Rand Paul, Meet John F. Kennedy

05/25/2010 12:37 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Last week, when Rand Paul told Rachel Maddow he is virulently opposed to what he repeatedly called "institutionalized racism," and implied that segregation, under any circumstances, was acceptable, he was insulting the memory of our 35th president.

While Johnson gets credit for having passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it was John Fitzgerald Kennedy who was the architect of that legislation. Listen to this riveting speech the young president gave on the topic of civil rights on June 11, 1963, and remember that, only two weeks before, in a nationally televised speech, Kennedy urged the nation to take action to guarantee equal rights to all Americans.

Let this be perfectly clear, when Rand Paul says he's opposed to "institutionalized racism," what he means is:

He doesn't have a problem with segregation as long as the government isn't involved with it.

He doesn't have a problem with anti-Semitism as long as it's on private property.

He doesn't have a problem with restaurants excluding Hispanics, or gays as long as they don't receive public funding.

And if your child happens to go to a private school, he won't object to his, or her exclusion based on race, religion, or ethnicity.

This is deplorable, and it goes against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which, while signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, was the brainchild of President John F. Kennedy.

In this June, 1963 speech, a young president doesn't mince his words when speaking about equal access, and equal opportunity, a speech that should embarrass any who still won't accept diversity:

Make no mistake, so-called Tea Partiers, and their sympathizers, are not merely reactionary, but racist, too.

John F. Kennedy would have turned 93 on Saturday, May 29th. Somehow, we know he is resting with the angels while we've still got our work cut out for us.


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