Racism, Civil Rights, and Libertarianism

Lessons from the Rand Paul controversy

Thanks to Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky and son of maverick libertarian Republican Ron Paul, we find ourselves in an unlikely debate about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the legal permissibility of race discrimination in the private sector. Late last month on the Rachel Maddow MSNBC show, Paul opined that privately owned establishments should be able to decide whom to serve without government interference.

A firestorm ensued. While Paul quickly clarified that he would neither advocate nor support a repeal of the Civil Rights Act clause banning discrimination by private businesses, libertarian TV journalist John Stossel fanned the flames on Fox News by not only defending Paul's initial remarks but explicitly suggesting that that portion of the law should be repealed.

Some on the left, including the Media Matters watchdog group, have demanded Stossel be fired for his heresy. In fact, his view is neither inherently racist (he has stressed that he would never patronize a restaurant that excluded blacks) nor "repugnant," as Media Matters claims. It is an intellectually consistent and legitimate, if moot, argument.
Yet this controversy also illustrates a certain myopia that often plagues discussions of race among supporters of small government, and plays into knee-jerk charges of right-wing racism.

Predictably, many on the left are convinced that the free-market arguments are just a veneer for racism. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts mocks Paul's assertion that he would have marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King, Jr.: as proof of perennial conservative hostility to blacks, he notes that Paul's argument for business owners' freedom of association echoes the language of segregationists in the 1960s.

Yet at least one noted libertarian-leaning conservative who made such an argument at the time was a staunch foe of segregation in public institutions and a promoter of voluntary integration in private ones. That was Barry Goldwater, the U.S. Senator from Arizona and 1964 presidential candidate. Goldwater, who opposed the Civil Rights Act, had pushed to desegregate the Arizona National Guard and the Senate cafeteria, and had ended segregation in the Phoenix department store owned by his family.

But while the libertarian argument against anti-discrimination laws is certainly not racist, it sometimes seems uncomfortably naive (in 1964 or today) about the social realities of Jim Crow. As some strong champions of free markets, such as legal scholar Richard Epstein, have pointed out, racial segregation and discrimination by private businesses in the South was not simply the result of owners' personal choices but of powerful societal pressure as well as coercion by state governments. Businesses that refused to discriminate were targeted for officially sanctioned or condoned harassment and intimidation.

Would "whites only" business practices have crumbled fast, as some libertarians believe, if the federal government had limited itself to dismantling the public foundations of segregation? Or was bigotry too pervasive, too deeply entrenched in minds and morals? The latter seems more likely. Moreover, for generations this private bigotry had been not only enabled but fostered by public policy, from slavery onward. Writing in The New Republic, John McWhorter, an insightful, iconoclastic black commentator, defends Paul's and Stossel's right to express their unorthodox views but also asserts that "the social rejection of racism was driven in large part by the head start, authority, finality, and even the drama of the legal banning of segregation."

Most likely, over the long haul, overt discrimination against blacks in the private sector would have become socially unacceptable and mostly extinct. But could American society have afforded to wait? To answer "yes" is to underestimate the urgency of the issue, the evil of Jim Crow. Segregation was not merely an inconvenience or a violation of abstract principle but the systematic degradation of American citizens who were black. When African-American singer Dorothy Dandridge sang in all-white nightclubs, she often had to urinate into a cup because she wasn't allowed to use the bathroom.

It's fine to discuss the intellectual merits of free-market and free-association arguments against the ban on private discrimination. But the reminder that 50 years ago, such obscene practices were not only condoned but socially approved in large parts of this country should shock our conscience as Americans. A dispassionate or glib attitude on the subject is not a good way to win people over. One cannot talk about anti-discrimination law as an infringement on liberty and forget that for the first two centuries of America's existence, its treatment of blacks was a grotesque stain on its libertarian ideals.

Yes, post-1964 civil rights law has generated real problems. Legally mandated colorblindness has evolved into legally mandated race preferences to remedy discrimination. Anti-discrimination law has expanded to more and more protected categories, to the point where a gym can be held liable for dismissing a fat fitness trainer.

Curbing these excesses is a worthy goal. But calling for a repeal of the ban on discrimination in the private sector is both utopian and reckless, and Paul’s unequivocal rejection of such a position was a laudable move. Opponents of intrusive government, including journalists of Stossel’s stature, should know how to pick their battles.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  • Barry Loberfeld||

    From here:

    We must point out that "discrimination" originally referred to the bias, not of individuals in their private dealings, but of government in its defense of the life, liberty, and property of all people (in other words: political equality). That's because Jim Crow was not a social custom but a political system.Here we come to the reality that the Left cannot face. Ever since the Sixties, the Left has spun the line that racism is the outgrowth of "capitalism." Without government controls, bigotry will germinate from every square inch of the open society. However, it is a theory of racism that is falsified by the practice of racism. Almost without exception, the history of racism is a history of statism, i.e., of government imposition of racism on society. From the American South to Nazi Germany to apartheid-era South Africa, it is government that (directly or through indifference) murders people because of their race, establishes segregated economic and cultural institutions, criminalizes interracial sexuality and marriage, and in general is responsible for almost every image that comes to mind when we speak of racism. If bigotry is the natural reflex of the social masses, why have racists always had to turn to the State to keep people of different races from teaching each other, hiring each other, marrying each other, and basically living together as members of the same society? Indeed, if there is an organic relationship between racism and capitalism, then history's greatest racist should also have been its greatest capitalist. Our textbooks would record how Adolf Hitler and his National Capitalist Party created the ultimate racist regime by implementing completely the libertarian free-market agenda: an unregulated economy, freedom of expression, freedom of sexuality, private education, open borders, equality before the law, anti-militarism, etc. Of course, actual National Socialist policy was the polar opposite on every point. Hitler chose totalitarian socialism (that is, total socialism) as the means to his racist end because he understood what every other racist has always understood: that mass bigotry is "socialist," not capitalist -- statist, not societal -- in nature. Our anti-discrimination laws were not a response to a history of market bias, but a deduction from the tenets of Leftist dogma, which now seeks to redeem the ideology of statism by placing the blame for bigotry on the American people. Thus, when a Michael Eric Dyson preaches that racism is "America's original sin," we must remember that the vision of a virtuous elite taking control of a villainous society that the Left brings to this issue, is the vision that the Left brings (and has always brought) to every issue.

  • ||

    Nice analysis.
    I would point out a chicken and egg question - which came first, government sanctioning slavery, and in the aftermath Jim Crow laws, or racism? It is interesting because England abolished slavery around ?1800? - without a civil war. I wonder if not for agrarian economics and the need for cheap labor if the United States would not have done the same.

    I would also point out that Jim Crow existed for decades. The civil rights law did not change people's attitudes as much as people changing attitudes changed the law of Jim Crow.

  • Sarah||

    Awesome, awesome, awesome post, Barry. Thank you for this. :-)

  • ||

    Agreed. That was a great read, Barry.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Thank you, all!

  • Salizar||

    Government is just as much of an outgrowth of society as capitalism. Racism does not just appear because of government power, racism comes into government because society chooses a government that is racist. Racism was both built into the governments in the south and in the capitalist infrastructure, the Jim Crowe laws were widely popular, and even without them the social resentment against blacks would not have ceased. Even bringing up Hitler proves nothing on the basis of racism. The hatred of Jews was a part of European society going back centuries. Government has largely been the hand by which oppression was wrought, but it has never been limited to Government. When there is racism in a self determining society, the racism is usually present in all social institutions -- be it government based or market based.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    The thing is though, Salizar, government has special powers that the market simply doesn't have - that is; the use and monopoly of violence.

    Woolworth's certainly couldn't put you in jail, or execute you.

    The government can - and did.

  • Jason||

    The KKK had the power to torture or kill you... but then it was protected by the Redeemer governments.

  • Salizar||

    Manson had the power to kill people, and did. He had no protection from the government, but he killed many people. And the governments punishment of him was not just, because lives were killed by him. Individuals in a market do not have special powers in the way the government does, but a large group in a market can work together to do extreme damage to another group, unless, of course, the government stops them.

  • Sudden||

    The central and only legitimate role for government is protecting people from force and fraud. And in the event that a Klansman or a Black Panther attacks someone, the proper role of government is to prevent and prosecute that action, with both the victims and perps in both cases being treated equally before the law.

    In the event that one group of people organizes a concerted effort to refuse the sale of goods and services to another group of people, members from the group being discriminated against, or non-bigoted members of the dominant group will break ranks and form their own businesses to satisfy a market demand that is not being met. Simple as that.

  • .||

    Manson had the power to kill people, and did. He had no protection from the government, but he killed many people.

    If you are speaking of Charles Manson, he actually killed very few people personally. His followers did most of his dirty work for him.

  • ||

    His followers did most of his dirty work for him.

    So, he was kind of a petty politician, then?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Barry's post was better than Cathy's article!

    She says that we should pick our battles carefully? Basically only defend liberty when its popular to do so?

    Cathy Young, you have no spine. That conclusion of yours goes against everything we stand for. Yes there was controversy in what he said, but should we not stand up for what we believe in simply because its controversial?

    Weak.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Thank you!

  • Rich B||

    To say Cathy Young has no spine could not be further from the truth. As a college student, she took a lot of abuse from the left for her conservative/ libertarian based column. But she always held her ground and kept writing. You are barking up the wrong tree with that comment.

  • ||

    A libertarian was criticized by the left? How terrible! Alert the media! I would like you to name a libertarian doesn't take flak from the left.

    She must have used up her reserve of courage in college then because what this article proposes is downright cowardice.

  • vajdaij||

    "Almost without exception, the history of racism is a history of statism, i.e., of government imposition of racism on society."

    I don't think that this is true. The modern state as we know it only appears in (roughly) the 15th century. Racism has a much longer history than that.

    What about areas like Southern Sudan, where government control is weak? It would appear that racism between the Arab Northerners and the Sub-Saharan African Southerners is alive and well, despite lack of government hegemony.

  • ||

    very pretty, profound and spurious. Slavery was brought into El Muendo Neuvo as a matter of custom dating back to the days of Moses. And in this county it was enshrined in out constitution not because our founding fathers were 'gasp' racists, but because the " commom people" thought it was okay. The people of Germany did not turn to Hitler to impliment racists policies,they were imposed by Hitler.
    Now as to the lefts assertion that capitalism breeds racisms- HOGWASH- and i am a liberal. I think the best way to describe that arguement is one of politeness. Better to make it institutional than personal.
    Racisms is an inherent part of westen civilazation codified by Aristotle " natural slaves." Plato also more of less enshrined elitism of the well educated. Capitalism simply inhered the culture- and if one type of econmic system were to rid of us racism it would be capitalism- so long as elected officals and the electorate take care to let it
    sorry for the lack of pretty writing it is first draft

  • Peter Jensen||

    Bullshit.

    Slavery was instituted and maintained in this country for very economical reasons, not because of some "statist agenda".
    As for Hitler's National Socialism, it was a fascist regime not some leftist plot.
    This comment is typical of the kind of crappy and mixed-up thinking that makes Libertarians look silly in the eyes of most.

  • Murray Abraham||

    Second.

    Barry's comment is exactly the kind of nonsense Cathy was talking about.

  • Dave||

    An excellent article...but a really really shallow and downright stupid post Barry, not surprising from an apologist for racists. Racist individuals induced government to enact racist laws...Jim Crow Laws reflected the Social custom of the areas it affected, just like slavery before it. It was liberals and blacks who put their lives on the line to change that situation, Libertarianism unfortunately was strangely silent when it came to the oppression of people they did not like. Your trite "Market" analysis is silly...unfortunately modern Libertarianism is simply an intellectual haven for racists such as yourself, a way for you to hide your true feelings behind half-baked "philosophy" that is worthy of Goebbels.

  • ||

    Dave,
    Wow. Attack Barry as a racist and discount Libertarianism as racist haven? This is what Liberals are trying to do with the Tea Party people -- call 'em racists so the merits of what they're talking about can be entirely discounted. Nice try. I see racism and race-baiting bias as much in current Liberal policy (New Black Panther case) and media discourse (Journo-List) as anywhere else, but I do not think that makes the Democratic party a haven for racists. Try not doing ad-homonym attacks, Dave. I see holes in Barry's argument, too. The straw man that governments and our leaders are racists before the people who elected them makes no sense -- it's backward -- so let's debate his reasoning: Hitler was open about his antisemitism before people elected him, was he not? Did that endear him to racists and fail to dissuade people not animated by liberty to vote for his party? Yes, it would follow.
    Dave, we were taught someplace that we should attack reasoning behind the argument and not the person. Of historical note 80%+ of Republicans voted in favor of passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act Legislation while 60-70% of Democrats voted in favor. This was clearly a North-South issue and not a party divide nor a liberal/libertarian or conservative divide as you would contend. Where people see holes in the 1964 legislation and wish to debate the weakness of the bill, or its themes that run counter to Liberty we should be open minded and engage in the discussion rather than go shrill and nasty and jump into broad statements about those who really really really do believe in Liberty for all regardless of their biological propensity toward darker skin. Do I want to impose apartheid in the USA because I see the 1964 CRA as flawed? Hell, no. I am pro-choice but conclude, as many thoughtful people have, that Roe v. Wade has huge problems with it -- it stands on some pretty thin reasoning. So let's discuss the merits of the arguments being put forward by Cathy Young and commenting posters. You were wrong to attack Barry as a "racist apologist," Dave, you were wrong to categorize Libertarianism as a "haven for racists," or, if you are correct in these statements, support your argument for the benefit of your thoughtful readers. Otherwise we will discount you as just another shrill, rude, self-congratulatory Liberal with nothing of substance to say. Good, substantive, debate will help us all advance ourselves and our nation. BTW Cathy, Racism is bad, we get that. It is totally counter to Liberty for All. So a selective choosing of battles is perhaps a smart political move, but why waste your breath on political recommendations for Rand Paul and instead point out the more controversial aspects of the 1964 bill that Libertarians find ? Why was Goldwater opposed? He was clearly not racist by his actions. What did he find disagreeable about the bill -- what did he say? What did the Dixiecrats like the late Congressman R. Byrd say in opposition? Good topic but left me wanting more.

  • ||

    I want to edit & add to my thoughts above:
    Being Racist is a right of the individual. Racism is not in harmony with Liberty for All, but for an individual to have a desire to create unequal treatment based on skin color is a right. For the state to deny the racist his ability to discriminate on his own property is itself anti-liberty. It is not the role of the state to tell the racist what he can do and not do with his Hardware Store or Lemonade Stand. If he discriminates he will potentially lose business. That is his prerogative. If I decide to start selling lemonade on my front steps and only sell to people who are missing a limb, that is perhaps a bad business model but is it not my prerogative? If the state decides I need a business license for my lemonade stand for Amputees Only, there are conditions that may be attached to the license to reduce or eliminate discrimination in my business. But then, aren't such licenses also an anti-liberty encumbrance of the state? Who needs a license to have exchange of goods or services for money with whomever they choose? Ever try to buy a thousand pounds of sugar for your Amputees Only lemonade stand from Mexico? It costs double in taxes! Talk about the state behaving in an anti-liberty way!

    Obviously it was the will of the people being realized when we, a democracy, passed this law in 1964, but it did introduce encumbrances against the individual that are clearly anti-personal property and worthy of debate. And the desire for Liberty and debating this important topic doesn't make you racist.

  • robc||

    the result of owners' personal choices but of powerful societal pressure as well

    Societal pressure is a form of personal choice.

  • Salizar||

    True, but not all personal choices are nor should be permissible. When your personal choice directly hurts another, you are violating their human rights.

  • Jordan||

    And what right is violated if I refuse to sell my property to you (regardless of the reason)?

  • Salizar||

    My right to be treated as a human by other humans. And if you are a humanist like me, that is resultant from the fact that I am human. And by treating someone as less human than oneself you are intentionally causing me psychological damage or if you are the only grocer in town you are directly harming me. If there is legitimate reason to fear harm by selling something to me then you are not treating me less than human, but if you do it based on something that has no significant on the result of the trade, then you are dehumanizing me.
    Still, you might not even have the right to make an action in the first place if you can not convince others it is a right.

  • Jordan||

    My right to be treated as a human by other humans.

    That's completely meaningless. If somebody on the bus tells you to go fuck yourself, are they violating your rights? Should they be thrown in jail?

  • Salizar||

    If one does not have to treat you as a human, they are logically entitled to kill you and eat you. Also, saying fuck you to someone is just an insult. Saying "no niggers allowed" and enforcing it is more than an insult.

  • Jordan||

    But they're intentionally causing you psychological damage by insulting you! Forcing someone to give up their property at gunpoint (which is what government boils down to) doesn't sound too humane to me. I hope you don't discriminate on who can enter your house. Can I come over?

  • Salizar||

    If I owned a restaurant or any kind of business I wouldn't discriminate. But I do not provide my home for public use, so I have obligation by the government to let everyone in. Of course if you came in with a gun, I would kick you out, but I would not kick, and justly wouldn't have to right to kick, someone out for coming in black, white, conservative, or whatever. Although I wouldn't mind if you came over, it is getting kind of lonely over here if I say so myself.

  • Salizar||

    If I owned a restaurant or any kind of business I wouldn't discriminate. But I do not provide my home for public use, so I have obligation by the government to let everyone in. Of course if you came in with a gun, I would kick you out, but I would not kick, and justly wouldn't have to right to kick, someone out for coming in black, white, conservative, or whatever. Although I wouldn't mind if you came over, it is getting kind of lonely over here if I say so myself.

  • ||

    Can I come over?

    If Salizar is consistent in his belief system, it would be inhumane to refuse your request. Indeed, taken to it's logical conclusion, you shouldn't have to ask.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Saying "no niggers allowed" and enforcing it is more than an insult.

    That will never be the law of the land again, Salazar, so it's a pointless exercise to keep picking at the scab of the past.

  • Dave||

    Bullshit Libertarian guy, if Rand Paul and those of his ilk have their way it would be the "law of the land" also no whites, Jews, etc..what a lovely vision.

  • ||

    Dave -- I think we agree that Lib. guy is being naive in saying that "[Exclusion based on Race] will never be the law of the land again" whether that be legislation or otherwise. We know that reversal can happen.
    Your claim that Rand Paul seeks a certain vision is completely unsupported by fact or reference to statements by him or his supporters. Make an argument, please, or you waste our time and yours. Do you want to be taken seriously or just contribute more shrill vapid attacks that we hear (and then stop listening to) all the time?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If someone does not receive what they had no claim to in the first place, they have not been harmed.

  • Salizar||

    If someone has money to pay you for something, and you do not allow it, while providing it to others for that price, do you not have the right to buy it. This is an extreme, but say you are in a city and no one will sell you anything, so you starve, do you have no claim for food if you are willing to give up what everyone else gives up for it, do you have a right to obtain it. Or is your life justly in the hands of those willing to let you starve.

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    This brings to mind a hypothesis of mine. I know a single data point won't mean much, but I'd still be appreciative if you could indulge me.

    "A robot may not harm a human or through inaction allow a human to come to harm."

    If you were given the job of inserting the above sentence into a robot's programming how many distinct commands or rules would you give it and what order of priority (if any) would you use?

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    It appears maximum indentation has been reached. My previous post is primarily aimed at Salizar, although I won't be bothered if others feel like interjecting.

  • St. V||

    Someone watched iRobot too many times...

  • skr||

    so how do you justify wholesale versus retail sales? Wholesalers won't sell to the general public. Are they dehumanizing them?

  • JayDubya||

    "If someone has money to pay you for something, and you do not allow it, while providing it to others for that price, do you not have the right to buy it."

    Thst is correct.

    You DO NOT have a RIGHT to buy it.

    You have a right to YOUR property. You may engage in voluntary exchange of that property for goods and services, but other parties should never be obliged to engage in commerce with you simply because you want to buy something.

  • SmallBiz||

    "If someone has money to pay you for something, and you do not allow it, while providing it to others for that price, do you not have the right to buy it."

    I would like to pay the same income taxes that everyone else does for the same services, but I seem to be charged disproportionately more by my government. They discriminate against me because I work longer hours and in a skilled trade that makes more money than the average person. By your rationale the government should not be able to discriminate against me and charge me more just because of my work practices. If anything I consume less government resources than people I see around me.

  • ||

    Really? If I choose to hire one applicant and not another, my "personal choice" has absolutely "directly hurt... another". Am I guilty of "violating... human rights"?

    If neo-Nazis in full dress regalia goose-step their way into a jewish-owned deli and demand to be seated and served, who is denying people their rights and dignity as a person? The owner, who is required by law to treat these monsters as welcome guests? The 1964 Act and its defenders would say "yes".

  • Jordan||

    It sounds like the Jewish owner would suffer quite a bit of psychological distress in that scenario, which according to Salazar means the Nazis should be thrown in jail. But not before being served a delicious kosher sandwich. We wouldn't want to violate their rights to the Jewish owner's property!

  • Salizar||

    The person with Nazi regalia can take off their regalia. Can a black person take of their skin, oh yeah, they can't? The Nazis are intentionally causing psychological coercion on others, while if a Black, Latino or Asian they are not doing any harm.
    And even despite that ridiculous and offensive comparison I would say yes as well, as the US government, for good reason, provides a right to free speech. Oh, and guess what, I'm a fucking JEW! Cunt!

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Your right to free speech and association ends where mine begins though, Salizar...

    If we role-play a little, and you're the neo-nazi entering into "my" establishment, you are more than free to say whatever you want up until you walk through the door of my house - once you are talking about going onto my property however, I have the right to refuse you entry if I don't like who you are or what you do... Really for any reason.

    I'm not prohibiting you from speaking.

    I'm prohibiting you from entering my establishment - because... you know... it's mine. You're more than free to take your nazi bullshit somewhere else and even own your own property and host big ol' nazi parties (get it!?). You can even start your own nazi-only restaurant if you want. I don't care.

    As long as I'm not forced to have anything to do with you, and you can't force me to let you into my establishment, I don't really care what you do.

    But honestly... The thing I don't ever really understand about these little debates is just that we always end up making these exceptions based on who the person is or why service is denied.

    What happens if I run a diner and I just get pissed off one day and decide that I've had enough, I need a vacation and I don't want to serve you or anyone else?

    Is it based on me not sticking to my posted hours? What if I don't post any hours? What if I got pulled over by the cops today and I decide that today, just cause I'm pissed off, I charge all cops double?

    If it's my place, why do you have any say in who I let in or what I allow in it?

    You have no right to my property... I don't have any right to your property. As long as all these arrangements are voluntary, then that's fine. And this isn't to say that we don't ever try to put an end to bad ideas & bad behavior. Of course we do!

    We just do it via voluntary actions like shunning.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Your right to free speech and association ends where mine begins though, Salizar...

    If we role-play a little, and you're the neo-nazi entering into "my" establishment, you are more than free to say whatever you want up until you walk through the door of my house - once you are talking about going onto my property however, I have the right to refuse you entry if I don't like who you are or what you do... Really for any reason.

    I'm not prohibiting you from speaking.

    I'm prohibiting you from entering my establishment - because... you know... it's mine. You're more than free to take your nazi bullshit somewhere else and even own your own property and host big ol' nazi parties (get it!?). You can even start your own nazi-only restaurant if you want. I don't care.

    As long as I'm not forced to have anything to do with you, and you can't force me to let you into my establishment, I don't really care what you do.

    But honestly... The thing I don't ever really understand about these little debates is just that we always end up making these exceptions based on who the person is or why service is denied.

    What happens if I run a diner and I just get pissed off one day and decide that I've had enough, I need a vacation and I don't want to serve you or anyone else?

    Is it based on me not sticking to my posted hours? What if I don't post any hours? What if I got pulled over by the cops today and I decide that today, just cause I'm pissed off, I charge all cops double?

    If it's my place, why do you have any say in who I let in or what I allow in it?

    You have no right to my property... I don't have any right to your property. As long as all these arrangements are voluntary, then that's fine. And this isn't to say that we don't ever try to put an end to bad ideas & bad behavior. Of course we do!

    We just do it via voluntary actions like shunning.

  • .||

    Oh, and guess what, I'm a fucking JEW! Cunt!

    No, you're a fucking idiot. No one has a human right to be free of psychological distress and the only ones who are lie in the cemetaries of the world.

  • alan||

    Take your card back, Sali. It wont do anyone else any good now that you have worn it out it by wiping your ass with it and got shit all over it with that ridiculous response to a perfectly legitimate analogy.

  • ||

    How about this scenario. Louis Farrakhan walks into a Jewish restaurant. Louis Farrakhan is an antisemite, but, being the leader of the Nation of Islam, it is part of his religion to be antisemitic. Can the Jewish owner refuse him service, or is he discriminating based on religion?

  • ||

    You just lost your argument ass hat. Resorting to name calling makes all you have to say moot. So fuck YOU CUNT!

  • robc||

    But calling for a repeal of the ban on discrimination in the private sector is both utopian and reckless

    Cathy Young can go fuck herself.

    There is nothing utopian or reckless about property rights.

  • robc||

    and freedom of association (thanks Lucas)

  • Salizar||

    Could you give me all your property rights and tell me where each right is derived from. Until you do that, your claim of what is a right and what is not is useless. Where does your right to forcible remove someone from property you are putting forward for public use based on no reason but race come from, god, your humanity.

  • Jordan||

    All rights are derived from the principle of self-ownership. I own myself, therefore I own all of the fruits of my labors.

  • Salizar||

    When you buy property and open it to public use, is someone violating your ownership by coming on the premises? Do you have the right to use your ownership of something to hurt another?

  • Jordan||

    If I want to come into your house and you refuse and hurt my feelings, have my rights been violated? Public use is a legal fiction. Property is property.

  • Sudden||

    No one is violating my rights when I permit them to enter my premises for whatever reasons I permit them to. If I choose not to allow someone on my premises, for whatever reason, I am not harming them in any way shape or form whatsoever because I am not infringing their ability to buy whatever it is from another seller nor preventing anyone else to sell them whatever product I refuse to sell them.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    When someone refuses to leave your property, they are the ones initiating force against you, and the force to remove them is justified.

    Natural rights come from individual self ownership, which extends to the individual's property. If you are forced to give up something of yours in favor of someone else, it is an entitlement, not a right.

  • Salizar||

    Tell me where this force is in on a premisis that someone has opened for public use. When you open your property for public use, you are implicitly agreeing to obey certain powers of the government. Also, anything other than a civil right, only comes to fruition through becoming civil rights. Natural rights can only be logically thought of as entitlements a just government needs provide to be just, as are human rights, and nothing more.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    What Jordan said. When you enter someone's private place of business, you are agreeing to their terms or you can leave. Nothing public about it.

    "When you open your property for public use, you are implicitly agreeing to obey certain powers of the government."

    Bullshit.

    "Natural rights can only be logically thought of as entitlements a just government needs provide to be just"

    Also bullshit.

  • juris imprudent||

    Who secures your right to that property?

    Not saying that means the govt can have total control of it, but since they secure it, they got some say on the terms and conditions.

  • Sarah||

    You're raising a good point. Ultimately, the government is us and property is what we are willing to protect an individual's right to exclude others from.

    You can't point to the concept "property" like you can the concept "dog" or "rock" and give it concrete meaning. It might include intellectual rights or subsurface rights or other abstract concepts. If you grow a crop and thereby claim the land by virtue of your labor, how far up do your rights go and how far down? In other words, what are the boundaries of your "property?" The answer is not something self-evident.

    The word "property" has meaning only as what we collectively will help you keep to yourself to the exclusion of others.

    That being said, what we (libertarians and the like) are saying is that we would include in the concept of "property" (i.e, that which we will use our collective power to help you keep to the exclusion of others) would be the right to be discriminating. And we believe society would be better if everyone else joined us in that endeavor.

    I could go into all the reasons why freedom to discriminate is in the long run better for society than the alternative - despite certain discrimination itself being bad - but it would be longer than there is room for here.

    But if you're truly interested, the answers are out there. :-)

  • ||

    Natural rights can only be logically thought of as entitlements rights a just government needs provide protect to be just, as are human rights, and nothing more.

    Fixed that for you.

  • skr||

    fucking positivist

  • Salizar||

    You think I believe in positive rights? It is not a positive right to not be discriminated against because of your race. Any right to property is allowed by government, without government enforcement piracy destroys a right to property.You have no rights except what the government provides by law, in the US one of those legal documents is the constitution. If you are on property that the government protects for you, you should be expected to do certain things like pay taxes, and obey certain basic rules.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "You have no rights except what the government provides by law, in the US one of those legal documents is the constitution."

    And, you just failed your civics class for the day.

    Rights - in any decent principle, and according to our own founding fathers - are what you are born with... They are, as George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, John Locke and on and on put it: "Inalienable".

    They are intrinsic to your humanity. Since you are autonomous, you are an individual, you have a self that is totally unique to you and you are the supreme controller of your decisions & behavior, you own you. And from that, you own everything you create or voluntarily barter/trade for.

    Government doesn't enter into that picture at all...

    You can defend yourself, you can join with your family and neighbors & friends and defend each other... You could even pay some big goon to defend you + family & friends for you.

    You don't need a government for any of that.

    It happens that the US Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights were set up specifically to protect certain rights from abuses that have historically been ubiquitous with governments world-wide.

    But your statement is full of a boatload of failure.

  • voxpo||

    Not quite. There are--more than a few--libertarians who don't believe in natural rights. Me, for example.

  • ||

    Go Sean, you nailed it!

  • skr||

    I would ban positivists from my property if there were a way.

  • skr||

    I think that believing that discrimination will go away simply because there is a law is hopelessly naive and utopian.

  • ||

    skr, The problem is that the eradication of discrimination is a false litmus test and misses the point altogether. At its foundation this whole issue is about a person’s right to discriminate against whomever and whatever they want, and for whatever reason(s) they want. As free and sovereign entities, we need answer to no one as to our reasons for the things we do as long as they are peaceful and through fraud or force do not harm other persons or the property of other persons. If you want to talk utopia, keep dreaming of a world without discrimination…

  • Jason||

    How classy.

  • Dave||

    Right on robc!! Now run along to your Klan Rally (is it true you assholes are bare-assed under those sheets--is that for the pre-rally Paddlin'?)

  • Old Mexican||

    Would "whites only" business practices have crumbled fast, as some libertarians believe, if the federal government had limited itself to dismantling the public foundations of segregation?

    Strange question to ask, as if business owners were all of a sudden become more ideological and less self-interested, just to keep Jim Crow alive. That does not make sense.

  • juris imprudent||

    Sadly, this is one of Milton Friedman's less convincing arguments. It is true that the wheat I buy is grown and processed by people who's skin color is a total mystery to me. That isn't true of the person I actually buy it from (particularly in those pre-Internet days).

    The free-market is NOT an all-purpose fixer of society. Nor of course is it near the villain in the Jim Crow story that the states/local govts were. No white business owner would be likely to get himself shunned by the vast majority of his customer base; and treating blacks equally in that time would've resulted in just that (if not worse).

    You have to be a pretty dogmatic capitalist (and around U. of Chicago they are legion) to believe that economic rationality rules all human behavior.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Juris imprudent,

    That isn't true of the person I actually buy it from (particularly in those pre-Internet days).

    And?

    The free-market is NOT an all-purpose fixer of society.

    Who said it was a "solution"? The Free Market is the RESULT of free people freely interacting, not the CAUSE. FREEDOM is THE CAUSE - what do YOU have against freedom, JI?

  • Salizar||

    A free market does not make people free in and of itself. When the majority of people in a free market refuse to treat a minority as free people, the minority are no longer free. Freedom of people in a free market, only goes as far as the people involved in the market are willing to provide. People in a free market enter with their own biases, and act based on them, if the majority of those in a free market hold their racist beliefs over the possible benefits of accepting them, then freedoms of the minority of other races will be oppressed, even in a free market.

  • Jordan||

    Nonsense. People denying me access to their property is not a violation of my rights because I don't have a right to their property.

  • skr||

    If they were taking the property of the minority group that would infringe on their rights.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And this is the real point...

    Many Jim Crow era laws and the selective enforcement of rights by officers of the state *did* often take the property of minority groups.

    That was some serious, no-kidding, mufuckin' oppression happening.

    Unfortunately - people like Salizar don't seem to be able to understand the difference of someone aggressively harming someone else and someone simply refusing to share.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    But WITHOUT that free market, Salazar, being free(er) is impossible. Just ask anyone who has escaped from, say, Cuba.

  • juris imprudent||

    The theory, at least amongst dogmatists, is that the free market will non-coercively solve the problem.

    I argue that it isn't a problem solvable by the market.

    The free market does rely on agents of coercion y'know - enforcement of contract, etc. It relies on external rules and social norms, not just on intrinsic mechanisms of exchange.

    Jim Crow was not a free society, so why expect a free market therein? Simply saying that the market is 'free' does NOT equate to a free and open society. Certainly ending de jure segregation was a necessary condition of ending de facto.

  • ||

    We all....ALL...agree that Jim Crow laws were bad and unjust and corrupt. Nobody is arguing that. And laws that restrict access to services have nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not any business owner has the right to decide who he will or will not do business with. This is not difficult stuff to understand.

  • Sarah||

    Juris Imprudent,

    I think you are missing an important point here. You ignore the possibility that freedom can be an end in itself, not just a means to a better society.

    I am one who values freedom for its own sake, even if the results of freedom are messy. I am lucky in that I also believe that over the long run freedom has the best results.

    But nowhere in any of this is an assertion that if we just somehow adopted an entirely free market tomorrow, the next day the world would be all rainbows and unicorns.

    The issue you have to be able to analyze is weighing an extended period during which businesses privately discriminated against the long-term benefits of a free market. Until you understand what the latter are, you can't weigh them against the former.

    Sarah

  • juris imprudent||

    But nowhere in any of this is an assertion that if we just somehow adopted an entirely free market tomorrow, the next day the world would be all rainbows and unicorns.

    Although that is a favored strawman position attributed to libertarians amongst lefties.

    Of course a free society is going to be messy, I have no objection to that. My objection is to the dogmatists who insist that just letting the free market work was (and is) the ultimate solution. That can't be due to the external conditions necessary for the market to work. If those external conditions are whacked, you won't get a functioning free market.

  • Sarah||

    "Ultimate solution" to what problem? And what would it mean for the free market to "work"? This language assumes that there is some end other than freedom for its own sake.

    If you think the problem is lack of freedom, then freedom is in fact the "ultimate solution."

    If you think the problem is something like, say, an inequal number of male and female CEOs, then a free market might not "work" to fix that problem. Men and women in a free state might have a tendency to make choices that impact the number of female CEOs, such as women more frequently opting to interrupt their careers to raise children.

    If that's a problem, in one's view, then one would necessarily not consider freedom to "work." One would perceive the need for some sort of intervention, perhaps incentives for employers to work harder to find female CEOs, say by lowering their standards to make up for the paucity of female candidates.

    I know you're just trying to make your point in a short post, and don't have time to define every term. But general language like saying a free market only "works" under impossible conditions, contains innumerable assumptions about what it means for something to "work," assumptions we don't necessarily share.

  • Cyto||

    Actually, since we are searching backward for chickens and eggs, the real state action we should be examining is not the Civil Rights Act, but the Jim Crow laws. Without Jim Crow, would large-scale segregation have continued into the 60's? Would Wal-Mart have come into small city segregation and destroyed the local segregated sole proprietorship shops with big-box integrated shopping all the sooner?

    As a product of the south and one-half of an inter-racial marriage, I can say that despite "common knowledge" views of racism in the south, we encountered more white racism in the northeast than anywhere else in the country - dating back to 1983. Less than 20 years after the Civil Rights Act we frequented redneck honky-tonks and early hip-hop clubs and never once had an issue. In the country bars I never even had anyone look at me crosswise. I doubt you could chalk that up solely to the effects of the civil rights act.

    So no, based on my experience I do not think that you can say that widespread segregation would have continued if there had never been any Jim Crow laws. In fact, our experience with private clubs that are legally "white men only" shows that this might be an accurate assessment. Although it has been a number of years, public attention to such clubs has slowly eliminated such restrictions without the need for the force of the state.

    At various times in our history Jews, Irish, Italians, Germans and Chinese have been the object of widespread exclusion and vitriol. Because of their method of arrival, this period was relatively short-lived. The same will likely be true of any current "anti-Latino" sentiment, once the current wave of immigration subsides.

    Unfortunately, probably due to the very nature of the original relationship, this assimilation has never been completed for Native Americans or some areas of the African American community. Interestingly, the federal government has played a role in perpetuating this situation by subsidizing an underclass lifestyle via public housing and direct-support payments.

    The Katrina situation in New Orleans might prove to be an opportunity to study the validity of the proposition that dispersing these concentrated populations of very poor minorities would work to improve their standard of living and upward mobility. My hypothesis would be that over the course of years or generations those families relocated from perpetually poverty-stricken areas of New Orleans to more economically mixed areas will see a marked increase in wealth and standard of living as compared to those who did not relocate. I would also take this result as evidence that government action (in the form of well-meaning subsidies) retards integration and advancement for minority groups, at least as much as it advances it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Opponents of intrusive government, including journalists of Stossel’s stature, should know how to pick their battles.

    They should become more like you, Cathy: unprincipled wusses.

  • Lucas||

    What a bunch of crap.

    Calling anyone who opposes private property and freedom of association a libertarian is a joke.

    Reason should be embarrassed for hiring this writer.

  • juris imprudent||

    Drink!

  • SIV||

    Reason should be embarrassed for hiring this writer.

    You can say that about half of them.

  • qwerty||

    Reason should start the David Wiegel Award for the most embarrassing article. I disagree with Young here, but this wouldn't quite win the award.

    I agree picking your battles is important, but Rand Paul didn't pick this battle. The media did. Paul's choice was either (1) to lie or (2) say what he said. I'd love it if the guy with the balls to say what he did becomes a senator.

  • JoshINHB||

    or 3)
    Directly point out that segregation was a result of government action.

  • ||

    The most persuasive argument I have heard is that most national chains actually wanted the law to protect them from retaliation by white vigilantes.

    In a more ideal world that might have been acheived through national business associations passing internal regulations governing their own members. But given that the federal government was the only entity around capable of enforcing a non-discrimination policy that was where they turned.

    However, I'm still not convinced there couldn't have been a non-coercive means of ending discrimination. The fact that southern whites did not break out rioting at the passage of the CRA suggests that support for segregation was not nearly as strong as some think. Often a small minority can enforce a social norm only if the majority is otherwise indifferent to it. The polls published on Reason a few weeks back suggest that many, if not most southern whites by 1964 no longer actively supported segregation.

    I don't think "wait" or "the free market will take care of it" is an adequate answer either though. Societal pressure of one sort calls for countervailing societal pressure. Perhaps the civil rights movement could have continued by privately boycotting and picketing discriminatory businesses. Maybe a federal takeover of local law enforcement would have been *better*.

    It's possibly that the legacy of racism might have dwindled faster and left fewer problems behind if they had focused on non-coerceive means to end discrimination rather than relying on federal enforcement to do it.

  • Edwin||

    didn't you call me fascist for supporting the CRA on another Reason article?

  • Edwin||

    hyprocritical bitch

  • ||

    So Cathy is saying "Some Americans can't understand arguments that require more than 6 words to be put together. Therefore people should just anticipate how retarded many are and not even try to make intellectual arguments requiring more than one sentence. We need to give up on promoting silly idealistic concepts like property rights."

  • TP||

    I wasn't around back then, but where were the federal courts when all of this was going on? Why wasn't it rectified in federal court? Was there some sort of case law precedent?

  • jj||

    Cathy: I didn't know that Reason had already filled the Weigel chair of faux libertarianism yet. A few months at this gig and you should be welcomed by the NYT or WaPo.

  • TP||

    ...maverick libertarian Republican Ron Paul

    Man, don't even start that shit.

    Fuck.

  • ||

    In 1996 I went to a Harlem (NY) restaurant with a group of black people, and the waitress refused to take my order. (I'm a white male.) I thought it was kind of funny because I wasn't hungry, didn't really want anything off the menu, and knew I could always eat someplace else.

  • Dave||

    Andy H....you are so full of it.

  • Pedant||

    I like how none of the opinions expressed by the author are neither backed by any facts nor derived from any substantive analysis. Brava!

  • ¢||

    There's not a single libertarian position or argument about anything that isn't "moot."

    So, fuck all those? OK.

  • Tony||

    I'm not unconvinced that libertarianism is, in its entirety, nothing more than cheap philosophical cover for various nasty motivations. Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of racism, and corporatism. Not to say most libertarians are racist. Just probably blissfully unaware of the things their philosophy has excused on "principle."

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I'm not unconvinced that libertarianism is, in its entirety, nothing more than cheap philosophical cover for various nasty motivations. Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of racism, and corporatism. Not to say most libertarians are racist. Just probably blissfully unaware of the things their philosophy has excused on "principle."


    Is freedom of speech merely an excuse for Holocaust denial ?

  • Joshua Lyle||

    I'm not unconvinced that statism is, in its entirety, nothing more than cheap philosophical cover for various nasty motivations. Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of racism (see Socialism, National), and corporatism (see Mercantilism). Not to say most statists are racist. Just probably blissfully unaware of the things their philosophy has excused on "pragmatism."

  • Tony||

    You are deeply confused.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    So you're saying that National Socialism and Mercantilism aren't fundamentaly statist and racist or corporatist (in the modern sense), respectively as a matter of fact, and that holding the contrary is mere confusion? Might want to check your sources there, chief.

  • Oh no not this again||

    I think you missed his point, many here go around proclaiming their beliefs innocent of claiming any lives, and are quick to pounce on the crimes of communism, but willfully ignore the crimes of capitalism/crony capitalism. See Latin America, Milton, and his associates for further details. Hugo is small fries when compared to the capitalism supporting dictators who used to thrive in that region.

  • Jordan||

    Capitalism didn't oppress those people; dictators (i.e. government) did.

  • Oh no not this again||

    But they did it for capitalism, all those free market/pro business types, they helped, advised, and did what they could to assist them into power. Those corporations wanted those guys there to make life/business easier for them. Sorry, they don't get to hide behind, "But it was a Government Dictator," they knew and they helped. Guilty guilty guilty

  • Jordan||

    Those corporations wanted those guys there to make life/business easier for them.

    Corporations receiving special favors from government? Doesn't sound too free-market to me.

  • Oh no not this again||

    Yeah, makes you wonder what they'd do without having to rely on government to give them a free pass.

  • Oh no not this again||

    Which is why it's better to have a government influenced by people and not corporation lobbying/donations.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Wait... Corporate lobbying/donations aren't given by people?

    Is that money coming from robots? Aliens?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Ask a North Korean how free he is under his leader's thumb, ONNTA.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    Milton told a dictator to liberalize. Blaming him for the crimes of authoritarian regimes in South America is like blaming someone for suggesting to Hitler that maybe he should lighten up on the Jews for the Holocaust.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    +1

  • DD||

    Hugo is small fries? How about Castro? Mao? Stalin? The last time I checked the folks who followed Milton had the highest standard of living in South America. They dropped a couple of political adversaries out of planes, (and no one can defend that) but ask the people of Cambodia how their country did when those lefty radicals got their hands on absolute power? How about those in Cuba? North Korea?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Libertarians are "corporatists"? Because we oppose corporate welfare, while Hopey McChange gives corporations billions in tax money.

    I'd say you're the one who is either deeply confused, or has ulterior motives.

  • Jordan||

    I hear those assholes also think that Nazis should have free speech rights and child molesters deserve a fair trial. Fuck that shit!

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Indeed.

  • Tony||

    But liberals already have that stuff covered.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    If by "covered", you mean "failed to support", yes. Contemporary faux-liberal "hostile environment" codes and faux-liberal support for extra-judicial punishment of "sex-criminals" have worked out so nicely in protecting minority speech and fair adjudication for those accused of sex crimes.

  • Tony||

    I don't get how strict sex crimes laws are coming from liberals. Sorry to push your button though.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    They aren't necessarily coming from liberals, but they're certainly getting plenty of legislative support.

  • The Point||

    How's the view from down there, Tony?

  • A is Awesome||

    LOL, whored. No one respond to Tony.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sorry, you're right. Disingenuous bullshit doesn't deserve a response. mea culpa.

  • JEP||

    Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
    - Robert A. Heinlein

  • ||

    Individualism---GOOD
    Collectism---BAD

  • ||

    Collectivism

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Spot-on, Cunctator.

  • Tony||

    Yes, I know you're simpleminded and thus rely on a simplistic black/white worldview. And it's hard to get simpler than x=good, y=bad.

  • juris imprudent||

    I'm not unconvinced that libertarianism is, in its entirety, nothing more than cheap philosophical cover for various nasty motivations.

    No worries Tony, I'm convinced you are nothing but an intellectual wastrel and wouldn't know a principle if it kicked you in the arse.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Notice he's not saying we're all racists, but...

  • Jason||

    Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of ... corporatism.

    Since when have libertarians agreed with corporatism???

    Read these statements lifted from The Coming Corporate State (note that the Manchester school of economists advocated free trade, pacifism, and free & consensual relations among people... suspiciously libertarian) and tell me who proposed reorganizing GM and Chrysler with employers' representatives, employee's representatives (unions), and consumers' representatives (government):

    The Corporate State is based upon industrial or occupational organisation rather than the regional or geographical method of government used today. ... The regional administration of Democracy is largely replaced by functional industrial organisation on a vocational basis. ...

    Turning from the local administration of the urban borough and the rural district, the Corporate State endows industries and occupations with new powers of self-government. These powers are exercised in the same manner as those of local authorities today. In the position of the borough council we have the industrial corporation, which possesses the right to pass by-laws binding upon the industry as a whole, just as the council can pass by-laws for the borough. ..

    There will be represented on the Corporation employers, workers and consumers. Each group will be given equal representation and equal power, and may not be outvoted by the other two.

    Sane functioning of the nation as a whole can only be attained by collaboration between the various industrial factors, not by their mutual hostility, as supposed by the Manchester school of economists.

    The employers' representatives will be elected by the owners, partners and directors in the business enterprises of the industry, and by those engaged in a managerial capacity or in executive office. They will represent the organising side and will form an employers' federation. Association to this employers' federation will be compulsory upon every business enterprise, which will contribute a yearly subscription proportional to the number of its employees, and submit itself to the disciplined control of the federation.

    The workers' representatives will be elected by all employees, whatever their function, including clerical staff (excepting only those engaged in a managerial capacity mentioned above). They will form a trade union embracing every worker, but confined entirely to these. The principle of Trade Unionism is entirely retained, and advanced to 100 per cent. Stripped of their obnoxious and irrelevant political activities the Unions will play an essential part in the organisation of the Corporate State.

    The consumers' representatives cannot be elected like the others, as consumers may very well be scattered broadcast. Actually the nation itself is the ultimate consumer in the case of most products and, therefore, the Government, as representative of the nation, is best fitted to nominate the consumers' representatives. Reputable persons will be chosen to represent the interests of the ultimate consumer, and these will hear the grievances and suggestions of anyone who is affected by the working of the industry in question. In many cases other industries are big consumers, when the Government will appoint representatives to be nominated by the Corporations controlling these industries to watch over their interests.

    Do those ideas sound like the ideas expressed on these web pages and in Reason to you?

  • ||

    Using this same logic, I could also conclude that all men with mustaches are white-supremacist Hitler fans (because apparently it's a style of which he approved), and all Baptists are homophobic freaks who picket military funerals with "God Hates Fags" signage.

    Every tenet has been whored out in the service of racism. And every other -ism, for that matter. The Bible has been used to justify punishment for miscegenation. It's also used by professional douchebag Rev. Fred Phelps to justify positively repellent demonstrations at military gravesites. And it's also used by perfectly ordinary, kindly folks as motivation for working in soup kitchens, senior centers, and refugee camps. So which of these applications makes the Bible inherently evil, "nothing more than a cheap philosophical cover?" Answer: None.

    Once again, thought is not a crime. People, on occasion, commit crimes, but not by thinking or believing.

  • Coeus||

    Once again, thought is not a crime.

    Haven't been following the news lately, have you?

  • Jason||

    Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of racism

    And it service of abolition and civil rights (see Frederick Douglass and pre-FDR liberalism).

  • Tony||

    With FDR we simply have the evolution of liberalism to cope with an increasingly less agrarian and isolated world. Libertarians just missed the boat. Surely you're not arguing that liberalism and the increase of freedom stopped at FDR rather than wildly expanding thereafter.

  • tarran||

    Oh, Tony,

    When FDR was forcing farmers to slaughter livestock and plow under fields while people were going hungry in the cities, freedom was not growing.

    When FDR decided to implement Mussolini's economic policies (Social Security, Industrial productions boards etc) and jail dry cleaners who charged a nickel below the officially allowed price, freedom was not enhanced. When FDR signed legislation that was designed to keep blacks from finding work in the north, freedom was not enhanced. When FDR decided to use census data to send people of "enemy races" to concentration camps, freedom was not enhanced.

    When FDR died, and the Republicans took the congress and repealed the New Deal, then freedom was enhanced.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Hush, tarran! You must not express derisiveness for FDR! It it forbidden!

  • skr||

    I'm not unconvinced that religion is, in its entirety, nothing more than cheap philosophical cover for various nasty motivations. Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of god. Not to say most theists are racist. Just probably blissfully unaware of the things their philosophy has excused on "principle."

  • ||

    Its tenets are regularly whored out in the service of racism, and corporatism.

    Possibly because racists and corporatists are more in need of a solid philosophical footing for their policies.

    One seeks out more rigorous philosophical arguments when your position is under attack.

    Since most of leftist thought today is specious bullshit, it's not the place one would go looking.

  • jj||

    Insert: Weigel and Young (right) having one big libertarian hug:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com.....50.jpg?v=0

  • Sudden||

    Funny. I didn't see any black folk at their bar? Racists.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    An Aryan Nations member is walking through Central Park. A black man behind a hot dog cart offers a hot dog in exchange for cash. He replies, "I don't buy no hot dogs from no niggers."

    An Aryan nations member is behind a hot dog cart in Central Park. A black man offers cash in exchange for a hot dog. He replies, "I don't sell no hot dogs to no niggers."

    Why is the former permissible under the Civil Rights Act and the latter impermissible?

  • Barack Obusha||

    I'm workin' on it, son.

  • justaliberal||

    umm...really?

    Both cases are equally morally reprehensible.

    But really your first case is just words, the second case is a refusal of service.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    But the feds changed the state of play:

    An Aryan nations member is behind a health insurance desk in New York. A black man offers cash in exchange for a health insurance. He replies, "I don't sell no insurance to no niggers."

    An Aryan Nations member is walking through New York. A black man behind a health insurance desk offers health insurance in exchange for cash, which the Aryan Nations member is obligated to buy. He replies, "I don't buy no insurance from no niggers."

    They look a lot less asymmetrical now...

  • Michael Ejercito||

    But really your first case is just words, the second case is a refusal of service.


    The first case is a refusal of cash.

  • Pedant||

    An Aryan Nations member is walking through Central Park. A black man behind a hot dog cart offers him a job. He replies, "I don't work for no niggers."

    Also a case of "refusal of service".

    Any exchange requires consent on both sides. Which side is selling labor for capital, and which side is selling capital for labor matter not one whit of difference.

  • justaliberal||

    If you define "refusal of service" as only applying when a business exists, then that takes care of this case. So for example, if your business is that you provide cashiers for other businesses, including yourself as a cashier, then you would have to take the black man's job offer for the same wages you would take for a white man's job offer.

    I think it'd be unenforceable anyway to force people to buy things or take certain jobs, because there are many reasons that one might not want to buy something, or not take a particular job, other than race. But there is really no good reason for not selling someone something, or not giving someone who is qualified a job.

    If I were racist, and forced to work for someone of a race I didn't like, then I could easily be incompetent and get myself fired, and there really is no way around that.

  • Sudden||

    You are correct on part 1, both cases are equally morally reprehensible. But you are wrong on part 2, as both cases preclude an economic activity from taking place, and any government intervention that forces the seller party to contract itself out unwillingly is not equally applied if the buyer party is not equally enforced to the transaction unwillingly.

    The first case is as much a refusal to comply with an economic transaction as the second one. And in either case, they are just words, because if there is one almighty law of the market its that if there is a market, there will be suppliers. Why the hell would you wanna buy from the guy that hates you for your skin color anyways if you know he's gonna turn a profit on you? Why not buy from the guy who starts a business to cater to you because you were denied by some asshole with no brain?

  • justaliberal||

    It's not clear to me why there should be a symmetry between a buyer and seller?

    Even someone who owns a business shops at other places and would be protected from racial discrimination when buying.

    I suppose you can say that it's unfair to sellers that they must sell to everyone, and that buyers have more freedom than sellers, but people are both buyers and sellers, so in terms of people, it seems fair.

  • Jordan||

    Why shouldn't there be? In both cases, someone is being denied access to another's property that they feel entitled to. In fact, it should be worse in the case of racists refusing to buy from a minority-owned business because they're damaging that person's livelihood.

  • justaliberal||

    This is getting too theoretical for me, and hence probably for anyone that hasn't studied libertarianism.

    Even if it's wrong to allow buyers to discriminate against race as we currently do, how does that imply that it's right to allow sellers to discriminate against race?

    That's like saying allowing 2 wrongs is better than allowing 1 wrong. The first case is practically impossible to enforce, so let's allow buyers to discriminate against race because there's nothing we can really do about that. Sellers we can enforce, but because we don't do anything about buyers, this would be wrong?

    If sellers are the same as buyers, then fine, but to me this is an abstract exercise in semantics. Everyone else seems to know what a buyer and a seller is. If it were truly the case that sellers and buyers were indistinguishable, then why have two words that mean the same thing, other than synonyms? Do you really use those two words interchangeably? I don't, and most people don't either.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    "Sellers" and "buyers" are identical except as a matter of perspective.

    You don't look at it that way because you don't really clearly understand the economics involved.

    Look at money as just another traded good - the same as your labor, your apples, your pottery, a watch... whatever.

    If I make a watch and sell it to you, I'm selling you the watch - from my perspective. However, also from my perspective, it could equally be said that with that watch, I'm trying to "buy" your dollars.

    Likewise, you are effectively "selling" me your dollars in exchange for "buying" my watch.

    Buying & selling are two sides of an exchange, but anytime the exchange is voluntary - and thus, mutually beneficial - then we are each doing both things simultaneously, depending on your point of view.

    Beyond that, the real problem here is that you're confusing something being morally reprehensible with something that the law has any business prohibiting. There's plenty of stuff that's morally reprehensible but which the law has no place in dictating. I think you can make a great argument for a hell of a lot of porn being pretty obscene, yet we wouldn't ban it... We just wouldn't want to pay for it ourselves.

    Likewise, you need to view these kinds of things like that.

    If it's not your property, then you can't decide what to do with it... Even if the person who does own it makes decisions you don't like.

  • justaliberal||

    I took economics in high school and I remember there were suppliers and demanders, but I guess technically suppliers have a demand for money and demanders have a supply of money. But I'm pretty sure I missed a few questions by confusing suppliers with demanders, so even in economics, buyers and sellers aren't exactly the same.

    I was only confused about this buying=selling thing which to me is a nonstandard definition.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    But almost everyone sells labor, and your position would imply that they must not discriminate in whom they sell labor to. Do you get how fucked up that is?

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    Money is a token representation of goods and services. It streamlines the barter process, but doesn't alter the nature of it. In any transaction both parties are simultaneously buyer and seller. Calling them by different names depending on which used the token is simply a dishonest accounting trick for the sake of the bewildered human brain. That is why the symmetry.

  • alan||

    justaliberal|6.16.10 @ 5:52PM|#

    umm...really?

    Both cases are equally morally reprehensible.

    But really your first case is just words, the second case is a refusal of service.

    So an exchange can occur with only one of these two conditions being met? The answer is no.

  • St. V||

    If black man is selling hot dogs, and an Aryan Nations member says, "Sell me a hot dog, nigger," does this mean he should be forced to or be held legally accountable?

    If I don't want to serve the KKK members from a parade food, why should I be forced to?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Sorry Cathy but the parameters of Constitutional rights of individuals and the Constitutional powers of government are not contigent on whether anyone thinks some particular outcome will be achieved fast enough (or at all) by the government abiding by those parameters.

    The Constitution is what it is.

    Regardless of any outcome that results from abiding by it.

  • Sarah||

    This was also my problem with her piece. She's saying we needed government to interfere because otherwise we wouldn't have achieved the desirable end fast enough. Leaving aside whether she is factually correct on that premise, freedom is kind of meaningless if you only get it when you do the right thing with it.

    Of course I find it abhorent that someone was asked to pee in a cup because of her skin color. But if that's a justification for government force, then what isn't?

    My loyalty to freedom extends beyond the easy cases. If it didn't, I wouldn't go around calling myself a libertarian.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    Actually, I think it might be a valid justification of force as presented, because it is an instance of government force. Jim Crow laws exerted their evil on property owners as well as, if not as vilely as, their primary targets.

  • Carter||

    I believe government should not interfere with free association or dictate morality regarding race. But then I'm not a libertarian.

  • ||

    What does this beast from the sea represent?Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama Antichrist! But Antichrist as a world government, a political power, the likes of which this world has never seen. The origin of this beast is the sea, which represents the restless nations and peoples of the earth. "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose water cast up mire and dirt."That the beast has power and a throne and great authority. ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the ANTICHRIST Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE. ,THE COMMANDER.

  • Jordan||

    Dude, chill. You make shrike look sane.

  • Sudden||

    He makes shrike look like Einstein, Newton, and Hawkings all rolled into one. There is no understating the vileness and stupidity of the breed of commenter that is COMMANDER.

  • AlmightyJB||

    But the plus side is that he does make us feel better about ourselves.

  • SIV||

    Needs BOLD

    TIP: < b > wrap these around your comment only w/o the spaces between the < > and the b

    BOLD adds instant credibility to deranged rants. Works well with CAPS too

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I pretty much agree with most of the article. Much bigger fish to fry. Why fight an unnwinnable battle over a basically moot issue when there's such a long way to go on basic stuff that could be winnable. I agree in principle to a lot of criticism of the artcle by other posters but with all of the shit going down is this the BIG issue you want to go to war on? Really?

  • ||

    So which other fundamental Constitutional rights do you want to cede to the statists without a fight?

    And would the list be shorter if you just listed the few rights you are willing to fight for?

  • Oh no not this again||

    Yep, because others should bear the price, err cost, of your beliefs.

  • Obama||

    No, my follower don't do it! Don't make that argument. It will boomer-

    Oh no not this again|6.16.10 @ 7:07PM|#

    Yep, because others should bear the price, err cost, of your beliefs.

    Ah, fuck, do you have even an once of self awareness under your skin?

    Why couldn't I have attracted a smarter cult like l. Ron Hubbard?

  • Obama||

    even an once

    Shaved Headed Miss Sunshine here can't even take proper dictation. What a miserable bunch of losers I attract.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It isn’t about ceding anything. It’s about stopping Leviathan. You do that by winning elections, not just standing there smugly on your high horse, dogmatically arguing every issue and assuring that you never ever get elected county dogcatcher much less congressman or senator. You run against bloated government, bailouts/, stimuli, etc. You focus on issues that resonate with the majority of Americans. When we have a balanced budget, when the US is no longer the policeman of the world, when our domestic police are no longer running amuck like paramilitary units, when the government is no longer confiscating private property to give to their connected friends in the name of “progress”, when we start to make progress in getting the people to understand that the government is the fucking problem and not the solution. Then, come back to me and talk to me about how hard we should fight over allowing racist to discriminate over who they must serve and I’ll more then happy to back you up on that. I don’t disagree with you on the principle. But if you want to have any impact on this shit you damn well better be willing to deal with the reality that you have to pick your battles until such point where you’ve proven that your way is the better way, not just in theory, but in practice. I’m certainly open minded to hear how Libertarians are going to win elections on dogma if you have a better strategy.

  • jason||

    well said.

  • ||

    And so your plan to stop Leviathan is to advocate for any portion of libertarianism that currently enjoys majority support among the populace, and make no effort to turn minority support for the rest into majority support?

    Good luck with that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "make no effort to turn minority support for the rest into majority support"

    I never said NO effort should be made. As a political candidate though one has to stay on message and not let those issues with very little support become distractions and drags on your campaign. That doesn't say Libertarian party leaders, Libertarians themselves, think tanks like the CATO institute and Libertarian leaning media folks like Stossel and bloggers at Reason can't be working on educating those that have been brainwashed to believe up is down and down is up. Planting these landmines to destroy candidacies is something the media does on purpose. It's part of their strategy to protect the status quo and to boost ratings with controversial topics. You can either fall into their trap and go down, or you can have a better strategy to counteract them which is basically to ignore them and address those issue which matter most and that you can win on. It's called politics. I probably wouldn't be very good at it and obvious you wouldn't be either.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Maybe it is time for trying a new strategy - not being a lying, scheming, two faced weasel. Maybe not as many voters are willing to accept that. Integrity and effectiveness are NOT mutually exclusive in civics despite what the Demo-Publicans have taught you...

    "Paul, who recently found himself in hot water for questioning the legality of portions of the Civil Rights Act, is leading Conway 44-40 percent with 9 percent undecided in a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll taken May 24-26.

    The margin of error is 4 percent, so Paul, an eye doctor, is statistically tied with the state attorney general. The survey polled likely voters.

    Paul maintains a 53-33 favorability/unfavorability rating, SHOWING THAT HIS COMMENST ABOUT THE CRA HAVE NOT CAUSED MAJOR LOSSES IN SUPPORT.

    "This race's big battleground will be independent voters — Paul is currently winning them 42-31, with 27 percent undecided, and Democrats, where Conway is only getting 75 percent to Paul's 7 Percent, with 18 percent undecided," the site's founder Markos Moulitsas writes."

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballo.....atest-poll

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Doesn't matter much to me, I will go to war on all of the issues.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    The sane south would have probably desegregated by itself. Nashville and Oklahoma City already had by the time of the CRA, and Greensboro, home of the most famous sit-in, was on its way. (The famous lunch counter was already desegregated.)

    I doubt there would have been voluntary desegregation in the real fever swamps like Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, etc. That probably would have taken serious national boycotts of products from those states.

  • Lowdog||

    But even with government force, those areas (Mississippi, Alabama, etc) can still be pretty tough for many blacks, so really, what was accomplished?

  • ||

    Most likely, over the long haul, overt discrimination against blacks in the private sector would have become socially unacceptable and mostly extinct. But could American society have afforded to wait?

    IOW, too many Americans would have just have continued to do the wrong thing for just a little too long without the State stepping in and giving them a good kick. It appears that Cathy has forgotten the Iron Law:

    You aren't free unless you are free to be wrong.

  • Sudden||

    One of my major problems with the article is that she acknowledges that, over time, private discrimination would've likely faded away for the most part. And yet, she states that "...calling for a repeal of the ban on discrimination in the private sector is both utopian and reckless." WTF is it Cathy? It sounds to me that your own admission is that its no longer a concern. I can see the case (albeit I don't agree) that it was warranted then. But that doesn't mean its warranted now, and if it ain't, something so patently unconstitutional should be repealed.

  • juris imprudent||

    This is reminiscent of O'Connor's SCotUS view on affirmative action - it's wrong and we won't need it in the future, but we do for now.

  • Sudden||

    One must also ponder, how many black-owned businesses would have prospered by catering to communities underserved by private discriminatory businesses? How might these black-owned businesses have been able to capture marketshare among whites as societal opinions evolved and how might this prosperity have helped black Americans bridge the income divide that is so pernicious today?

  • Cyto||

    ^^ This

  • jj||

    This happened in south africa with transportation. White buses were decent. Black buses were scarce and horrible. And so black entrepeneurs bought minivans and shuttled people around. By the time Apartheid ended you it was a generally acknowledged that you could get better transportation taking a "black taxi" than using white transportation. This is an important but overlooked facet of government discrimination: if handled correctly it can result in better private services. Fighting for equal screwing by the government is not the way to go.

  • .||

    ... how many black-owned businesses would have prospered by catering to communities underserved by private discriminatory businesses?

    Quite a few actually. Before the CRA there were many prosperous black-owned business which catered to blacks, but after passage many of them lost market share to non-black-owned businesses.

  • ||

    This drawn-out debate about the Rand Paul comments has left the impression that the Civil Rights Act somehow prohibited setting up racially-discriminatory eating and drinking establishments. It most certainly did not. There are now, as always, private exclusive "country clubs" and such which openly and flagrantly exclude members of the wrong religion/race/ethnicity/gender.

    The CRA only covers a narrow subset of businesses -- deemed "public accomodations" because they hold themselves open to the general public at large and provide services that are essential to the convenience of the traveling public. All of thou, the fine and upright libertarians who cry tears of blood for the racists who are forced to eat cheeseburgers alongside people of an offensive color, fear not: the "exclusive club" remains an option in 21st Century America.

    But meanwhile, allowing white supremacists to 'lock up' travel corridors and the limited amount of property in business-zoned districts with Jim-Crow establishments is not a reduction of government power in any sense. It merely enlists the police authority of the state in the service of an empowered and reflexively violent majority over a vulnerable minority.

    The CRA does the best job practicable of removing the power of the state from use and manipulation by a cohort of racists who chiefly want to use government for their own purposes.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    Well, you are correct in that the CRA did not increase the use of government power over private property; that power was already being thoroughly exercised by Jim Crow law and the CRA merely changed the marching orders. But isn't it time that we free private property owners from that same oppression brought by Jim Crow laws?

  • Paul||

    The CRA does the best job practicable of removing the power of the state from use and manipulation by a cohort of racists who chiefly want to use government for their own purposes.

    I largely agree with this assessment. But you do see the curiosity in it, right? It's like the State had to say "I'm passing a law to stop myself from being racist".

    As far as the "public accomodations" definition, that always gets dicey.

  • .||

    The CRA does the best job practicable of removing the power of the state from use and manipulation by a cohort of racists who chiefly want to use government for their own purposes.

    Yes, and gives it to another "cohort" of assholes who want to use government for their own purposes - namely "legislating morality."

  • qwerty||

    Yes, the CRA drew a completely arbitrary line, saying some privately owned establishments are "private" and some privately owned establishments are "public". They ruled that since "public" privately owned establishments are open to everyone, they must be open to everyone.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    ...which is especially bizarre, since obviously if a restaurant is only open to blacks, or whites, or whatevers - it's obviously not open to "everyone", and thus shouldn't be considered to be "public" in the first place.

  • justaliberal||

    Here's the problem. Most people who work, don't view business as a place where one can goof off, associate with one's chums, etc.

    A person at a hardware store must bend over backwards listening to the customer's specific problems, and tell the customer what materials to buy. That's called professionalism.

    One can be as unprofessional as one wants at home. But at one's work one needs to be professional.

    Most Americans just don't view home and work the same. Therefore, most Americans don't see this as a case of free association of racists.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    The question is not whether we value professionalism, the question is whether tis better to get unprofessional employees fired or to have their bosses thrown in the lock-up.

  • Paul||

    And the fact that we find ourselves in this 'unlikely debate' about the 1964 civil rights act is why Rand Paul will be the Ned Lamont of the GOP.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I saw that hobag maddow on Jay Leno. I also saw that they replaced Kevin Eubanks with some boring tool. I don't think I will be watching any more.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Really, why were you watching in the first place? It's Leno.

  • ||

    What part of "free minds, free markets" does this article fall under??

  • ||

    Drink!

  • Sudden||

    DRINK!

  • juris imprudent||

    I am! I am!

  • DDavis||

    I rarely disagree with Cathy, but I see I'm not alone here.

    Cathy cites the urgency to "Do Something Now!", and the fact that freedom may not have immediately given the outcome desired.

    The principal that we'll use government to force people to live as we'd like is bad enough, but why is government force the first and last option to do this? Why can't you give freedom the chance to produce the outcome you want before resorting to government measures?

    Why is it that we have to swing from one government imposed unfreedom to the next? Why is it that freedom is always the one thing that we're not allowed to try?

    How about we convert that old peacenik chant into something useful?

    All we are saying, is give freedom a chance.

  • a||

    If you rarely disagree with Cathy, then you must be falling asleep midway through her articles. A not uncommon response, btw.

  • timmothy||

    Some would say that freedom was given a chance, the freedom for blacks to eat at the same establishment as whites. Some would also say that this freedom turned out very well.

    Did I say some? I meant most, with the only dissenting opinions belonging to libertarians and racists.

    If it really bothers you that much about how racists aren't free to segregate while operating a business, and how blacks are free to be served at any business, then take it as payback for when blacks weren't free at all. Yeah the past is really taking away our freedoms, taking away our freedom to not serve blacks: why must we suffer for something that happened so long ago? O that's right, only racists suffer.

  • tarran||

    Please feel free to ignore the fact that libertarians were fighting Jim Crow back before it was cool.

    We fought for the right of blacks to eat at the same establishemnt as whites back when progressives were promoting Jim Crow at all levels of government.

    Then you guys changed your minds and decided that preventing blacks and whites from eating together was wrong, and decided to force people to start mixing.

    All this time, we have been opposed to you guys forcing people to live the way that makes you feel good.

    You think you made people free? Hah! To you, freedom is people being allowed to do whatever they want, so long as they do what you say.

  • Oh no not this again||

    Stupidest fight/argument ever! You guys are the only ones still beating this dead horse, at least others have moved on to pick on Rand for different reasons. What is it about civil rights that's bugging the shit out of everyone.............

  • Joshua Lyle||

    What is it about civil rights that's bugging the shit out of everyone...
    Well, we'd like to have them. Freedom of association, for one.

  • Proud Libertarian||

    gotta keep them niggers in their place and out of ours!

  • qwerty||

    fuck off, Tony

  • Max||

    That was me, spoofing as someone else spoofing as Tony. You goddamned capitalist Bushpigs don't deserve any kindness. I hope you all die so I can fuck your brothers in their Transformers pajamas.

  • ||

    True. We need to move on to the apparently vital question of whether Dr. Paul is board certified or not...

  • MJ||

    Yes Cathy, the way for small government ideals to succeed is to never, ever challenge the premises of the conventional wisdom.

  • ||

    How long would segregation have lasted if the phone call from the lunch counter to the police went like this?

    "Well, we really can't help you out. Your store's a public place, so anybody who wants can come in and sit down. It's up to you whether you serve them or not, but we're not allowed to discriminate among your patrons if you're open for business. So we won't help you remove them, or allow you to use aggression to do so.

    "You might just want to serve them so the stools will get freed up. That's what I'd do, anyway."

  • ||

    You do realize that someone trespassing on private property, and refusing to leave when told to do so, is an initiation of force?

    And it isn't "using aggression" to use minimal force to remove them after they refuse to leave, anymore than it is "using aggression" to fire back at someone who has shot at you.

  • Liberal Genius ||

    We live in a nation where racism is widespread and condoned. Things have gotten so bad that radio announcers can make jokes about black people being dragged to death behind pick-up trucks and absolutely nothing will happen to them. Sportscasters can call black athletes monkeys and suffer no repercussions whatsoever. A comedian shouted "nigger" at a heckler and continues to perform to sold-out crowds.

    Corporations are racist, too. They aren't the least bit afraid of offending the sensibilities of minorities. Coca-Cola had to be forced by the government to sell soda to blacks. And Denny's hasn't ever been criticized for its racist policies.

    The Civil Rights Act is vitally necessary to curb these racist actions. Without it, we might end up in a topsy-turvy world where 40% of prison inmates are black.

    I am a liberal, so of course it is impossible for me to be racist. I merely believe that minorities (except Asians and Jews) should be held to lower standards because they can't compete as well.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    A little fact-finding:
    Google search results for "criticism of Denny's racism": About 77,100 results (0.35 seconds)

    Research FAIL

  • Liberal Genius ||

    My goodness! Denny's has been criticized for racism!? I had no idea...

  • ||

    This guy is either a very opaque parody or a very ignorant person. I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the former.

  • MWG||

    Sarcasm Radar FAIL

  • SIV||

    So much sub-comMent FAIL

  • MWG||

    Damn SIV! Touche...

  • Edwin||

    BP recently called in Rand Paul as a consultant; they heard he's good at getting the black out of things.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, you're a laugh riot, Edwin. That was a knee-slapper worthy of Yakov Smirnov.

  • ||

    Hey everybody! Let's have an awesome conversation debating old-ass laws...again.

    Dude, that would totally be like awesome!

    I don't want to eat at any of your shitty hypothetical diners anyways.

  • alan||

    Cathy is always late to the party. I assumed most commentators were just being polite gentlemen and gentleladies by not pointing it out and rehashing all the above so she wouldn't feel left out.

    One thing no one has touched on though since the very first thread when I pointed it out: almost all members of Congress in the glorious 60's were members of private, 'select' clubs, but very few owned businesses. Why was there an exception carved out for private clubs? Principle? The thin reed of an excuse that they did not engage in commerce though they sure as Hell did. You think membership, booze, cigars, sous chef service, link access, and gold Mason bands are free?

    Perhaps, we should be advocating the overturning of this exception and see how that goes across in Congress, even in 2010. Perhaps, especially now.

    But I guess since there is not a chance in Hell it would go anywhere that would make me, what is Young calls those that oppose expansionist foreign policy designs, TARP, and most every principled libertarian position? Utopian?

  • alan||

    Note: argument is not as facetious as it may appear on the surface. I would prefer the first consistent principle, that private ownership does not change status through commercial use, but if that is not allowed by law than the law needs to be consistently applied.

  • ||

    Well, see alan, it's like this; imagine that I own a diner...

    Just kidding, sorry.

    I am trying to quit smoking, and am oscillating between rage and impishness. I thought quitting was supposed to make one bitchy, not turn them into a thirteen year old.

    Also, I have noticed a marked loss of concentration and hand-eye coordination.

    Look, I am fucking rambling on...I think I will punch myself in the face a few times.

    Get the fuck out of my diner, alan...I hate you.

  • alan||

    Get the fuck out of my diner, alan...I hate you.

    That's okay. I totally screwed you over one time, and probably will do so again. Also, I have absolutely no idea what remorse feels like so you could do worse in your choice of hatreds. Can I take a couple of eclairs to go?

  • ||

    I'll sell you the eclairs, as long as you don't stick around; stinking up the joint with whatever ethnicity/race you are...that I hate.

    That'll be $6.99.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Take a hike, Cathy. I have tried really, really hard to like you, but this is over the line. There is nothing remotely libertarian about this piece of pseudointellectual gutter trash.

  • cathyyoungisabigot||

    cathy young is scared to be labeled a bigot. i've been called worse sugar tits.

  • ||

    Just a question for the people trying to define a line between a "public accomodation" and a private residence.

    What defines the distinction?
    What if I open my dining room as a restaurant on weekends only?
    What if I start by inviting friends over for a gourmet meal once a week, and then ask them to donate to the gourmet kitchen kitty in exchange, and then this evolves into a weekend dinner restaurant? At what point should I have to start allowing anyone off the street to walk into my house uninvited? At what point does my dinner club turn into a public accomdation?

  • Iamanidiot||

    you can serve who you like but don't get any police protection for your private property.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Does that mean that I wouldn't have to pay the taxes that pay the salaries of the police and the burecrats?

    Count me in!

  • liberalspwnu||

    lol, this subject again?

    so if a business is the same as private property, why can't I put that deep fryer in my home? oh yeah, I listed it as a business expense to the IRS. damn, my own property and I can't even do what I want with it.

    down with government!

  • jacare||

    All tax deductions for business expenses should disappear, for if you discriminate your customers, then you no longer have a business but rather your own personal playground where you can jerk off with your fellow customers!

  • ||

    Ms. Young would have served herself well had she actually visited or been aware that there are place in the world that discrimination like this exists.

    Living in South East Asia since 2003, most of it in Thailand, I am well aware of these practices. In many of the islands along the coast of Thailand Israelis are not allowed in some business. This has created an environment where some businesses cater not exclusively but in a major way to Israelis.

    From what I witnessed it is a win win. The Thai people who do not enjoy the antics of young soldiers straight from contrition are free of their presence and other business thrive who are more than willing to take well earned sheckles.

  • JayDubya||

    Ultimately, the CRA of 1964 was a flawed piece of legislation that overshot the mark.

    Personally, I do not like it when my representative or my senator holds their nose and votes in favor of a bill they mostly like with some egregious content that is hostile to our liberty.

    In terms of bills, they should be short and simple, and you should absolutely throw the baby out with the bathwater if something is wrong.

    Ending Jim Crow laws that violated the property rights of business owners was a just thing to do. The comprehensive solution violated the property rights of business owners in precisely the same way.

    Ultimately, from a purely liberty perspective, I see no difference between a law that says you must not give custom to group x, and a law that says you must give custom to group x.

    Both violate the same human right, in the same manner.

  • Scott Jensen||

    1) Why does Reason have Cathy Young as a contributor? She's not a libertarian so it makes me wonder.

    2) Her own article contradicts itself. It points out how her socially approved exception to libertarianism has led to more bad laws.

    3) She also COMPLETELY ignores how many businesses tried to not discriminate but government forced them to. She THINKS the social change would have been too slow but she doesn't know and only guesses to justify her anti-libertarian views. Just eliminating government racism and seeing what happens would have shown if violating private property rights were really warranted. But we'll never know because government once again over reacted.

  • ||

    Until you attack the issue of language and it's uses head on, there will never be racial harmony in the world. Words are both an instigationb for and a deferral of violence. Acting on words is the measure of heroes and villains alike. I deliberately insult every progressive I talk to because the language barrier has become completely opaque. The art of making fine distinctions has long been lost, and Politico, Reason, Huffington etc are just a few more circus acts under the tent. Very soon now, there will be no tent.

  • liberalspwnu||

    lol, where are the libertarians arguing about how wrong it is to make it illegal to change the odometer on your own private car?

    that law has always made me feel unfree.

    down with government!

  • LibertarianAtheist||

    Socialists are so simple minded sometimes.

    It is up to the companies to make it more difficult than it is worth to change the odometer, since it IS their money given away in cases of warranty use.

    Also, if you know a car company isn't great at keeping people from changing the odometer, you cannot just NOT BUY THEIR CARS USED ****SHOCK****.

    That will lower the aftermarket value of the cars and discourage new buyers who might be interested in selling it in 5 years time.

  • liberalspwnu||

    if it's not illegal to change an odometer, then can I run a business that specializes in changing odometers, to help out laypersons?

    maybe a company can fight back by making it hard to take apart, but then again, maybe not.

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    Running such a business would be perfectly acceptable, although I doubt you'd make a profit. Changing the odometer shouldn't be illegal, but misrepresenting the mileage on a car you intend to sell is still fraud. How many potential clients can there be who are willing to spend any significant amoung of time/money for the minor aesthetic benefit of changing their odometers?

  • liberalspwnu||

    a mechanic can add changing an odometer to their list of skills, so it would not require any start-up costs.

    i'm not sure how you can prove the mileage on a car is false without an odometer, but that's really an engineering problem.

    a lot of people own cars, so requiring an untampered odometer affects a lot of people, while the CRA only affects people who own a business.

    this notion that one can do whatever one wants with property just isn't usually applied to business. a construction worker can buy a saw and list it as a business expense, but then they can only use the saw to fix other people's homes and not their own, for then the saw is for personal use and not professional use. the construction worker owns the saw and it is their property as no one can steal it: but the worker cannot use it to fix their home. there really is no way around this unless you get rid of an income tax, for then you would not need to claim any deductions.

  • Chantersnod||

    MSNBC interns have nothing better to do than post comments to Reason? I'm sure Rachel Maddow needs something Googled.

  • LibertarianAtheist||

    Please refer to it by it's real name "Jim Crow Laws".

    Many newspapers of late when referring to Rand Paul and his position love to leave out the word "Law", it was government enforcement.

  • Chantersnod||

    Cathy Young: Libertarians are naive, because you see back in the Jim Crow days? A lot of those businesses were forced by state laws to discriminate.

    If you're going to be my mommy, Cathy, you have to be smarter than this. That's all I ask. You be a *smarter mommy.*

  • ||

    There are several problems with Cathy Young's article.

    First, she overlooks the benefits of private discrimination. Shouldn't business owners be able to refuse service to bigots, racists, intolerant people and others, thereby pressuring them into behaving better if they wish to be served? I'm waiting for the Klan to sue some black restaurant owner for not serving them.

    Second, she discounts the efforts that existed to end discrimination, and the history of how government sponsored discrimination was ending.

    Third, she discounts the benefits the market provides to those who don't discriminate vs. those who do. Shouldn't the racists suffer for their erroneous ways at the hands of the market, rather than being forced by government? Which approach provides the better lesson?

    Finally, using government force to make people treat others better, is obviously not a proper use of government. Public/peer pressure is better.

  • Ken Moellman||

    Rand Paul is a paleo-conservative, not a libertarian.

  • Marshall Keith||

    Much has been said by the progressive/collectivist at MSNBC about Rand Paul’s comments about property rights and the civil rights laws. Now the progressives at MSNBC would have you believe that there would be no equal rights without the laws creating a protected class and denying the property owners their rights. In typical fashion they engage in revisionist history. It was the southern democrats that passed the Jim Crow laws. Now if they believed in the Constitution and enforced it the Jim Crow laws would never been enacted because it goes against the equal protection clause of the 14 th amendment.

    The amendment’s Equal Protection Clause requires states to provide equal protection under the law to all people within their jurisdictions. This clause later became the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in the United States.
    http://veritasvincitproliberta.....rand-paul/

  • ||

    A little history lesson on how the southern streetcar companies tried to resist state imposed didcrimination can be found here: http://www.econlib.org/library.....ation.html

  • ||

    What a load of lies you libertarians choose to tell yourselves! Jim Crow was not enforced by the states any more than the states made anyone go out and lynch any black person... and then organise a picnic. Jim Crow was the nexus of social practice and state law, in other words the law codified accepted social practice... it didn't IMPOSE IT... it wasn't an imposition so much as a covenant. You guys just can't man up to the fact that you're all rather very comfortable with racism so you try to come up with these entirely fictitious tales of Government imposing Jim Crow. I say you lie.... you KNOWINGLY LIE!

    When Klu Klux Klan first reared it's head it was the federal government under Sherman that fought it... on the other hand it was ordinary Southerners who formed the organisation, sheltered the murderous criminals who were members of the Klan... and what's more, elected some of them into office, yet we have this stupid fairy tale of Government imposed laws... what about all those many places where there was no Jim Crow Laws but still had all sorts of discriminatory practices.... what happened there? And all those officials passing those Jim Crow laws who was electing them? All those realtor's and Estate agents who were carving segregated enclaves... were they too being forced by government or were they responding to genuine social pressures from ordinary folks?

    The feeble Rubbish that someone posted about the Nazis and anti-Semitism is just so wrong headed as to be embarrassing... The Nazi's played on a centuries old fear and prejudice against Jews that was common all through out Christian Europe and the even the United States. In fact Anti-Semitism is in the European DNA... there were pogroms against Jews as early as 10th Century for crying out loud,... The Crusaders first murdered the Jews of Spain on their way to the Holyland.. before confronting Saladin. Martin Luther was a notorious anti semite. Yes, the founder of protestantism was hater of Jews!... and the Nazis didn't need to work too hard to convince the Germans to sell out their Jewish neighbours... In the Ukraine villagers willingly and without any compulsion clubbed their Jewish neighbours to death.... it was mostly people acting of their free will... that is what is truly terrifying about the Nazis and the holocaust, the so-called banality of evil... the most you can say about the behaviuor of most germans , Austrians Ukrainian and others who hated jews was that the Nazis created the environment in which such horrors could happen in a lot of cases no forced anyone to do anything... but because of your infantile ideology you just try brush the difficult question under the rug.... What a joke!

    You people are so infantile and so naive that you believe the bunk that posits that people are some how naturally good... Grow up. People are capable of doing the most awful things whether there's a government there or not, look at Somalia... In fact the US experience actually shows that the Federal government (the larger, more remote and powerful branch of Government) has been proven right by history more that the states... Lincoln was right, The confederacy was wrong ... so wrong that they now deny that they had all those people killed in defence of the institution of slavery... LBJ was right. Sherman was right to hammer the KKK and on and on...

    The reason you guys consistently push your dumb and discredited ideas is that basis of your philosophy is utterly incoherent... that's why Libertarianism just sucks and no one takes it seriously...

  • DesigNate||

    If Libertarians suck so much, why are you on a libertarian website?

    And calling people racist because they support people's right to be douchebag nazi's or real asshole racist makes you an ass.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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