Friday, May 21, 2010

Racism, Bigotry, and Civil Liberties

By Edward M. Gonzalez

By way of introduction, Edward emails to me as as a preface to this article:

Rand Paul has come under attack for his views on civil liberties. I want to say that I agree with Rand Paul on this issue and have stated so clearly on numerous occasions. The question isn't, "Is racism wrong?" Of course it is. The question is, "What is the best way to fight racism?

There are those individuals who fight against racism and bigotry in the United States. If a racist store owner decided to deny business to all blacks and Hispanics, I would certainly be very angry. There are two different ways I might deal with this issue. The first is to make the store owner’s action known to all, publish flyers, spread the word, and boycott the man’s business until he either changed his ways or went out of business. This is a just action in a free society. The store owner has the right to property, the same as all individuals, so he does have a right to refuse business to anyone he desires. I have the right as a free man in a free society to deny my patronage to any store owner I desire and encourage all my friends and acquaintances to do the same. We can use our influence to put the man out of business.

In today’s society, my second option is to demand that the government haul the man to jail or seize his store and all his property. The problem is that if one truly believes in the right of the individual to liberty and private property, then even a mean and ignorant bigot has the right to protection under the law. I have no just authority to use the power of government to force on another my moral belief in regards to who they can and cannot do business.

The injustice in this case is that individuals today using either of those methods are considered upholders of civil liberties. Using physical force and violence to take from a man the right to liberty and property because he is mean and ignorant is not a protection of civil liberties, it is simply another abuse of government power.

Hate crimes fall into a similar category. If I am at a bar and another man punches me in the nose, that man is guilty of assault. Whether he punched me because of my Hispanic origins or because I looked at his girlfriend the wrong way is irrelevant. The relevant fact is that he punched me in the face and in doing encroached on my rights. Inventing extra punishments because of what might or might not have been in the mind and heart of an individual does nothing to promote racial equality. It widens the gap in equality by giving preferential treatment to those minorities that were assaulted. If our true goal is a free society where all individuals have an equal right to life, liberty, and property, than any preferential treatment under the law is a contradiction.

Edward Gonzalez is a social liberal, fiscal conservative, who believes in a constitutionally limited government. He believes that the only legitimate use of government power is in the protection of people's individual rights. He is a candidate for the U.S. House Representatives from California's 16th Congressional District (San Jose)


  1. Putting faith in the constitution is misguided. Mr. Gonzales should read Lysander Spooner's "No Treason VI: The Constitution of No Authority" and then focus on the simple fact that government is simply a group of people forcing their opinions the rest of us. Running for office simply gives legitimacy to an illegitimate use of force.

  2. No, not putting your faith in the constitution is dangerous. With paper you have a prayer without paper all you have is air.

  3. I asked Ed Gonzales a long time ago if he had anything to say about my individual right to not be robbed by a constitutionally limited govt seeking to finance itself.

    I have yet to get a response on that. Truly looking forward to assisting with paying his salary, of course... FOR LIBERTY!

  4. Anon @ 1:03PM,

    At least air exists. God doesn't. Which is the more hopeless strategy, now?

    Man I wish we'd get rid of anonymous commenting around here.