Tuesday, May 25, 2010

John Stossel Calls for a Repeal of the Civil Rights Act

Appearing on Fox News, John Stossel, the Anchor of "Stossel" on FBN, defended Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul and stated that private businesses "should have the right to be racist". Adopting a rigid libertarian position, John Stossel asserted that it is time to repeal the Civil Rights Act. Stossel argued that the free market would eventually cause businesses to end discriminatory practices.

As a civil rights attorney, I have witnessed many businesses engage discriminatory conduct that was clearly contrary to their economic interests. Often, racism trumps economics. Strong laws are necessary to end discrimination.

Stossel suggests that African Americans should simply suffer through humiliating and degrading second class treatment until the market forces correct the problem. If this Nation embraced Stossel's view, African Americans would not be able to go to many restaurants, hotels and other places of public accommodations. We would be forced to sit, eat and live in the colored sections only.

Although I do not think that Stossel should be fired, his views should be challenged. Political candidates and parties sharing his views, such as Rand Paul and the Tea Party, must be defeated.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul: Private Businesses Should Have the Right to Discriminate

On the Rachel Maddow Show, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul repeatedly stated that he opposes racial discrimination. He voiced support for a ban against discrimination in the public sector. However, stressing the importance of First Amendment rights, Mr. Paul suggested that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on race.

A large segment of discrimination occurred and continues to occur in the private sector. If civil rights legislation did not regulate the private sector, Jim Crow segregation would continue to exist. Businesses would be able to refuse to hire and/or promote African Americans and other minorities. Restaurants, movie theatres, swimming pools, country clubs, private schools and other businesses would be allowed to bar African Americans.

To quell the controversy, Mr. Paul recently issued the following statement. "I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964." That statement does not absolve him. It is outrageous that the Republican Party would nominate such an extremist.