Howard University is among the U.S. colleges classified as ‘historically black,’ and the audience of approximately 300 included few white faces apart from those belonging to reporters.
Paul’s larger societal point was about the Republicans’ failure to articulate what he said was a proud history of blazing civil-rights trails in ways that benefited blacks.
Most of the founders of the NAACP, he reminded the students, were Republicans.
And it was racists in government – not nameless, faceless, Klansmen – who were most responsible for keeping black voters away from the polls through two-thirds of the twentieth century.
‘The history of African-American repression in this country rose from government-sanctioned racism,’ Paul explained. ‘Jim Crow laws were a product of bigoted state and local governments.’
‘Big and oppressive government has long been the enemy of freedom, something black Americans know all too well. We must always embrace individual liberty and enforce the constitutional rights of all Americans-rich and poor, immigrant and native, black and white.’
Watch full speech here.