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Civil Rights? That Is Ancient Stuff

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Civil Rights? That Is Ancient Stuff



Just when I thought the field of Republican Presidential candidates was overcrowded with foolishness, Dr. Ron Paul finagled his way in to prove that the GOP has no limit on animus towards marginalized communities. Before I go any further, let me make myself clear: I am not married to any particular political party. I don’t believe monogamy should exist in politics, that’s why I’m single.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t let a week go by without airing my frustration about Paul’s recent statement that he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act. I wasn’t too suprised to hear this coming from Paul. He’s like the Dennis Rodman of the Republican Party, very colorful and many times politically incorrect, but an all-star nonetheless.  His strong brand of libertarianism has made him a fierce opponent of  the War On Drugs and capital punishment (two positions that I agree with). However, his peculiar stance on race and gender relations makes me uneasy.

Rep. Ron Paul kicked off his third run for president on Friday, but not without inciting controversy. Shortly after calling for abolishing FEMA on CNN, the latest Republican presidential candidate told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he would not have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the landmark piece of legislation that outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women. In a 2004 speech to Congress explaining his opposition Paul stated: “The forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty… The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society.” While I am just as dubious that we will ever live in a color or gender blind society, I don’t believe that tacitly allowing the perpetual discrimination by private businesses breeds happiness or prosperity

Title I

Barred unequal application of voter registration requirements.

-       I would not have been able to vote without fear of having some silly test used to keep me from casting my ballot.

Title II

Outlawed discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempted private clubs without defining the term “private.”

-       I would not have been able to watch Jungle Fever with my White friends in a movie theatre.

Title III

Prohibited state and municipal governments from denying access to public facilities on grounds of race, religion, gender, or ethnicity

-       I would not have been able to play catch with my Dad on the public baseball fields back in my hometown.

Title IV

Encouraged the desegregation of public schools and authorized the U.S. Attorney General to file suits to enforce said act.

-       I would not have been able to attend my elite public high school where I received a top-notch education.