SEGREGATION TALES

It increasingly has become evident that many supporters of people like Rand Paul completely misunderstand issues involved in ending segregation. They invariably pose discussion of integration as one of “property rights” and the individual’s right to decide what happens to his property, and that individuals have a right to decide who does or does not enter their property. Let me begin with a story told me by a cousin who was in training at Ft. Benning,Georgia on his way to landing on Omaha Beach. He was on a trolley when a black woman carrying packages entered, as a good New Yorker, he rose and offered his seat. The trolley car conductor halted the trolley and insisted my cousin had to return to his seat because the LAW said, he did NOT have the right to give his seat to a black person. Segregation was a LEGAL SYSTEM, not a personal decision. During WWII, Southern states even had segregated bomb shelters!! The most outrageous example of segregation occurred during WWII when captured German and Italian soldiers who had fought against British and American soldiers were sent to the American south and placed in POW camps. Unlike today, during WWII, the USA respected the Geneva Conventions regarding prisoners, even those who were dedicated Nazis. The Geneva Conventions allows POWs to work if paid and thousands of German prisoners in the South took advantage. In my files, I have a famous cartoon which depicts a German POW entering a WHITE ONLY restaurant(many POWS got weekend passes and they could go to town and spend their money) while his Negro guard can not!!

Segregation laws prevented Negro men and women from gaining access to hospitals, it prevented attending university law and medical schools, it even dictated entry to a circus. Perhaps, Mr. Rand Paul can defend Southern laws which MADE ILLEGAL A MARRIAGE BETWEEN A WHITE AND BLACK SKINNED PERSON. Talk about INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS!! Mr. Rand Paul is a nice man, unfortunately, he lacks knowledge the system of segregation and its impact on the lives of Negro and white people.

How about a trip to the library, Mr. Rand Paul??