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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Exempt Private Businesses from Civil Rights Laws?

Hecklers pour sugar, condiments, and water over sit-in protesters at a lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi, 1963.  Notice that the protesters are practicing nonviolent resistance, as Dr. King advocated.

Jeezus.  People who didn't pass high school American History really should not be allowed to run for public office.  Notice how this fuckweasel consistently avoids answering Rachel's direct questions about his real view on segregation:

What I Say:  Boys, I was there in the segregated South, and when I close my eyes I can see it all again just plain as day.  Hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, cafes, railroad stations, bus stations, gas stations, barrooms - all those private businesses were strictly segregated, often with separate restrooms for "Colored" and "White" and separate entrances - or, as in the case of hotels and motels, including the major chains like Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson's, simply did not take any black customers at all. 

I well recall that every place that served food - even down to the corner hot-dog stand or ice-cream parlor - had a sign prominently displayed behind the counter: 

We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone

As a kid, waiting to be served or to pay for my hamburger, I often studied that sign and pondered what it meant.  Now I know:  "We Don't Serve Blacks" is the translation.

True, it was all required by law; but that law was the express will of the vast, overwhelming majority of white citizens of the South, too.  Even if the segregation laws had all been rescinded, I promise you that all those businesses would have kept the signs and policies in place - as a "business necessity," because white people, like my own family, I am sad to say, simply would not have patronized them otherwise - unless there was a positive law forbidding private businesses from discriminating, which is part of what the Civil Rights Act achieved.

And that is the America that dumbshit racist assholes like Rand Paul want to take us back to.  No thank you.  Here's a couple of clips to give you a little hint of what life was like under the segregation regime - imposed not arbitrarily by "big government," but directly at the hands of the white majority:


M. Pierre said...

i too can well remember those signs, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. and i can proudly remember that as a child, we as a southern white family, sat down in a restaurant in Louisiana, and my parents took a look at the sign, my mother read it aloud..quite loud. and they announced that we would would not be eating here. i didn't even know what was going on until we got into the car and my mother explained it to us.

coolarmydude said...

Dr. Paul is trying to have it both ways. Listen around the 9 minute mark. He says that "...approve of racism, and I don't in any form or fashion." But yet, he says that it is a violation of free speech for businesses and private clubs to not be able to choose to be racist. WTH! Yes, people have the right to choose to be racist, and that is their problem. But the moment someone acts racist, it's everyone's problem because each of our rights end where the next person's rights begin. I'm so glad Rand Paul won the primary so that the Tea Party can be ashamed of who is leading them. And if they're not, they will lose badly at the polls.

Russ Manley said...

I *hope* they lose at the polls, bud. But like Rachel said, midterm elections always favor the party out of power . . . and the racist teabaggers, not to mention Fox News, are working night and day to whip the ignorant into a frenzy. We'll see what happens in November, but it probly won't be pretty.

tomtom said...

I remember going to Mississippi with southern friend of mine to visit his ex-lover's mother. We ate at this incredibly great "lazy susan" restaurant with greatr southern food. A "colored" woman kept the food coming and smiled a lot as we enjoyed our meal. As we left to pay the nice white lady was sweetly smiling at us and I noticed a little sign saying "club members only."
I asked if it was OK for us to have eaten there beause we weren't club members.
Her face went dark.
"It's for a reasons she snapped tersely...So we don't have THAT problem."
My southern friend was blushing because I was from the North and didn't know what she meant.
She meant that was their way of handling the civil rights law (this was in 1975 already!)

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