Rand Paul's recent appearance on Maddow has created quite a controversy. He did terrible in the interview and repeatedly tried to avoid taking a stance.
Here's how I would have responded if I was in his shoes:
"Well, let me ask you a question Rachel. Should it be illegal for someone to discriminate based on race when it comes to dating? Or who one wishes to have conversations with? Or who one chooses to allow into his own home? If not, why should it be illegal when it comes to operating a business?
I think racism is stupid, but you know what? Part of freedom is allowing other people to do stupid things. I think doing drugs is stupid but believe government has no role in trying to outlaw them. I think prostitution and gambling are unwise but think people have a right to do both. I think the Catholic Church is utterly insane but believe they have a right to wreck people’s lives by teaching them twaddle. [Ok, that last sentence was just me. -Cork]
Likewise, I think it's stupid to be a racist. But should it be illegal? Of course not, because being a jerk simply isn't a crime. It may be morally reprehensible. So is cheating on your wife, but no sane person supports a law against that. By demanding that your own moral thinking be legislated into law, you guys on the left are no better than the neanderthals of the religious right. Let's not forget that it was your cherished government--not the market--that enforced and upheld the notorious Jim Crow laws.
So yes, I believe people have a right to be racist and will not apologize for it. In a free society, that is your absolute right. But where are all these supposed racist business owners? Are they the ones hiring illegal immigrants by the truckload and outsourcing our work to 'minority' nations*? Let’s face it: money ultimately trumps race in the marketplace.
* I'm actually not against either of these things, but I'm pretending to be Rand Paul.