Monday, January 2, 2012

Ron Paul and Civil Rights

Ron Paul's position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is ahistorical, misguided, and sanitizes the nature of the southern social system that the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, helped uproot. Black people in the South were not only segregated, they were denied the equal protection of the law because they could not vote and serve on juries The Constitution and the Bill of Rights did not apply. Black people lacked freedom of speech press and assembly, had their land and property repeatedly seized, and had their personal rights violated not only by authorities, by by invidiual whites who knew that they could not seek redress in the courts. This took the form of rape and sexual harassment, beatings, and occasionally murder. To use a metaphor libertarians like to employ, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 took the boot of the white population of the South off the neck of the black population of that region. It is one example of how government can liberate people who have been denied rights and subject to institutionalized humiliation through a poisonous combination of volunary action and armed force.

However, we live in a different world right now. While Ron Paul is wrong, disatrously wrong, on his interpretation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he is right that the current face of racism is much more about drug enforcement, unjust imprisonment, and racial profiling by law enforcement than it is by the actions of white racists.:

Let's defend the memory and the lasting impactf the Civil Rights movements greatest victories, but less make sure we are not looking to old solutions to solve new problems,


Sr. Cade said...


Are you tweeting yet?

Mark Naison said...

yes. i do tweet. i sent this piece out on twitter though I don't really check other people's tweets!