Saturday, May 22

Racism is NOT. A. "RIGHT"

In the midst of the unremittent mouth diarrhea emanating from the Dr. (Ayn) Randian Paul the Crown Prince of Nut Baggery, we’ve yet another of his ideological flock reveal the depths of their mental dysfunction publicly.

Case in point: John Stossel of Fux News who believes that “Privates Businesses ought to be able to Discriminate. They have a Right to Be Racist".

KELLY: Rand Paul is a libertarian. You are a libertarian. He is getting excoriated for suggesting that the Civil Rights act -- what he said was, "Look it's got 10 parts, essentially; I favor nine. It's the last part that mandated no discrimination in places of public accommodation that I have a problem with, because you should let businesses decide for themselves whether they are going to be racist or not racist. Because once the government gets involved, it's a slippery slope." Do you agree with that?

STOSSEL: Totally. I'm in total agreement with Rand Paul. You can call it public accommodation, and it is, but it's a private business. And if a private business wants to say, "We don't want any blond anchorwomen or mustached guys," it ought to be their right. Are we going to say to the black students' association they have to take white people, or the gay softball association they have to take straight people? We should have freedom of association in America.

KELLY: OK. When you put it like that it sounds fine, right? So who cares if a blond anchorwoman and mustached anchorman can't go into the lunchroom. But as you know, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 came around because it was needed. Blacks weren't allowed to sit at the lunch counter with whites. They couldn't, as they traveled from state to state in this country, they couldn't go in and use a restroom. They couldn't get severed meals and so on, and therefore, unfortunately in this country a law was necessary to get them equal rights.

STOSSEL: Absolutely. But those -- Jim Crow -- those were government rules. Government was saying we have white and black drinking fountains. That's very different from saying private people can't discriminate.

First let make one thing perfectly clear : Bigotry is NOT. A. “RIGHT”.

It wasn’t just “Government” saying that John, not hardly. In 1963 – the year I was born Mississippi Civil Rights Activist Medger Evers was assassinated by the coward Byron De LA Beckwith. At the time Evers had been arranging a boycott of businesses in Mississippi that did as Stossel suggests they had “every right” to do. Their response to Evers boycott at the time was “We Don’t Need No Nigger Business!

Maybe Stossel needs a refresher on the true nature of the openly sanctioned Terrorism that was commonplace in Jim Crow America.

Apparently Stossel thinks that "Bigoty is Bad, mm'kay?" and the Mystical Magical Free Market would simply take care of everything – like eventually.

STOSSEL: Because eventually they would have lost business. The free market competition would have cleaned the clocks of the people who didn't serve most customers.

KELLY: How do you know that, John?

STOSSEL: I don't. You can't know for sure.

Actually you can know for sure, because the 14th Amendment says the following:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That Constitutional Amendment was Ratified in 1868. 1868! Almost 100 Years before the Civil Rights Act, and apparently the MARKET DIDN’T WORK.

“Because Eventually...”

Isn’t nearly 100 years of eventually not showing up good enough to prove your hair-brained scheme has been a complete and utter failure, John? "Eventually.." never fracking happened. We already know that because we've seen the proof.

Oh, but Stossel and Paul would argue that Jim Crow Laws and Government were the problem. OK, but those were Local Laws, State Laws not Federal. In fact all of those laws issued by the States, under any reasonable reading of the Constitution which included the 14th Amendment – were INVALID.

Yet they went on anyway, because the people and businesses in those States wanted it that way. The Civil Rights Act simply created a Federal enforcement mechanism for what had already in the 14th Amendment for nearly a Century.

People like Stossel and Paul keep talking about “Private” and “Freedom” – but honestly, I do not think they know what those words mean.

Let’s first take “Private” – Stossel claims there’s really no distinction between a Private Club, like say the Boy Scouts who’ve claimed the right to not allow Gays or Athiests to participate and a Privately Owned Business like say Denny’s who during the 90’s systematically refused to properly serve Black Patrons even though they happened to be Secret Service Agents.

Here’s what Stossel and Paul don’t get: “Private Ownership” is not the same thing as “Private Membership”.

If you want to create a club with Private Membership – you absolutely do have that right. If you want to have a Gay Students Club, a Black Students Club or a White Transgender Dwarf’s Club you can do that. But if you want to do Business with the PUBLIC – you have to follow the RULES.


Because going out and buying a Business License, which is issued by the State Government and sometimes regulated by the Federal Government as authorized by the “Interstate Commerce Clause”, does Not MAKE. You. A. GOD!

Right here is the part the where the Randian Alliance trips and falls head first into the wormhole – “Rights” belong to people, not Businesses. The people, the ones with the Rights are the ones your Doing businesses with. The people with the Rights, are you’re Customers, your Employees, your Suppliers and your Clients. Owning and operating a Business isn’t a Right, it’s a privilege that comes with the responsibility of respecting all those other peoples rights. It says so right in the 14th Amendment.

What’s even worse is that Paul apparently can’t even count to Ten Properly. Sure, there are Ten Titles within the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but two of them – not one – TWO of them do not address discrimination in the public sphere,

Title II

Outlawed discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempted private clubs without defining the term "private."


Title VII of the Act, codified as Subchapter VI of Chapter 21 of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e [2] et seq., prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2[23]). Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. An employer cannot discriminate against a person because of his interracial association with another, such as by an interracial marriage.[24]

In very narrow defined situations an employer is permitted to discriminate on the basis of a protected trait where the trait is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.

See that, "Freedom to Associate" belongs to the people - not the Business.

Also technically Title VI prevents discrimination in agencies that receive federal funding, and those agencies can be Privately Owned – y’know like Blackwater/Xe, Wackenhut, KBR or Halliburton?

But apparently these are the provisions that Stossel would like to Repeal – Yes, I said “REPEAL” the Civil Rights Act.

STOSSEL: And I would go further than he was willing to go, as he just issued the statement, and say it's time now to repeal that part of the law

KELLY: What?

STOSSEL: because private businesses ought to get to discriminate. And I won't won't ever go to a place that's racist and I will tell everybody else not to and I'll speak against them. But it should be their right to be racist.

No, John - let me say it again - it's not a "Right", it's a Character Flaw.

Although Paul may want to claim the push to repeal part of the Civil Rights Act is merely a red-herring and talking point from the “Liberal Media” – here we have Conservative/Libertarian John Stossel openly endorsing the idea.

Yes, it’s true the First Amendment does include “Freedom of Association” – but you know what it doesn’t have? Freedom to Disassociate from people you don’t like.

Why Not?

Because those people, the ones with the “Rights”, have the right to associate and do commerce with YOU even if you don’t necessarily like them.

Tea Partiers have taken exception to being called “Racist” – but here we have their direct ideological fore-fathers, or at least the son of one of their fore-fathers and a fairly high profile acolyte showing what they really are.

Racism Enablers.

The vast majority of them may not be Card Carrying Members of the Klan or Skinheads (although I do have my questions about Rand Paul’s Neo-Skinhead Oy Band Explorations) they make the same arguments as Racists, and essentially make them seem Reasonable and Palatable within relatively polite society.

They. Are. Not.

This is poisonous talk. Beside blocking discrimination on the basis or race and gender, the Civil Rights act also prohibits discrimination against people on the basis of National Origin and Religion. It prevents discrimination against either Christians, or Jews or Muslims alike. Interesting that the “War on Christmas” – “Assault on Christianity” folks all seem to forget the same Bill that Medger Evers and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave their lives for – protects them too.

We’ve already had another Dr. in Florida attempt to discourage clients who “Voted For Obama” from entering his offices. How much longer before someone else desides, like Beckwith, to “Thin The Heard” of people they don’t like?

Oh wait.. that’s already happened too – hasn’t it? If you follow Stossel's line of thinking to it's full conclusion, I guess Al Qeada, which I guess could be considered a "business", had a "Right" to Disassociate themselves from the Twin Towers didn't they? The Taliban has right to block girls from going to school and throwing Acid in their Face when they dare to defy that ban. Arizona has the "Right" to toss the 4th Amendment out the window for anyone who looks kinda Swarthy. And BP has the "Right" to completely lie to the government and other businesses in the area about it's safety precautions and it's ability to clean up a spill in the deep gulf.

Not that Stossel or Paul are Endorsing any of that stuff, they just think people business ought to have the "Right", y'know just in case they Feel Like it and clearly what a business feels like doing is paramount.

And don't worry, The Free Market will provide it's own protections without "Government Overreach" - give or take a Century.


Update: Thanks for the Recs, much appreciated. Let me just address some of the discussion going on below:

Freedom of speech and freedom of opinion in the context of Stossel's statements doesn't completely apply. Stossel was not saying business owners have a right to their opinions on race, he was saying they have a right to excersize their opinions in how they treat the public. Doing so as things stand right now is a CRIME, and for good reason. Stossel feels that Racist Business Practices should be decriminalized, although he doesn't "endorse" these policies - he has none-the-less advocated and rationalized their legitimacy as "valid".

That brings into question whether Stossel has a right to rationalize a crime? Even if you aren't a pedophile, do you have to right to rationalize and justify the act of pedophilia? Is that really free speech? Under the Brandenburg standard as I understand it, it probably is only because Stossel says "you shouldn't do it". What he seems to fail to understand is that this is a crime because some ones elses freedoms and rights have been violated by this action.

Slavery was that kind of violation. So were the "Black Codes" which were instituted after the Civil War in violation of the 14th Amendment. So were "Separate but (Un)Equal" laws implemented after Plessy V Furgeson. Again, Stossel fails to realize that these weren't put in place simply because of the Racism and Animus of Whites during those periods, these were put in place to Game the Market to the financial favor those who were already in (relative) power and discourage competition by others. "Racism" in America has always been nothing more than an excuse, a way to rationalize and justify the economic RAPE of these peoples. The Markets have tolerated this type of thing for as long as markets have existed going back centuries, they don't naturally seek social equilibrium, they benefit best from social and economic imbalance. Markets don't do this unless they are MADE to shift toward fairness, equity and balance.

As some have pointed out the Bagger's don't think there's a "Right to Healthcare", but somehow there's a "Right to Racism?" They argue for "personal responsibility" but think it's unconstitutional for the government to request they actually take personal responsibility by purchasing their own health insurance rather than let all the rest of us pick up the tab? It's a pathological dysfunction.

Even the view that Racists views are simply a "matter of opinion" is suspect, because that opinion is inherently flawed. Racism and Bigotry are the prejudging of a person with out bothering to gather all the relevant facts individually. it's a short-cut. It's LAZINESS. It's the conflation that if some Black people have been arrested in high numbers - they must be more generally "criminal". That if they're unemployed they must be "Lazy". That since some women can't run as fast as some men, that they're generally "weaker", or that gay people are generally more promiscuous and predatory in their sexual appetites than straights. It's acting as an armchair statistician without bothering to do any of the actual math. Certainly any particularly individual might fit into such a stereotypical view, they might "fit the profile", but the fact is that most people won't. Most young black men, (around 70%) have NEVER been inside a jail, and never will be. Lots of women, who keep in shape, can out run and out jump a man who doesn't.

Bigotry is coming to a conclusion without having all the facts about the individual standing in front of you, and then arrogantly clinging onto that false impression in ignorance and denial of the factual reality. Essentially, it's being a willfully ignorant asshole.

Kinda sounds a lot most Tea Baggers in general doesn't it?

Again, I still don't think that's a "right" because although people may have a right to their opinion, but they aren't "entitled" to disregard facts out of convenience or sloppiness - nobody is "entitled to HATE" - it should be their responsibility to seek out the truth, not capitulate to lies and hatred.