Rand Paul ‘Abhors Racism,’ Supports Private Businesses’ Right to Discriminate on Race

Rand Paul is Kentucky’s new Republican nominee for the Senate. Great job, Tea Party, you just anointed a guy will defend a business’ right to discriminate against human beings’ immutable characteristics. Yes, the very thing the Civil Rights Act made illegal.

Paul says he believes it “might be reasonable” to force businesses to sometimes accommodate, say, the physically disabled. But what about businesses that want to discriminate against blacks and such? In remarks made previously, Paul says: “I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant. … But I do believe in private ownership. But I absolutely think there should be no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding, and that’s most of what I think the Civil Rights Act was about in my mind.”

And he tells Rachel Maddow: “Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent?” Should we limit racists from speaking? I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way, in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things that freedom requires… that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn’t mean we approve of it.”

(Get back here, separate drinking fountains! Kohler is gonna have a field day with this one.)

So we can totally count on your vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ya? Oh right, that would force all businesses — not just government employers — to prohibit discrimination.

Update: Allow him to, ahem, clarify: “I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person. I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation. Even though this matter was settled when I was 2, and no serious people are seeking to revisit it except to score cheap political points, I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”