I have been thinking a bit about that exchange on the Rachel Maddow Show between Rachel and Kentucky Senate Republican nominee, Rand Paul. The South gets scarier all the time, and that’s off a pretty scary base, no less.
Here’s what I said:
I was really uncomfortable about how Rand Paul was getting uncomfortable evading the question. Rachel Maddow just wanted Paul to say whether he would have sided with the North Carolina Woolworth owner who would not let the young people sit at the counter (because they were black).
And what Rand Paul did was dodge around the answer like a lawyer. This guy’s an eye doctor? He picked the wrong profession. Lawyer.
And so, through the ten-minute evasion, he basically said everything but the clear fact that he doesn’t think it should be illegal for what is a “public accommodation” to discriminate. “Public accommodation” is a legal term meaning a private business that holds itself out FOR business. You are a restaurant or hotel, etc. holding yourself out for business (not a private club), you must take all comers who can pay. That’s well settled American law now, and in fact, as a generality, it was in the common law of England for centuries.
How sad that we have to re-argue the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which itself took 100 years to finally come to life.
I’m firmly convinced that some Southerners really just want to overturn the results of the Civil War, if not refight it again. “The North won the War but the South won the Peace” is only supposed to be sad commentary on the Jim Crow era. It wasn’t the actual terms of the surrender at Appomattox.