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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rand Paul's blah blah

Let me get this straight--Republican senatorial nominee Rand Paul of Kentucky says that, based on his libertarian principles, it was wrong (even unlawful?) for the Civil Rights Act of 1963 to outlaw racial discrimination of private businesses, like restaurants, clubs, stores, etc. But, after 24 hours of catching major flak once his position went viral, he did some serious backpedaling and said he was in favor of enforcing the existing law should he be elected. First off, what about living by your principles, public opinion be damned? I guess getting elected trumps principle.

But secondly, and more importantly, let's judge the principle by imagining an alternate history had that principle held sway. Had Rand Paul's position been the law of the land, I wonder when racial discrimination of privately-owned businesses would have curtailed and eventually ended? When the old owner or management died out or retired and a newer, more "racially progressive" generation took over? When the white clientele became more accepting of shopping or eating with blacks? When the blacks were deemed "acceptable" as a result of acting more white? Never?

It seems to me a lot easier for one in the position of privilege--namely, a white male, who has rarely if ever experienced discrimination, to hold to such "principles" leaving it to others with less privileged status to bear the brunt of the resulting repercussions. Had he ever been on the receiving end of having a door shut in his face, left out in the cold looking in, I reckon his high and mighty "principles" might give way to the need to "let justice flow down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream." Just my opinion.

Monday, May 3, 2010

47 Years Ago Today a Nation Was Horrified (or at least a PART of it was)

As African American children ages 6-18 were prevented, by fire hoses and police dogs, from marching to protest segregation in Birmingham, AL. Bull Conner had already filled the jails the previous day--May 2, 1963. On May 3, 1963 the evils of racism and Jim Crow crept into the living rooms of whites throughout America and the world in a way in had not before. And it was a catalyst for long-fought-for change.