WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., trying to reach out to minority communities, was met with protests and cheers when he spoke at historically black Howard University.
When Paul suggested that Republicans, more than Democrats, historically favored equality for blacks, two Howard students raced to the front of the auditorium and raised a banner with the words "Howard University does not support white supremacy" before being rousted by campus police and dragged to the side, Roll Call reported Wednesday.
"For him to come to [historically black colleges and universities] and ... try to tell them about their own history, my history, I think it's ridiculous," said Brian Menifee, a senior mechanical engineering major who held the sign on behalf of the liberal Political Education Action Committee campus group.
During his speech at the Washington university, Paul reiterated his view that segregation is a blot on the country's history and that he never opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2010, he became mired in controversy when he questioned Title II of the act, which prohibits private businesses from discriminating against customers based on race.
"I never opposed the Civil Rights Act. Ever," Paul said Wednesday.
During a question-and-answer session, the audience applauded when Paul said he would do all he could to keep non-violent drug offenders out of jail, Roll Call said.