Nothing Short of Apauling: Tea Party Candidate Remarks Should Advance Rights Convo

Rand Paul

Whites Only Served Here; Blacks In the Balcony; African-Americans Need Not Apply 

These are the directives the newly primed GOP senatorial candidate from Kentucky, Rand Paul, believes should be permitted to businesses and corporations as part of their First Amendment, free speech rights.  In  interviews given to the Louisville Courier-Journal and NPR, Dr. Paul seemed to express an opposition to the tenet of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that mandated the desegregation of private businesses.  Pushed for clarification by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Paul supports a political ideology that would  condemn Gov. George Wallace for standing in defiant resistance to students of color entering the higher-learner halls of the University of Alabama, but would allow the Woolworths of the world to deny blacks a place at the lunch counter.  Outraged?  You should be.

Though it would be easy to assume Rand Paul is just another mad hatter at the tea party, he does provide interesting fodder for what I believe is an important political discussion on civil rights, all civil rights.  While many of the Progressive and Liberal establishment are publicly questioning Dr. Paul’s assertions, and some are actually calling on the candidate to suspend his campaign, where is the outrage from those same Democratic leaders and strategists, and yes, politicians, in regard to discrimination in the business sector as it pertains to sexual orientation? 

ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has been introduced in every Congress, with the exception of the 109th, since 1994.  The proposed legislation would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for civilian, nonreligious, employers with over 15 employees.  Currently, HR3017 and S1584 reside (languish) in various committees of the Democrat controlled 111th Congress.  President Obama has indicated he will sign the bill once it reaches his desk.  The Speaker has promised she will bring the bill to a House vote by the end of the year…an election year.    As for the Senate?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Rand Paul, in his antiquated political views of permitted racism, has provided an excellent opportunity for our Progressive and Conservative leaders to move the discussion of civil rights forward into our current century.  Publicly display your outrage over all forms of discrimination.  For our democratic representation to criticize one body of politic, and then deny the other, would be hypocritical at best.  When will we realize that subsidized hate should be an unwelcome guest at any Party?