This Congressman Denies Constitutionality Of The Civil Rights Act

Congressman Yoho Denies Constitutionality Of Civil Rights Act

Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) tells constituents at a Florida town hall meeting that the Civil Rights Act may not be ‘100 percent’ constitutional. – Image by John M. Fletcher @ FloridaTrend

It probably comes as no surprise that Tea Party Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) questioned the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act recently, only one week after former presidents and notable dignitaries celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the landmark legislation. After all, this is the same guy who compared himself to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. for fighting against the Affordable Care Act, right?

Believe it or not, Congressman Yoho actually knows quite a lot about the Civil Rights Act and the plight of marginalized Americans; that’s why he completely overlooks the roles of systemic racism and white privilege when considering and discussing the Civil Rights Act. Take a recent town hall meeting in Gainesville, Fla. for example, where a local citizen asked Yoho Monday night if he believed the Civil Rights Act to be constitutional.

Yoho’s response?

Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act? I wish I could answer that 100 percent. I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.

Come again?

The playing field must be even. Let’s get rid of all this favoritism. The Civil Rights Act makes exceptions for certain groups of people and strips private enterprise of its right to personal preference… One can hear Ted Yoho’s wheels turning across generations of oppression, to be sure, blissfully ignorant with a capitalist smile. Americans have known the score as long as half have been whistling Dixie.

And Yoho’s perspective would make sense if the field, the structure and system were indeed set up as level for all Americans (even immigrants — all citizens, civilians and people) but any reader of minimal intelligence knows the world spins in a far different manner. There is a wobble among us folks like Congressman Ted Yoho choose to ignore, to consciously overlook in favor of a dream, a lie, an ideal behind which no one intends to stay true but to get the money Steve Miller style.

And Congressman Yoho is not alone in his ignorance, in his outright disrespect for the history and struggle that preceded and culminated in the Civil Rights Act, one that continues even now. Rand Paul, at the very least, has also come forth in the past against the Civil Rights Act. It is not difficult to imagine there are still more elected to serve the people who inadvertently disregard a great, growing majority of the people’s history and struggle, either — not if one is honest and paying attention anyway.

Racism is a hot button issue in America. It causes fights, murder, suicide and riots, incarceration, bullying, lynching. Many have sacrificed their lives for the cause of humanity coming together in the hopes of learning from each other and moving forward together, but racism grows in America as abundant as wheat and corn. What took hundreds of years to achieve is now being questioned and dismissed by both the privileged class and by the system itself only a few decades later — after a single generation.

Socially, racism is learned, but politically it is bred by electing politicians like Congressman Ted Yoho. If that sounds far-fetched, consider the types of legislation a congressperson willing to deny the Civil Rights Act’s constitutionality might write or enact.