Rand Paul: ‘I’m Not A Firm Believer In Democracy…It Gave Us Jim Crow’

The New Republic’s Julia Ioffe has a big profile with quite the cover photo on 2016 hopeful and Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that went online Monday.

Ioffe reports on a little publicized remark Paul made at Simmons College, a historically black college in Louisville, where Paul sat with students and professors.

“I’m not a firm believer in democracy,” he said in April. “It gave us Jim Crow.”

Here’s the quote in its full context:

And rather than try to prove that the Republican Party had been good to blacks once upon a time, he focused on how the Republican Party could be good to them today. He talked about decriminalizing drug offenses and getting rid of the mandatory sentencing minimums that put so many young black men in jail. He talked about fixing the local school system, about not abolishing Pell grants “as long as it’s in the context of spending what you have.” To approving nods, he talked about how urban renewal had really meant “urban destruction” and about how “they tore down a lot of black businesses so people would go to white stores.” He found that this crowd, if not totally convinced, was receptive. Though he would still not give them a definitive answer on his position on the Civil Rights Act, he did say that he believed federal intervention had been justified. “I’m not a firm believer in democracy,” he explained. “It gave us Jim Crow.”

In 2010 Paul controversially said that he oppossed certain aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, specifically the provision that prohibits private businesses from excluding anyone on the basis of race. He has since backed away from this comment.