After winning Kentucky's Republican Senate primary, Rand Paul gave several interviews where he questioned certain provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. For Paul, the fact that the Civil Rights Act forced private businesses to adopt anti-racist policies was a sign of overzealous government. Instead, Paul argues, the U.S. should have allowed the free hand of the market to address systematic racism in the country.
But Paul is sorely in need of a history lesson. The market would never have eliminated slavery, nor would it have eliminated the scourge of racism at lunch counters, grocery stores, hotels, gas stations and other private businesses throughout the country.
In the wake of Paul's comments, Benjamin Jealous, the President and CEO of the NAACP, has challenged Paul to a debate, to discuss the history and importance of the Civil Rights Act. Given Paul's careless comments and poor understanding of the history behind one of the 20th century's most important pieces of legislation, urge Paul and his campaign to accept this debate. If Rand Paul wants a seat in the highest elected body in the country, he should be willing to engage in an open debate about his vision for America. Kentucky voters deserve no less, so that they can have a clear sense of where Paul stands on these issues.
Join our challenge to Rand Paul to a debate with Benjamin Jealous by signing the petition below.