Discrimination | Kentucky | News | Rachel Maddow | Rand Paul | Republican Party | Tea Party

Rand Paul on Private Business' Right to Discriminate Based on Race


Rachel Maddow talked to Kentucky primary winner Rand Paul last night about his views on the Civil Rights Act and Paul's belief that the part of it that deals with private businesses and their right to discriminate should be reconsidered. 

Said Paul: "I do defend and believe that the government should not be involved with institutional racism or discrimination or segregation in schools, busing, all those things. But had I been there, there would have been some discussion over one of the titles of the civil rights. And I think that's a valid point, and still a valid discussion, because the thing is, is if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about: do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well. Do you want to say that because people say abhorrent things -- you know, we still have this. We're having all this debate over hate speech and this and that. Can you have a newspaper and say abhorrent things? Can you march in a parade and believe in abhorrent things, you know?..."

A great interview from Maddow.

Said Paul to the Louisville Courier-Journal: "I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant—but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind."

In related news, CNN joked Tuesday night about Rand Paul celebrating his Tea Party win at a private country club, then defended it:

"King was the first to bring up Paul's choice of locale: 'I can't resist. This might come across as a bit of a cheap shot, but he's the tea party favorite or is he a country club Republican?' Amid some laughter, panel member Paul Begala scoffed: 'It's a cocktail party, not a tea party. It's the worst optics he could have.' When the yuks died down, King said that his team had looked it up, and 'the membership dues are not that obnoxious. It's like $7,500 a year. He is an eye doctor.'"

Watch all three clips, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Interview with the Louisville Courier Journal:


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. I saw this shit was unbelievable. But it wouldn't surprise me if Kentucky sent him to the U.S Congress. But I think the Democrat will win!

    Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2010 8:13:32 AM

  2. Paul's comments aren't all that shocking. Most libertarians I know would (or have) echo them. Sadder I think, is their delusion that the competitive market by itself will drive the racist company out of business.

    Posted by: Zach | May 20, 2010 8:53:56 AM

  3. @Zach

    "Sadder I think, is their delusion that the competitive market by itself will drive the racist company out of business"

    Whats so sad about that? Drive every racist company and business out of business.This aint the 60s anymore.And if you wanna talk about something being sad,lets talk about how eager a large number of WHITE people are to discriminate against brown,black,and yellow people.Thats what is sad and pathetic might I add.

    Posted by: Rocky | May 20, 2010 9:02:44 AM

  4. When I saw this story earlier this morning, I thought, "Paul Rudd, how could you?"

    Then I sipped my coffee, read it a little bit closer, and realized all is well with the world. My secret husband is not a racist Teabagging douchecanoe.

    Posted by: crispy | May 20, 2010 9:13:23 AM

  5. "Whats so sad about that? Drive every racist company and business out of business."

    I'm saying it's sad because libertarians are deluded enough to think that if they had their way and allowed businesses to discriminate, said businesses would not automatically go bankrupt, just because they banned minorities. I'm sure many many businesses would continue prosper if they decided to outright ban racial/ethnic/sexual/religious minorities.

    Posted by: Zach | May 20, 2010 9:16:42 AM

  6. Bringing black people over here was the biggest mistake. White people could have done all the labor themselves.

    The reality is market conditions force many companies to hire illegal immigrants because they can pay them less than American citizens. When these illegal immigrants become legal the companies don't want them. Americans will be stuck with what business owners decided would be the EASIEST way to make a profit just like with slavery and we will have to deal with the social conditions it caused.

    Posted by: Bill | May 20, 2010 9:18:33 AM

  7. If you thought the "conservative" movement was bad --- wait until will live through the "libertarian" movement.

    This idiot Christianist wants to shut down the Dept of Education ... you know forcing that evolution stuff is BAD... at least to his audience.

    IF you are not listening to PRISONPLANET.COM / Alex Jones you are uniformed to the mass propoganda being funneled by WHOEVER is backing this movement.

    Alex Jones repeatedly lays ALL the world's troubles at the feet of GAY ELITISTS -- you know those perverted GAYS PEDOS.

    Seriously folks.

    Libertarians BELIEVE in ANARCHY so they can best benefit themselves.

    Rand Paul is twisted and would LOVE to gain power by discriminating against minority groups --- esp gay people.

    Posted by: Walter | May 20, 2010 9:23:31 AM

  8. Zach - sadly I do not think most towleroad readers care --- they too tend to be elitists who celebrate their FASHION SUPERIORITY (LOL) and body fascism.

    I think we have just as many racist elitist gay REPUBLICAN / LIBERTARIANS these days.

    Set people "Free" and they sell out everyone else.

    Posted by: tony | May 20, 2010 9:26:47 AM

  9. Anyone else sick of rich TV News Anchors who think a $7500 Country Club membership is common place ??

    Posted by: tony | May 20, 2010 9:28:15 AM

  10. Like his father, Rand Paul is an unflicting champion of individual liberty -- for all people, including LGBT people. Our history is largely one of anti-gay majorities using government to kill, imprison, assault, and shame us. Championing limited government and individual liberty -- for all people regardless of with whom they choose to associate or trade -- is far more beneficial to us than to the bigots who would exclude us from their private, voluntary activities. Gays should rally behind Paul and people like him.

    Posted by: Kelly | May 20, 2010 9:40:41 AM

  11. "Gays should rally behind Paul and people like him."

    Right! Because any candidate endorsed by both James Dobson and Sarah Palin has to be good for the gays.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 20, 2010 10:23:04 AM

  12. Kelly, please put down the bong. The Pauls are not pro-gay in the least, and anyone who has done the slightest bit of research knows that. They would also know that Rand Paul opposes abortion rights, even in cases of rape and incest, and that he is for throwing out the Americans With Disabilities Act. Sadly, most of their followers haven't done much research, they just hear "No taxes! Legal pot! Sign me up!" Idiots.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | May 20, 2010 10:42:28 AM

  13. Hello all your lovely racial minority members that voted against Gay rights! Welcome to the back of the bus! Didn't think it would affect you huh?

    Posted by: Windy | May 20, 2010 10:44:47 AM

  14. Kelly -- what world do you live in? Serious question. Do you live on THIS planet?

    Posted by: Gregoire | May 20, 2010 10:45:30 AM

  15. His logic is perfectly clear. If a business is private then if they don't want left handed people in their business then they should have the right to exclude left handed people. Probably not a very good business plan as the rest of society would likely not do business with them. We have a golf club here in Broward County that still excludes woman. They can't even go to the bar. Personally, I think that is a bit weird. If a company thought they could do business with whites only they should have the right to do that; I am betting that the population of whites that would visit them wouldn't be robust enough to keep their business around long.

    We are beyond laws on discrimination, abused workers etc. They are no longer as important as they were in the early and middle part of the 20th century. Public sentiment and the black stain to a companies name for abhorrent behavior is far more immediate and powerful in our world of instantaneous information dissemination. Just look at the number of companies that recognize Partner benefits for the GLBT community. Laws didn't mandate it; public sentiment did. I would like to see the power of public sentiment drive more changes in corporate behavior and enable fewer laws. Creating laws should be our last resort.

    Posted by: Jason | May 20, 2010 10:52:18 AM

  16. "Just look at the number of companies that recognize Partner benefits for the GLBT community. Laws didn't mandate it; public sentiment did. I would like to see the power of public sentiment drive more changes in corporate behavior and enable fewer laws. Creating laws should be our last resort."

    So the majority should determine the civil rights?

    Posted by: Windy | May 20, 2010 11:04:36 AM

  17. He's a libertarian. It's not surprising.

    Posted by: Jordan | May 20, 2010 11:23:49 AM

  18. Silly ol' bigots. Will Tea Baggers never change?

    Posted by: KFLO | May 20, 2010 11:27:10 AM

  19. Rachel's interview was very enlightening. He wouldn't come out and flat out say yes or no, but I think it is VERY clear that Paul supports a private business owners' right to say, literally, "No blacks allowed" if he so chooses, even if Paul himself thinks that would be abhorrent. Wow. Welcome to the hypothetical world of 1955, a "simpler" time that Tea Baggers want to take us back to.

    Posted by: Mike | May 20, 2010 11:29:41 AM

  20. Thank GOD for the Rachel Maddows of the world. I especially enjoyed her quip, "That's like saying you're against high cholesterol but pro french fries." Ha!

    This particular Paul continuously obfuscates and consistently avoids the fact that even though he can say "conflation" and use it defensively in a sentence, he has no idea what it means. The persistent quasi-syllogistic argument he proposed was laughable. Private business ownership versus racism and gun control? What a fucktard. He should be tarred and feathered for promoting such dumbfuckery.

    No Kelly, gays should NOT rally behind Rand Paul and people like him. I would like to keep my comment as civil as possible so, based on your comment, it appears you may require a course in logic and a greater understanding of the fallacies of ambiguity.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | May 20, 2010 11:34:11 AM

  21. correction: "...pro fried cheese." ;)

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | May 20, 2010 11:34:57 AM

  22. And yet, it is only conservative whites who seem all too eager to scrap the Civil Rights Act. It is only white owned businesses who are salivating at the prospect of being able to legally discriminate again. If there's simply no need for civil rights legislation, then I wonder why it is this particular constituency who are the progenitors of the zeal for repeal.

    Could it be because they have the most to gain from rolling back civil rights and going back to the pre-1960s framework?

    I cannot imagine a scenario where diners, hardware stores, and gas stations in Kentucky would go out of business en masse because of that "white only" sign in the window. The state is 91% white and has a long history of opposing federal equality initiatives. So what it comes down to is the majority telling the minority to trust that they will do the right thing. Even though they have demonstrated on countless occasions that they are untrustworthy.

    Thank you so much for that offer.

    But I think I will keep my current insurance policy.

    Posted by: John | May 20, 2010 11:52:54 AM

  23. Kelly - not sure how stupid you think I am.

    You want me to get behind someone who wants it to be legal in America to discriminate against someone on race - you know he also wants it to be legal to fire someone if they are gay right ?

    That said -- I am pretty sure how stupid and/or selfish you are.

    Society needs regulation and rules.
    Ours are some of the best in the world and getting better all the time.

    If you want anarchy - where racism and straight supremacy are allowed --- try a Muslim Theocracy. However you better not be a Christian. Or do you support their right to keep YOU down. I am sure you do.

    Posted by: tony | May 20, 2010 12:03:35 PM

  24. Hey WINDY --- public sentiment keeps it LEGAL to fire anyone who admits they are gay in many states .... so gay people in those states should suffer until the ignorant Christianists there have a change of heart??

    Sorry I SUPPORT FEDERALISM and LAWS to protect minorities.

    I WONDER why you do not ??

    Posted by: tony | May 20, 2010 12:06:02 PM

  25. "Well, it's interesting..." that is how Rand Paul starts every answer. No sir, it's not interesting. It's disgusting. Here's the problem with liberatarians and the "Don't Tread On Me" philosophy...it's not ALL ABOUT YOU. The only way to make it ALL ABOUT YOU is to exclude other people whom you do not wish to associate with. And to believe that private business should be able to exclude certain groups because they do not want to associate with them and that the free enterprise system will somehow magically put these private businesses out of business is absurd. In a predominately white town, if a few businesses exclude black patrons, they may not be put out of business but segregate people in this country.

    We have to figure out as a country who we are. What we believe in. How we accomodate all different people. I wonder how Dr. Paul would feel if his son were turned away from a private little league because he was white? Think he might have a problem with it? Think he might be in someone's face saying, "It's interesting..."

    It's neither interesting or right. It's neither just nor moral. And in a country where "me first" is an anthem, it doesn't work. You may not be able to chance people's minds about equality but you can certainly not bow to narrow-mindedness and you can prevent them from segregating by preventing them from getting a license to operate.

    Posted by: BART | May 20, 2010 12:25:39 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Malawi Gay Couple Sentenced to Maximum 14 Years in Prison, Hard Labor, for Holding Public Engagement Ceremony« «