Posts tagged: Rand Paul

Rand Paul, Businesses and Equality

By , May 30, 2010 6:13 pm

I watched Rand Paul’s infamous interview with Rachel Maddow in which he doesn’t give his complete support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.┬áIt was painful watching the newly-nominated Republican U.S. Senate from Kentucky dance around a direct answer to the question of whether businesses should be able to discriminate on the basis of race. Paul said he is personally against institutional racism, discrimination and segregation, and against those things in the public sphere. He just couldn’t bring himself to say the government has the right to tell private businesses that they’re not allowed to discriminate.

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Everything from banks and corporations to restaurants and bowling alleys would be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, in his view. From his statement about people in wheelchairs working in two-story buildings, it sounds like businesses would be able to treat disabled people differently, too. And, I’ll go out on a limb and say that in Paul’s worldview, they would be able to discriminate on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.

So, according to Paul, prejudice and discrimination is bad, but it would be allowed for private businesses. If he were to be elected as senator, it doesn’t appear he wouldn’t do anything in that capacity to stop it.

I don’t think these views make Rand Paul racist. Nor do I think that the Libertarian or small government movements are racist either. But their antipathy toward the federal government has blinded them so much that they would allow private businesses to discriminate without any legal recourse. If Paul and his supporters put a business’s desire to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability above the need for all citizens to be treated equally, then the movement is flawed.

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