June 4, 2010
Rand Paul and the Freedom of Association
By Perry Willis

I had the following letter printed in the Arizona Daily Star this morning:

I don't want to eat at any restaurant owned by a bigot. I want to punish bigots by denying them my business. Alas, the section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act objected to by Rand Paul prohibits me from knowing who the bigots are.

Rand Paul is correct about the importance of the freedom of association, and I regret that the establishment media has intimidated him into silence. I wish he would defend his position.

True liberals should defend a libertarian view of freedom of association for the same reason that the ACLU defended the free expression rights of the Nazis and the Klan.

Allow bigotry to be visible so that we can shun it. I want to be able to punish bigotry by denying it my economic sustenance, but the illiberal state prohibits this from happening.

I wish I had added that I, like Rand Paul, support the rest of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because it prohibited state enforced segregation. That was the real problem, not bigotry manifested by individual business owners. For those interested in this subject I highly recommend this book: "The Strange Career of Jim Crow" by C. Vann Woodward


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