarianism. Also,
Kentucky
is not like w:st="on">Georgia or w:st="on">Alabama — states where African Americans
would mobilize against a white politician perceived to
be racist. Also, the more the media focuses on Paul, the
larger the counter-reaction from his supporters will
be.” 
[Rand
Paul`s Views Aren`t a Problem for Him in the Short Term
,
by Marc Ambinder,
Atlantic
,
May 24, 2010]

Opposing the Civil Rights Act is
not necessarily a winning issue. Most whites are
distressed by discrimination against qualified blacks.
And thanks to forty years of GOP pandering on
Martin
Luther King
and race, Republican voters have been
sufficiently brainwashed that they simply don`t realize
that King and the Civil Rights Act resulted in

Affirmative Action.
 

But most whites do also strongly
support
meritocracy
and

oppose racial preferences.

Rand Paul could have used furor as
an opportunity to oppose affirmative action, and to
explain that the Civil Rights Act was more than just
ending state enforced segregation.

Of course, if Rand Paul is anything
like his father, he is not just interested in doing what
is politically expedient. No one would have thought that
going back to the Gold Standard would have political
resonance before Ron Paul`s presidential campaign. But
now his Audit the
Fed
bill has 319 co-sponsors.

But the paradoxical truth is that a
politician who would articulately stand by these
positions could both change the pathetic political
discourse in this country
and also win
votes.

It remains to be seen if Rand Paul
is willing to fill this role.

All other Republican politicians
and “conservative movement” mouthpieces are not.

Ellison Lodge (email
him) works on Capitol
Hill.