This blog on Texas education contains posts on accountability, testing, postsecondary educational attainment, dropouts, bilingual education, immigration, school finance, environmental issues, and Ethnic Studies at state and national levels. I am also covering COVID in my attempt to get the right information into the right hands.
Rand Paul's Confederacy Scandal Is Not an Anomaly -- Libertarianism Papers Over Deep Racism in America
July 11, 2013 |
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul the guy who questioned the wisdom of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 when he first ran for office, finds himself at
the center of yet another race related controversy this week.
Tuesday, the Washington Free Beacon published an article titled “Rebel
Yell” detailing the previous career of Paul’s right-hand man co-author
Paul is now trying to disassociate himself from Hunter, but that will
be a difficult task. The “Southern Avenger” isn’t just some random
Senate staffer: he’s a close associate of Paul and helped him write his
first book back in 2010.
It now looks like Senator Paul
is continuing in a great family tradition. Even though he denies
responsibility, his father Ron published a series of racist newsletters
during a1996 Congressional campaign.
However, we shouldn’t really
be that surprised by either of the Pauls’ connection to far-right
racism. That’s because they’re libertarians and libertarianism is the
velvet glove over the iron fist of racism.
Here’s how it
works: when you have an entrenched racial and economic class that has
ruled a continent for five centuries, they have well-established levers
and levels of power and wealth. They will, generation after generation,
do whatever is necessary to hang on to that wealth and power.
shows, including the history of Reconstruction and the history of
integration in the 1950s and 1960, that the only thing strong enough to
challenge the political and economic power of a multi-century hereditary
ruling class is the power of government.
government that made Alabama Governor George Wallace and Georgia
Governor Lester Maddox integrate their states. And it was government
that both passed and made the South finally accept the Fourteenth and
is what George Wallace had to say about integration during his
inaugural address in 1963: "In the name of the greatest people that have
ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet
before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation
tomorrow, segregation forever."
But Wallace lost that
fight because the power of government, when appropriately used, is
greater than the power of wealth, class, or race.
government to break the stranglehold of white rule in the 1870s and
1880, but even that white power structure reasserted itself and fought
to reclaim its power, leading to the Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896 and a half century of segregation which kept in place the political and economic privileges of white people.
now comes a political philosophy - libertarianism - that says
everything is fine, everything is equal, and government should get the
hell out of the way.
say this when just twenty minutes after the Supreme Court gutted the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, the most populous state of the Old
Confederacy, Texas, put into place discriminatory voter suppression laws
and began gerrymandering.
So, in effect, when
conservatives and libertarians say government should get out of the way,
what they are really saying is “let’s lock into place white political
power, white wealth, and white privilege.
Of course, not
all libertarians think of themselves as racist, and most probably don’t
see how their “get rid of government” policies prop up institutional
bigotry, but the reality is that when you blast government as the root
of all evil and neuter its power, you end weakening the one thing that
can keep the ruling elite in check.
And when you do
that, the rich and powerful race hangs onto its wealth and power and the
poorer minorities lose even more of what little they have.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether Rand Paul agrees with Jack Hunter that the Confederacy was a good idea.
by going on and on about state’s rights and freedom from government
tyranny, Senator Paul and his friends on the Libertarian right make sure
that the values of Old Dixie – an entrenched racial elite and racial
inequality – continue in America.
is the velvet glove of a nice-sounding “freedom” policy that covers the
iron fist of five hundred years of genocide and apartheid in America.