Ron Paul And The Civil Rights Movement

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A number of Ron Paul supporters are taking particular umbrage with the ‘racially offensive’ aspect of my latest video, implying that Ron Paul’s view on race, civil rights, and the civil war are something cooked up by the mainstream media and me.

Well, no – not at all. In fact, I find Paul’s position very un-libertarian. I found a great article that sums up a lot of points on this topic very well.

Talkin’ crazy, many (if not most) white libertarians act as if there was no conflict before the Civil Rights Act. Did the “racial strife” & “racial balkanization” (Rep. Paul’s words) caused by denial of freedom under Jim Crow mean nothing? If we met these white libertarians who slam the Civil Rights Act, we would ask: what about blacks’ individual freedom? Those of whites who wanted to associate with blacks? Here we have Jim Crow’s massive human rights violations – the state as evil oppressor, tyranny running rampant in the South – and yet you hypocritically capitulate and appease. Why?

We would ask why black taxpayers should’ve paid for public facilities or government activities which we couldn’t access. Why blatant violation of voting rights – taxation without representation – was OK, under “states’ rights”. Why it was OK for states to outlaw boycotts and civil rights groups like the NAACP, thus violating freedom of peaceful assembly. Or outlawing blacks’ freedom to launch a privately-funded bus boycott, when Montgomery tried to ban cab drivers who wanted to lower their fares for the boycotters. Or measures to prevent insurance companies from underwriting an alternative transport system.

Jim Crow violated the 1st Amendment (freedom of association, freedom of speech), 14th Amendment (equal protection) and 15th Amendment (voting rights). Jim Crow also empowered states to interfere with the rights of Southern whites who wanted to open their businesses, etc. to blacks. many tried to do so and met state and private repercussions. Is this not initiation of force by the state, abuse of power? Or is there an exemption when it happens to black folks? The Act, through the pre-existing interstate commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution, enforced laws already on the books.

The arguments of many white libertarians rings quite hollow to those of us whose relatives actually experienced Jim Crow. Physical assault and violated private property rights (and local government wouldn’t enforce the law), and yet what do many white libertarians have to say here but “too bad”? Or did “states’ rights” override our families’ individual freedom and private property rights because of our race and because federal government didn’t do it?

The Libertarian Case For the Civil Rights Act of 1964

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