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Rand Paul Anoints Himself Civil Rights Champion Of The World

Rand Paul’s bending over backwards ahead of 2016 to try to appear as though he can expand the GOP’s ever-shrinking base. He has even anointed himself something of a civil rights champion, saying yesterday that nobody in Congress is “doing more for minority rights” than he is. Unfortunately for Rand, facts still matter. And he has a long record that contradicts that preposterous claim.

Background:

Civil Rights Act

Paul Opposed The Part Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 That Banned Discrimination In Privately-Owned Businesses. According to Mother Jones, “In 2010, during an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal flagged by ThinkProgress, Paul made it very clear that he opposed a key part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned discrimination on the basis of race in ‘places of public accommodation,’ such as privately owned businesses that are open to the public.” [Mother Jones, 4/10/14]

Paul: “I Don’t Like The Idea Of Telling Private Business Owners—I Abhor Racism. I Think It’s A Bad Business Decision To Exclude Anybody From Your Restaurant—But, At The Same Time, I Do Believe In Private Ownership.” According to an excerpt from a 2010 interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, obtained via the Washington Post, “PAUL: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that. INTERVIEWER: But? PAUL: You had to ask me the ‘but.’ I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind.” [Washington Post, 4/29/13]

Paul In Response To Question Regarding His Support For The Civil Rights Act: “I Think A Lot Of Things Could Be Handled Locally.” According to NPR, “SIEGEL: But it’s been one of the major developments in American history in the course of your life. I mean, do you think the ‘64 Civil Rights Act or the ADA for that matter were just overreaches and that business shouldn’t be bothered by people with a basis in law to sue them for redress? D: Right. I think a lot of things could be handled locally. For example, I think that we should try to do everything we can to allow for people with disabilities and handicaps. You know, we do it in our office with wheelchair ramps and things like that. I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who’s handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator.” [NPR, 5/29/10]

  • Paul: “I Think When You Get To Solutions Like That, The More Local The Better, And The More Common Sense The Decisions Are, Rather Than Having A Federal Government Make Those Decisions.” According to NPR, “D: […] And I think when you get to solutions like that, the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions.” [NPR, 5/29/10]

Paul: “There’s 10 Different Titles, You Know, To The Civil Rights Act, And Nine Out Of 10 Deal With Public Institutions, And I’m Absolutely In Favor Of. One Deals With Private Institutions. And Had I Been Around, I Would Have Tried To Modify That.” According to an excerpt from an episode of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow show in May 2010, obtained via TIME, “‘There’s 10 different titles, you know, to the Civil Rights Act, and nine out of 10 deal with public institutions, and I’m absolutely in favor of. One deals with private institutions. And had I been around, I would have tried to modify that.’ —RandPaul on The Rachel Maddow Show” [TIME, 11/09/13]

Rand Paul On The Civil Rights Act: “The Point Is That It’s Not All About That. It’s Not All About Race Relations, It’s About Controlling Property, Ultimately.” In a 2012 CNN interview Rand Paul said, “There are things that people were concerned about that were unintended consequences, people who believe very fervently in people having equal protection under the law, and are against segregation and all that, still worried about the loss of property rights…for example, I can’t have a cigar bar any more, and you say, ‘well, that has nothing to do with race’ – the idea of whether or not you control your property, it also tells you, come in here I want to know the calorie count on that, and the calorie Nazis come in here and tell me […] The point is that it’s not all about that. It’s not all about race relations, it’s about controlling property, ultimately.” [CNN, 1/9/12]

Voting Rights Act

Rand Paul On The Voting Rights Act: “I Think We Really Have Gotten Beyond That Now… There Doesn’t Seem To Be Any Sort Of Systemic Problem.” Asked “The supreme court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, now some civil rights activists called this decision called this decision devastating… how do you view this ruling?” Rand responded, “I haven’t seen the decision yet, so I can’t give you a thorough answer other than to say, there was a time in this country where the color of your skin did need to factor in to voting. But I think we really have gotten beyond that now. We have an African-American president. African-Americans are voting at a higher percentage in the last election than whites. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of systemic problem like there was in the South with precluding blacks from voting. So we’re at a point in time in our history where the color of your skin should not be taken into account with voting” [Newsmax, 6/25/13]

Rand Paul On The Voting Rights Act: “I Don’t Think There Is Objective Evidence That We’re Precluding African-Americans From Voting Any Longer.” According to the Hill, “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that there was no “objective evidence” that black voters were being disenfranchised, as he entered a contentious battle over new voter identification laws in Southern states. ‘The interesting thing about voting patterns now is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government,’ Paul said at a forum in Louisville, according to WFPL-FM.  ‘So really, I don’t think there is objective evidence that we’re precluding African-Americans from voting any longer,’ he added.” [The Hill, 8/14/13]

Fair Housing Act

2002: Paul Wrote A Letter To The Editor Of The Bowling Green Daily News In Which He Discussed The Fair Housing Act And Discrimination By Public And Private Institutions. According to a 2002 letter written by Rand Paul to the editor of the Bowling Green Daily News, obtained via Politico, “A recent Daily News editorial supported the Federal Fair Housing Act. At first glance, who could object to preventing discrimination in housing? Most citizens would agree that it is wrong to deny taxpayer-financed, ‘public’ housing to anyone based on the color of their skin or the number of children in the household.” [Politico, 5/20/10]

  • Paul Supported Allowing Private Entities To Reject Individuals Based On Their Beliefs And Attributes.  According to a 2002 letter written by Rand Paul to the editor of the Bowling Green Daily News, obtained via Politico, “Should it be prohibited for private entities such as a church, bed and breakfast or retirement neighborhood that doesn’t want noisy children? Absolutely not.” [Politico, 5/20/10]
  • Paul: “Decisions Concerning Private Property And Associations Should In A Free Society Be Unhindered.” According to a 2002 letter written by Rand Paul to the editor of the Bowling Green Daily News, obtained via Politico, “Decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered.” [Politico, 5/20/10]
  • Paul: “As A Consequence, Some Associations Will Discriminate.” According to a 2002 letter written by Rand Paul to the editor of the Bowling Green Daily News, obtained via Politico, “As a consequence, some associations will discriminate.” [Politico, 5/20/10]