A co-worker the other day asked me about Rand Paul and the "racist" comments he made regarding public/private property. For those of you who don't know, Rand Paul is running for a senate seat in Kentucky and a week ago he won the republican primary in a landslide. He is the son of Congressmen Ron Paul (TX), who I have cited in various posts, here, and here.
Immediately after Rand Paul's somewhat surprising victory the other day, the intellectually dishonest media began lambasting him as a racist based on his response during an interview about the civil rights movement. Basically, he said that he supported the majority of the civil rights legislation, but that the laws concerning private property, ie, resturants, bars, pool halls, etc are unjust. A business owner should have the right to discriminate if he or she wants to. As Paul says in the interview, "racism is terrible and always a bad business decision, but the owner the private property should be able to make that decision."
Racism is morally corrupt and ignorant and indeed a poor business decision, but the owner of private property has the right to discriminate if they want to. Even if it is a "public" place like a cafe, the fact of the matter is the owner of the property has the right to be a fool and discriminate based on race, sex, age, height, the car you drive, and so on and so forth. Should a there be a law mandating who you let in your home? As soon as we start talking about something like water fountains, public buses and schools, who are all funded with taxpayer dollars and therefore truly public property, then their MUST be laws preventing discrimination. So Rand Paul is correct on this subject the attacks against him are unfounded.
I only wish Rand could apply these same logical libertarian principals to other subjects, like foreign policy. This is a crucial fork in the intellectual road where he and his father go their own ways. Ron Paul maintains that foreign military engagements are bad, where his son seems to encourage the ever hawkish "strong national defense," which means at its core that war is good and America needs to be the COP of the world. He is not the consistent libertarian that I wish he could be, but I certainly maintain that he was correct about a private business owner right to discriminate.
Check out a clip of the story here and watch Stossel defend this right.