Here’s what the Social Justice Warriors don’t understand. Discrimination is a part of individual freedom. And with that freedom to discriminate come consequences. It is like the right to free speech – you get to say what you want (other than incitement) and you get to pay the social and cultural consequences for doing so. What others don’t get to do, however, is force you to adopt their values and therefore coerce you to conform. That’s totalitarianism, not freedom.
Why force someone who disapproves of your actions to bake you a cake? Lots of other bakers would love the business. This debate has moved from inclusion to demanding that everyone adopt your values.
In a free country, bigots should have the right to be bigots. Americans should also have freedom of association.
American lawyers talk about special protection for religious freedom, and in the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court said you could escape onerous parts of Obamacare by paying lawyers a fortune and convincing judges that you are a closely-held corporation with religious objections. But why must you be religious to practice what you believe? This should be about individual freedom.
Of course, government must not discriminate. The worst of American racism and homophobia—slavery, segregation enforced by Jim Crow laws, bans on interracial marriage, anti-sodomy laws, etc.—was government-enforced discrimination. That was wrong, and it was right for the federal government to intervene.
But private actions are different. If I start a business with my own money, I ought to be allowed to serve only libertarians, people who wear blue shirts, whatever. It’s my business!
My customers have choices. If I am racist or anti-gay, the free market will punish me. Enough people would boycott my business that I would probably lose money quickly.
Many important points.
“In a free country, bigots have the right to be bigots.” And they’ll pay the consequences of being bigots. How? See Stossel’s last paragraph. If an owner of a business is stupid enough to exclude a portion of his customer base out of plain bigotry (“no Irish allowed”) there are likely going to be enough of his “acceptable” customers offended by him that they’ll take their business elsewhere. The consequences of his bigotry will be a loss of business, loss of profit and likely a loss of social prestige. That’s how it works in a free country.
Also in a free country, what everyone should demand is “government must not discriminate …“. The onus of non-discrimination shouldn’t be on the individual forced by government, but on government as forced by the citizens of the land.
How these got flipped is a testament to the perseverance of those who would control your life (under the false guise of freedom) and the neglect of those who thought individual freedom would last forever. Just as free speech can sometimes be ugly, so can discrimination. Social and cultural change usually take care of those who are “ugly” by making them suffer the consequences of their ugliness. We’ve seen that proven any number of times.
What we’re now seeing is a back lash against the SJWs who would use the force of government to make the unwilling comply with their values.
We simply don’t need that if we’re willing to be patient:
Even in the difficult days of Reconstruction, after the Civil War, business began to bring together whites and blacks who might not always have liked each other but who wanted the best deals. It took several years for racists to get Jim Crow passed so they could put a stop to that erosion of the old racist ways. Government helped keep racism going for several more decades.
That last sentence is the key. Jim Crow laws were a product of government! What the civil rights laws did was essentially repeal government mandated discrimination. What we don’t need is a new series of laws that mandate behavior as they did then, even if the new laws are formed with teh best of intentions, they still require the force of government to enforce. And they’ll not be enforced fairly and, as they usually do, will be used to to absurd things to people.
Elizabeth Taylor married nine times. Had she married again, should the EEOC have ordered her to marry someone from an ethnic minority?
A homophobic baker shouldn’t stop a same-sex couple from getting married. Likewise, a gay couple shouldn’t force a baker to make them a wedding cake. No one should ever force anyone to bake them a cake.
Exactly. Here’s the bottom line:
Individuals should be allowed to discriminate. I discriminate all the time. I favor people over others when I choose my friends, jobs, hobbies, clubs, religion, etc. So do you.
Correct. And in a free country that is your inherent right, consequences included.
No, this isn’t a story about the “War on Christmas”, it’s a story that uses Christmas and its symbols as an example of government overreach.
A bank in Oklahoma was forced by federal bank regulators to remove Christian verses and symbols because the Federal bank examiners thought they were “inappropriate”.
This is the “separation of the church and state” and “non-discrimination” gone wild. Last time I checked, most banks were private enterprises which were regulated by the federal government. Furthermore the supposed doctrine of “separation of church and state” doesn’t apply to private enterprises. It is a prohibition aimed at the federal government. And yes, I know it’s not found in the Constitution per se, but the phrase “freedom of religion” is enough for me to agree that the state should not be promoting a single religion.
That said, it has absolutely no say over what a private enterprise might promote or favor.
Which brings us to “non-discrimination”, which one assumes is the real basis for the ruling by the feds here. The reason for the federal bank examiners decision is a regulation penned by bureaucrats with apparently no understanding of private markets and no concern whatsoever about the impact of their regulation on the real world. And they essentially decided to interpret those regulations any darn way they feel like interpreting them:
Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "…the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication … express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."
The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslim or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination.
BS. Here’s a dirty little secret about private enterprises such as banks – if people feel “discriminated” against, they can go elsewhere. Yup, they actually have a choice. Don’t like bible verses and Christian crosses, bank at a bank that doesn’t have them. There is no requirement for a Muslim or atheist to bank there. None. Don’t like the Perkins County Bank for that reason? Go across the street to the Stroud National Bank for heaven sake.
When did the possibility that someone might be offended become the top problem we face, such that the federal government feels the need to move preemptively to ensure that doesn’t happen.
What’s next, the removal of all pork products from grocery stores because they may offend Muslims? The removal of crosses from church steeples because atheists traveling by may take offense? This is lunacy.
But, to the point of the title – this little story was picked up and blasted around the blogosphere. Guess what?
The small-town bank in Oklahoma will be able to restore its Christian signs and symbols after all, thanks in part to public outcry against the Federal Reserve.
That’s right – the bureaucrats backed down. Why?
The story garnered national attention overnight from bloggers and Twitter users who posted links to KOCO.com’s story.
This is the power of the blogosphere – something that is a force to be reckoned with when riled up and one that people seem to take rather lightly at times. It’s also an example of why even the smallest stories of government overreach should be addressed. In fact, it puts and exclamation point on the saying “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”
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