“I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form,” he responded. “I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific ‘gotcha’ on this, but asking the question: What about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking? . . . I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things freedom requires.”
Now Mr. Paul and conservatives say the liberals are beating up on him. That this issue is a red herring. But it isn't one. This shows how Mr. Paul views what government can and cannot do. And Mr. Paul believes government cannot step in to prevent discrimination. The question is what else does Mr. Paul believe the government can and cannot do (like his reaction to Obama about BP). And how would that impact people. And that IS an issue that has to be discussed.
Here's a sampling of the reaction to his comments:
Joe Scarborough, the former GOP congressman, issued this warning on his MSNBC show: “Rand Paul has until the end of the day to retract those statements and to say he was wrong there and to say he was wrong when he spoke to the editorial board in Louisville or else he’s going to have a blood bath and I don’t think he’ll recover.”
And by the way, it was back on April 25 that a Courier-Journal editorial said that Paul “holds an unacceptable view of civil rights, saying that while the federal government can enforce integration of government jobs and facilities, private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, or gays, or any other minority group.” So how come, with the millions of words lavished on this race, the national press barely mentioned this?
“But what about redlining? Does Paul know anything about blockbusting? Does he think banks should be able to have a policy of not lending to black businesses? Does he think real-estate agents should be able to discriminate? Does he think private homeowner groups should be able to band together and keep out blacks? Jews? Gays? Latinos?