Yes, Barry Goldwater and Rand Paul--Like Stephen Douglas and Roger Taney--Don't Think African-American People Are Fully Fellow Americans. Why Do You Ask?: Thursday Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Bang-Query-Bang-Query Weblogging
Jeff Weintraub sends us to Matt Yglesias:
I've been in a long and winding multi-front Twitter exchange over… my assertion that Paul's opinion that democracy "gave us Jim Crow" relates to his white supremacist inclinations… evidenced by, for example, his previous stated opposition to key provisions of the Civil Rights Act…. Charles C.W. Cook taking the view that Paul is right and the Civil Rights Act is bad while David Freddoso thinks that the Civil Rights Act is good but associating Civil Rights Act opponents with racism is slander. So to return to the beginning, there's no plausible meaning of "democracy" in which democracy gave us Jim Crow.
Even if you take "democracy" to relatively narrowly mean "majoritarian voting procedures" this doesn't work. In the period between the Civil War and World War II, African-Americans were a majority in quite a few southern states and would have been a large—and potentially decisive—voting bloc in the others. If, that is, they were allowed to vote… African-Americans were disenfranchised via a systematic campaign of terrorist violence… that gave us the Jim Crow social system. The point of the Civil Rights Act, including its provisions regulating private businesses, was to smash that social system. And it succeeded…. I think the Cook/Paul view that we should somehow regret this and pretend that everything would have worked itself out on its own is bizarre.
But it's not only bizarre. It seems to me that it necessarily has to stem from not taking the interests and history of African-Americans seriously to even be comprehensible. The "respectable" thing to say about people like Paul or the late Barry Goldwater, I suppose, is simply that they are ideologues rather than people driven by some kind of racial animosity. But I think it's selling free market ideology short to suggest that opposing government regulations meant to undo the outcome of a century long campaign of terrorist violence is just a straightforward consequence of a general support for free enterprise. You need to combine that ideology with a sincere indifference to black people's welfare… just as you need to combine Paul's ideology with genuine indifference to the history of race in America to reach Paul's conclusion about democracy's relationship to
And Jeff sends us to David Frum:
"How did the party that elected the first black U.S. senator, the party that elected the first 20 African-American congressmen, become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote? How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race?" Rand Paul posed that question in his speech last week at Howard University. Coming from him, it does seem a singularly naive question. He might have found an important piece of the answer at RonPaul.com, where he will find this statement by his own father on the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, explaining the Texas congressman’s continuing opposition to that law:
[T]he forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society....
Goldwater’s platform issues were anti-communism and anti-statism. Yet we make a mistake if we forget, or choose to forget, that he not only opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but also the Brown v. Board of Education decision and its subsequent enforcement by the Eisenhower administration….
It so happens that I am in agreement with the objectives of the Supreme Court as stated in the Brown decision. I believe that is both wise and just for negro children to attend the same schools as whites, and that to deny this opportunity carries with it strong implications of inferiority. I am not prepared, however, to impose that judgment of mine on the people of Mississippi or South Carolina, or to tell them what methods should be adopted and what pace should be kept in striving toward that goal. That is their business, not mine.
In assessing those words, begin with this one fact. Until the 1920s, both Mississippi and South Carolina had black majorities. In the year Goldwater published, blacks made up more than 40% of the populations of the two states. In what sense can we say that “the people” of a state have adopted a decision if the majority or near-majority of those people have by violence and threat of violence been excluded from participation in that decision? Goldwater probably never thought very hard about that question, but the logical implication of his words is that their author… did not consider black people as belonging to “the people.”
I think Frum is wrong: I think Goldwater thought about the question--and concluded that of course African-Americans did not fully belong to "the people".