Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm sorry, but Ron Paul isn't just racist...he's also not smart in the brain.

Okay, that's a bit redundant. Anyway, here's an exchange he had with Chris Matthews back in May 2011, and which can be found here on Google quotes. In it, Ron Paul applies his special brand of logic to explain why racism really is okay.
  • Chris Matthews: Let me ask you this: the '64 civil rights bill. Do you think a [em]ployer, a guy runs his shop down in Texas has a right to say, "If you're black, you don't come in my store". That was the libertarian right before '64. Was it the balanced society?
  • Ron Paul: I believe that property rights should be protected. Your right to be on TV is protected by property rights because somebody owns that station. I can't walk into your station. So right of freedom of speech is protected by property. The right of your church is protected by property. So people should honor and protect it. This gimmick, Chris, it's off the wall when you say I'm for property rights and states' rights, therefore I'm a racist. I mean that's just outlandish. Wait, Chris. Wait, Chris. People who say that if the law was there and you could do that, who's going to do it? What idiot would do that?
  • Chris Matthews: Everybody in the South. I saw these signs driving through the South in college. Of course they did it. You remember them doing it.
  • Ron Paul: Yeah, I but also know that the Jim Crow laws were illegal and we got rid of them under that same law, and that's all good. Government —
  • Chris Matthews: But you would've voted against that law.
  • Ron Paul: Pardon me?
  • Chris Matthews: You would've voted against that law. You wouldn't have voted for the '64 civil rights bill.
  • Ron Paul: Yes, but not in — I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.
  • Chris Matthews: But you would have voted for the — you know you — oh, come on. Honestly, Congressman, you were not for the '64 civil rights bill.
  • Ron Paul: Because — because of the property rights element, not because it got rid of the Jim Crow law.
  • Chris Matthews: Let me ask you this: I once went to Laundromat when I was at a Peace Corps training in Baker, Louisiana. A Laundromat had this sign on in glaze: "Whites only on the Laundromat", just to use the Laundromat machines. This was a local shop saying no blacks allowed. You say that should be legal?
  • Ron Paul: That's — that's ancient history. That's ancient history. That's over and done with.
Filed under: Um, what planet are you on? Chris Matthews Interviews My Favorite Martian
So this guy walks into a TV Studio...
First, preventing someone from coming into your store because of the color of their skin is not logically the same as preventing someone from coming into a TV studio. The two have nothing to do with one another. Not even remotely; on a number of levels. That this has to be explained is incredibly painful and sad to me, because it means that a LOT of people in this country have no basic tools for critical thinking.

Logic? We don't need no stinkin' logic.
For one thing, a TV studio is not a "place of business"--it's not a publicly accessible retail business where people are free to come in and shop. It's not a retail space. It's like any building that has a very specific--read: non-retail, publicly accessible place of business. It has a very specific purpose--to record TV shows. Just like an operating room has a very specific purpose--that's not publicly accessible--to perform surgery. Unlike, say stores or laundromats, which provide goods and services, these buildings are intended for a very specific audience, regardless of race. If, in fact, someone who worked at one of these places was refused entry because of their skin color, that would also be wrong.  The analogy is completely specious. Also, if one isn't allowed to "walk into" the station, it wouldn't be because of one's skin color, which is the main point, and the reason for the Civil Rights Act in the first place. Paul says that people have the right to prevent people from going to their place of business for whatever reason and 'we can't assume we know that it's because of racism." But, of course, that's a convenient argument, when the *only* reason to prevent someone from patronizing a place of business based on the color of their skin has to do with racism.

Really? I mean, really?
Sadly, Chris Matthews didn't have the polemical chops to clearly undo Paul's maddening "logic." And even Ron Paul himself loses his argument at the end of the exchange when asked the laundromat question by dismissing it as "ancient history." Um, well, no, again, wrong strange little martian man. First, it's far from ancient, and it comprises a HUGE part of this country's ignominious history. He would like for it to be ancient history. Second, it's clearly not "over and done with," because if he were in power, he would do what he could to rescind its provisions. And it's not "over and done with" for the  folks who love Ron Paul over at Stormfront, the neo-fascist white supremacists. That's because "private property" and fearful, angry hatred of "those who don't look like us," in Ron Paul's skewed vision of reality, is more important than people's basic rights--as we, as a people, have defined them. 

One Last Thing...
The government does stupid things. Why? Not because it's the government. It's because it's made up of people. Flawed, damaged, misguided human beings who develop and implement stupid policies. But it also does good things too--like eliminate the Jim Crow laws. But he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act, just not, what, the parts that eliminated the Jim Crow laws? Um, yeah. And to suggest that we enable people to exercise racism as a basic right is, simply put, backwards thinking.

One last thing: Paul defends himself as not being racist because he respected Rosa Parks and MLK:
"I’m not a racist. As a matter of fact, Rosa Parks is one of my heroes, Martin Luther King is a hero — because they practiced the libertarian principle of civil disobedience, nonviolence."
Yeah, they were heroic not because they were standing up the rights of a minority that had been systematically subjugated by an aggressively unjust society. No, no, nothing like that. They were his heroes because they "practiced" libertarian principles. Ugh. Just because one believes that they're not a racist doesn't mean that they're not. Again, that's not how logic works. If your actions are racist, regardless of your "belief," then you're a racist. Most members of Stormfront probably believe that they're not violently stupid fuckheads. That doesn't mean that they're not.

One more last thing: How is that Ron Paul can call for protection of peoples' "right" from government intercession to prevent people of color from patronizing their stores, but he has no problem with the government interceding when it comes to a woman's choice about her body? Logical much? Not so much.
It don't matter if you're black or white. (But if you're black, according to
Ron Paul, you shouldn't be allowed to shop wherever you want.)

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