| July 14, 2011 | 0 Comments

While on his sadly successful campaign trail for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, Rand Paul stated that he is against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and stated that he would like to see it repealed. He has since walked those comments back stating that public institutions should be required to service all people, but private businesses should be able to discriminate however they deem fit. I’m sure he realizes that this would extend to private companies going back to hiring whites only to fit the “corporate culture” (their new term for justifying a mostly white workforce). This would have grave implications for the nation if the Act were repealed. Fortunately, it probably won’t be, even though I fear what might happen if more GOP representatives and Senators get their way. It’s not a simple enough solution to stop patronizing those businesses if the Act is no longer in effect. The Act being repealed would allow for businesses to operate in any way they see fit and if enough of them do business in such an unethical way, there is nothing preventing them from operating. Some of them will be needed to live life. This free market idea doesn’t always work in reality.

That was not the point of this blog post.

I was watching The Curious Case of Curt Flood on HBO tonight. It’s an interesting documentary on the black baseball player who had a very interesting life (full of many ups and downs) and challenged baseball’s reserve clause. He gave a lot of his career in fighting the clause and lost at the Supreme Court. The clause was eventually rendered inert due to arbitration with two other players 6 years later, and Flood’s case really had no bearing on that decision. However, he was instrumental in keeping the story out there.

They showed how it was when he first got recruited to play baseball for the Cincinnati Redlegs minor league. The part that made me angry was how he was a fully recruited player and tried to gain access to the hotel where the team was staying. Someone came and called for a cab to take him to where the black players were staying. Of course these were sub-par accommodations. His own mother, when she was younger and before she had a family, fought a white woman who asked her, “Can you tell me where I can get a nigger bitch to clean my house?” She replied, “I don’t know any nigger bitches who can clean your house.” The white woman slapped her and his mother slapped back. They fought and his mother had to flee the town due to threats of lynching. She wound up in Oakland, California, where she started a family.

I get pissed off when I watch stuff like that. Just knowing that people were willing to ask black people stupid questions like that; that people were willing to make you stay in sub-par accommodations to not “dirty” white people’s belongings or existences; that people were willing to turn on fire hoses on people who just wanted to vote or eat at a lunch counter without being told to either leave or enter through the back just makes me mad.

Then you have people who were courageous enough to draft and push for approval of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Thank you to most of the Northern Democrats, Northern Republicans, and the pathetic few Southern Democrats who voted for passage. Thank you, LBJ, for signing it into law.

After them you have people like Rand Paul who speak from their privileged lives and see the world operating in a very different way than it does for minorities. He speaks and says things like he would be in favor of repealing the Act that made it illegal for Curtis Flood’s mother to be slapped after standing up for herself. This law made it impossible to have racially segregated hotels. This law set right something in this country that was wrong for so long. For him to be okay with that law being repealed, which would allow racial segregation and discrimination to be legally sanctioned in this country again, makes me wonder about his fitness for Senate. As a Senator he is supposed to do what is best for the country and his state overall. Comments like these make me seriously doubt his intentions and fitness for office.

Bottom line: anyone who is in favor of the repeal of this act (like Rand Paul) is not thinking things through clearly. You may even be a racist or just are okay doing racist things. I would encourage you, as much as you can, to put yourself into the shoes of those for whom the Act benefits. Once you do that wake up and realize that it benefits all Americans. To repeal it or return to the days of such gross injustice is fiercely anti-American. If you agree with the idea of repeal or returning to those days, you are fiercely anti-American. I am seeing something, so I am saying something. Excuse me while I pick up this phone to call DHS on you for treason.

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