Thursday, May 20, 2010

Should Private Industry Be Exempt From The Civil Rights Act?

by Dick Mac

I say no, of course; but many who worship at the crotch of capital, like it was Ronald Reagan's genitals, think that private industry should not be held to the same standard as our government.

Rand Paul, newly nominated Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show last night and I had the good fortune to be watching.

Paul has attracted attention because of his lack of clarity on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He'll tell you up and down, inside and out, that he abhors discrimination and racism. And he is believable. But, then he says that the laws that protect Americans from discrimination on the basis of race should only be applied to the federal government, not to private industry.

So, the host asked him point-blank if Woolworth's should have been allowed to keep their lunch counter segregated (that is for whites only).

For those of you unfamiliar with the history of the civil rights movement of the mid-20th Century, Woolworth's lunch counters became a focal-point of the struggle against segregation; and many people were beaten or arrested for being black at the lunch counter or aiding and abetting blacks who attempted to be served at the lunch counter.

It's a particularly ugly chapter in America's more recent history.

Now, conservatism has changed in the past thirty years, and even more rapidly in the past 18 months, so I don't know what the "conservative" position is anymore. I know that even the most heinous right-wingers of our times have expressed unwavering support for the Civil Rights Act, even politicians who are known racists see the benefits of that Act of Congress. It created a huge new market. Blacks would become consumers and that was good for industry.

Since the teabagger movement, though, "conservatism" has become something I can't quite wrap my mind around. (They are NOT racists, just ask them!) It's just not clear yet, what brand of conservatism teabaggers support. It's probably not conservatism at all.

Rand Paul is a teabagger, and he is unable to offer a clear answer to the question: "Should Woolworths have been allowed to keep their lunch counter segregated?"!

It's a pretty easy question. There isn't any hidden subtext. Either the federal government should enforce the notion that discrimination against American taxpayers on the basis of race is wrong; or the federal government should not be allowed to enforce the notion that discrimination against American taxpayers on the basis of race is wrong. There really isn't any in-between.

This clip is 20 minutes long, and I think it is worth the watch:

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So, which is it?

Should Woolworths have been allowed to remain segregated or not?

1 comment:

Kate n baby Max said...

I am so in a rage over this. I feel like what I've heard indicates its not civil rights he's against, its the intervention of govt into private industry.

If the government didn't intervene , gun shops would sell to convicted felons. Racism, discrimination, and sexism would run amok. How? Because the govt. does have these policies and these things STILL happen. The banks. BP Oil. Goldman Sachs. the housing market. Abercrombie and Fitch. Ridiculous.