I’ve received a number of responses regarding my frank statements on Ron Paul and racial tension pre-Civil Rights Act. Therefore, I’d like to briefly explain my position further.
Ron Paul fervently resists government coercion. Defending liberty, which includes maintaining a strict adherence to defending property rights, define the Congressman because sacrificing a few in the name of liberty for all is a worthy end result. On the matter of the Civil Rights Movement, I think this is preposterous.
What bothers me the most about Ron Paul’s defense of liberty regarding the Civil Rights Act is that he glazes over the significance of the social and political culture at the time. However, I don’t think he’s a stupid man by any means. He is well educated and fully aware of the history of racial discrimination and the Civil Rights Movement. He is fully aware that allowing business owners to do whatever they wanted in their businesses during this period in history meant some business owners would deny service to individuals because of the color of their skin. He is fully aware that some business owners would take significant measures to remove black people from their businesses.
When pictures pass around the press of children having acid poured in their pool water, it is not just those black children who are being harmed. All black Americans were at the helm of potentially injurious acts of discrimination. This photo illustrates that real, violent threat.
Tell me: how does that make black Americans free? In that damning culture - a culture that accepted violent tactics in order to establish white supremacy - how does that ensure liberty for all? It ensures that some white people would use their rights as business owners to strip the souls out of black people.
And before you claim my sentiment is too heavy-handed, consider the photo above. Racial tension was so destructive that a man was willing to pour acid on children. But this should be no surprise to you. See: the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. See: the disfigurement, torture and hanging of 17-year-old Jesse Washington.
When asked to confirm that he is fine with business owners refusing to serve black people, Ron Paul has responded by saying, “That’s ancient history. That’s over and done." There is nothing ancient about events that took place less than 50 years ago. What the Congressman does not understand is that this period in history is "over and done" because of significant measures like the civil rights legislation.
[Photo: Black children integrate the swimming pool of the Monson Motel in June 1964. To force them out, the owner pours acid into the water. Credit: Civil Rights Movement Veterans]