On the same day that he announced his candidacy for the presidency, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) made waves by telling MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he would not have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act if he had been in Congress at the time.
Paul dismissed claims that he is a racist as “outlandish” and said he would have voted to desegregate public facilities. He insisted, however, that private business owners have an absolute right to decide what to do with their own property.
“I believe that property rights should be protected,” Paul stated. “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.”
Suspicions of racist attitudes on Paul’s part are not new and rest on part on newsletters containing racial slurs that were published under his name in the 1990s. However, his belief that the basic freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are simply varying aspects of property rights has been less publicized and may deserve closer attention.
This video was uploaded to YouTube by Talking Points Memo on May 13, 2011.