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Blood On Our Shirts 

The Republican primary victory of Rand Paul in Kentucky for the seat of Jim Bunning who is leaving the Senate was so revealing that it merits some follow-up. Mr.

The Republican primary victory of Rand Paul in Kentucky for the seat of Jim Bunning who is leaving the Senate was so revealing that it merits some follow-up. Mr. Paul, whose initial claim to fame comes from his famous, decent and independent father, Ron Paul of Texas, was fully embraced by a fringe part of the so called Tea Party movement and kept at a distance by the traditional Republicans (Senate Majority leader (Mitch) McConnel supported his opponent Trey Grayson). Suffice to say that other fringe members of the "give me my country back" crowd such as Mrs. Palin and Glenn Beck also backed Mr. Paul's incursion into the "small government" is the only form of acceptable government movement. Presumably, rolling back guarantees of fair treatment under the law would be forthcoming.

Mr. Paul's early rants regarding opposition to parts of the 1964 Civil Rights legislation have brought him unwanted exposure after his victory. He has been taken to task by an alert few television and newspapers reporters and he has struggled to justify his statements - such as the ones that the government has no right to enforce business owners offering services to members of all races.

Given that these sentiments are getting traction in some parts of the South is perhaps no surprise. The dark period that followed the American Civil War at Appotomax has never really been put to rest. During that time, freed African Americans were hunted down, beaten and killed with renewed cruelty that exceeded even the unimaginable days of slavery. The Confederacy may have laid down their arms against the superior forces of the North, but continued to wage war to ensure that African Americans never attain full and equal freedoms accorded to all Americans as written in the U.S. constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The waiving of a Bloody Shirt by demagogues of that time to remind audiences of the blood of the fallen was despicable. It is, therefore, unacceptable that in 2010, a candidate to the U.S. Senate brings up ambiguous arguments to justify discriminatory behavior by any segment of American society. Rights of full citizenship were hard fought. We must never allow them to be taken away.

The history of slavery is repulsive enough. To have a bright but flawed candidate such as Rand Paul question equality and find a receptive audience highlights how alert we must be to fight back.

- Carlos Wysling, Bend

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