Ann Althouse

Ann Althouse responds to Ron Bailey here .

It is a bizarre response. Apparently what so offended Althouse is that anyone could possibly believe that a private business owner should be permitted to privately discriminate on the basis of race. This, to her, isn't a position that's compatible with civil discourse. Or, at the very least, if you hold this position, the burden is on you to prove to Althouse that you aren't ignorant, racist, or sociopathic.

What's funny is that Althouse accuses libertarians of being didactic, "true believers" on this issue, something she apparently finds "disturbing" and "repellent." But it's pretty clear that Althouse herself isn't all that interested in open debate. Tossing around accusations of racism in response to an opinion that can clearly be held by someone who harbors no racial animus whatsoever has a way of cutting off debate.

When, for example, someone in Althouse's comments section suggested that segregation in the south was largely the result of government policy, and that were it not for state-mandated segregation, the private sector would have integrated on its own (a position held by many economists, including Thomas Sowell), Althouse snapped back :

The notion that economic incentives alone would have desegregated the South is a ridiculous fantasy that I am amazed to hear expressed by anyone with a sound mind and a basic education.

Golly. Good thing Althouse isn't one of those "true believers" unwilling to entertain any idea that challenges her worldview!

I'll concede that I'm a bit biased in all of this. I happen to believe the very thing that sent Althouse reeling -- that businesses should be allowed to discriminate in any way they please. I'd go out of my way not to patronize a racist, as I think would enough of the country to make racism a surefire business killer.  I also believe that the 14th Amendment compells the federal government to interfere when a state or local government -- or agents thereof -- is abusing a citizen's civil rights, for reasons related to race or otherwise.

But I happen to think that freedom of association also includes the freedom to be a bigot and to associate with bigots, as well as the freedom to, for example, serve someone who smokes. And I think the tremendous downside that stemmed from Heart of Atlanta and like cases that forced private businesses to desegregate is that we're now faced with an interpretation of the Commerce Clause that gives the federal government far too much power over local affairs, from telling cancer patients they can't smoke marijuana to ease the bite of chemo, to stopping hospitals from being built in order to protect some obscure, endangered, cave-dwelling insect. (I actually think the south could have been desegregated by way of the 13th Amendment -- but that's another discussion entirely).

And oddly enough, despite the fact that I hold these opinions, I don't feel I need to to prove a damned thing to Ann Althouse about whether I do or don't hate black people.

I understand that Althouse disagrees with me on these issues. That's fine. And I understand that "state's rights" and "federalism" are often code words for state-sanctioned racism and bigotry. In my writing, I've been quite vocal about the GOP's deplorable "southern strategy," and its detestable habit of pandering to racists . That doesn't mean federalism isn't still a good idea.

Discussing these types of issues is the very reason groups like Liberty Fund sponsor events like the one Althouse and Bailey attended in the first place. But it's supposed to be just that -- a discussion. Invitees are selected to provide for an interesting, provocative debate. It means you may possibly encounter ideas that are foreign to you, or that you disagree with. Dealing with those ideas without throwing a fit and unleashing accusations of racism every time your own beliefs are challenged is part of having a grown-up discussion with grown-up people about grown-up topics.

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  • Kevin O\'Reilly||

    Who posted this?

  • ||

    Radley Balko. Our blog software does on occasion have a regrettable glitch of not posting the byline simultaneous with the post--but in MOST cases if you refresh the page, the byline is there within less than a minute.

  • Guy Montag||

    Who are you guys trying to make cry now?

  • ||

    Althouse wasn't crying, she was just using tears as a secret code.

  • ||

    Althouse shows all the signs of an overeducated intellectual lightweight. They read a lot of brochures, but can't defend the words they parrot.

    However, I would think a professional intellectual, even from Madison, would do a better job than the typical SoCal Lefty. Storming off in a snit whenever you disagree with someone who has more data than you is just sad.

    To quote the usual response, "Whatever!"

    At least the SF hippies read whole books.

  • AC||

    While giving Althouse the benefit of the doubt, her behavior and writing on this matter fall short of what should be acceptable for an established professor of law. She's been teaching and writing for 20 years but she breaks down because people are "insufficiently sensitive" to Civil Rights? How disappointing.

  • Jennifer||

    I think the anti-discrimination (AND affirmative action) laws were necessary in the 60s, to break the South out of its nasty discriminatory rut, but I think we can do away with them now. If we ended up back in the bad old days where black people could never be anything but shoeshine boys I'd support putting the AD and AA laws back, but I don't think that would happen.

  • Guy Montag||

    Although I was not anywhere near the event I still suspect that there was an element of theatrics to this encounter, perhaps just for her 'blog and possibly for sport too.

    Reading the first story about it, then reading hers reminded me too much of my New Republic experience to believe that there was no link between her causing a scene and having an almost pre-written story ready for quotes to be dropped into. No, the reporter from TNR did not cause a scene, but our encounter appeared in print had a sort of checklist feel, that I mistook for interest and interesting discussion.

    No evidence on my part for this one, just suspician.

  • ||

    Give her a break. She was out of her element, and was surrounded by peers who wished to crush the merit of her ideas. Whereas Libertarians celebrate and enjoy such a me vs. them environment, most liberals (and in fact people) who revel in group think find it very uncomfortable. She felt like a lamb to be slaughtered, and no one really enjoys that position.

  • Timothy||

    She could have, you know, gently excused herself like an adult. I mean, "there was no way to leave"? Please, lady, there are taxis and at least two airports in Chicago, you could've gone any time you pleased.

  • Foxxy Love||

    Althouse sounds like someone who contributes exactly zero to this sort of conference, and who is probably hated by her law students.

  • ||

    What is so amazing about this is that it is such an easy argument to understand on both sides. Jesus, there are good reasons to have discrimination laws and good agruments against them. Especially when conducted by a bunch of white folks, there is no reason for it to get particularly emotional. It would be one thing if Althouse were a black woman who grew up in Georgia in the 1950s and looked at Bailey and said "I understand what you are saying in principle, but I lived it and I can't see it that way." But that is not what happened here. She was outnumbere, so what. If you think a certain way engage people and stand up for what you think. To be a professor and not appreciate and enjoy a good discussion with people you disagee is just pathetic if you ask me.

  • ||

    Anne Outhouse?

  • ||

    As I posted on Ron's original thread:

    Who is Ann Althouse? And why should I care about anything she says?

    Seriously. The first time I heard about her was when some bloggers I do read linked to a post she wrote about some other woman I'd never heard of. As far as I could tell, Althouse was upset that the woman had moderately large breasts.

    Since then, I've seen a couple of other things she has written that are no more enlightening than the bosom debate was.

    I'll ask again. What has she said, done, written or experienced that make her someone I should pay attention to on any subject, much less the history or economics of Jim Crow?

  • ||

    Ronald Bailey is a Play...

    "Think about it. You're a middle-aged man, meeting a woman for the first time, having a drink, and she reveals some little fact about herself. What do you do? Smile and reveal some little thing about yourself and make connections? Or do you grunt a few syllables and decide she's a lightweight?"

    Uh oh!, did someone get rejected...

    I sense a little hostility over a "few shared cocktails" that didn't seem to go so, shall we say, successfully?

  • Jesse Walker||

    From Althouse's post:

    Got that? He thinks the government should have left the private businesses alone to discriminate against black people as long as they felt like it.

    I'm pretty sure that's not Ron's position. I was under the impression that he believes that in the Jim Crow South, as opposed to an ideal world, banning private discrimination in public accomodations was justifiable, because it helped break the back of a system held together by unjust laws and private terror. Ron can correct me if I'm wrong.

    As for me: It's certainly true that just as the man who serves as sheriff by day might also go night-riding after dark, the man who goes night-riding after dark might also bar blacks from his lunch counter at noon. Once you're fighting a system whose tools include not just institutionalized coercion but the ongoing, wholesale humiliation of a class of people, every element of that humiliation, coercive and noncoercive, is a valid target of protest. In that larger context of a pervasive system of repression, I'm willing to support non-governmental violations of that guy's private property rights -- via, say, a sit-in.

    But I also think it matters what system replaces the system you're working to end. And the long-term consequences of informal grassroots trespassing are not the same as the long-term consequences of a permanent federal bureaucracy. When it comes to racial regulations in the south, what we have now is much better than what we had 50 years ago; but that doesn't mean it's either the only or the best historically possible alternative.

  • ||

    "When it comes to racial regulations in the south, what we have now is much better than what we had 50 years ago; but that doesn't mean it's either the only or the best historically possible alternative."

    I totally agree Jesse, which is why I blame racists for big government. I hate the sollution but I will the first to admit Jim Crow could not go on as it was. Basically thanks to Southern racists, we had to throw out the Constitution and limited federal government.

  • ||

    Let me be the first to say it (I think):

    Ann Althouse needs to get laid.

    Happy New Year, all!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Hey, even Virginia Postrel weighed in on this and Ron, you are, apparently, The Man.

  • ||

    Anne Outhouse?

    Ha! More like Ann Nuthouse, as nearly as I can tell.

  • uncle sam||

    And she accuses libertarians of being true believers!?

  • ||

    I agree with Jesse regarding the excerpt from Althouse's post, and his response. I also noted that comment and was struck by how it contrasted with what Ron had actually said.

    Re Radley's post,
    "state's rights" and "federalism" are often code words for state-sanctioned racism and bigotry

    I'd say rather that they have been used as code words and may still occasionally be. I haven't seen them used as actual code words in the past 25 years (except when people vaguely accuse "others" of using them that way, without citation).

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Actually, the government is who made it illegal to seat blacks in the front of the bus to start with. That would be the same government that most people look to for a redress of grievances.

    And when the trains going north crossed the Mason Dixon line the curtains came down and the blacks were free to move about the car. No law compelled the railroads to treat passengers like customers but they did anyway.

    Jim Crow was legally institutionalized enacted by and enforced by the government and a perfect example of how democracy and majority rule can and often does run amok.

  • VM||

    Perhaps a historian/legal type can explain this better. There have been examples where private institutions did not segregate and that the (state) government forced it, and the Supremes upheld the state laws.

    Wasn't Plessy v Ferguson exactly the supreme court upholding Louisiana's laws that segregated the railroad (when the railroads didn't segregate)? Private business didn't segregate, but was forced to in this case.

    From:
    The Supreme Court and "Civil Rights," 1886-1908
    by David Bernstein
    The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 100, No. 3. (Dec., 1990), pp. 725-744.

    "...it was only the state-enforced Jim Crow laws that led to a rigid system of segregation in the South" (p. 728).

    Note 18 says, "Railroad companies often opposed segregation laws because of the expense in enforcing them", and refers to Epstein's "Race and the Police Power" (1989).

    Furthermore, Berea College vs Kentucky was upheld by the Supremes. That was based on a 1904 Ky law (Kentucky Day Law), that "prohibited the instruction of Black and white students in the same school, whether public or private" (ibid, p. 731). Berea College was a "small, private, racially integrated school [and] was the only institution of higher learning that accepted Blacks apart from the Kentucky State Industrial College" (ibid)

    Kentucky's defense? (taken from note 42 (Berea at 51) "The welfare of the State and community is paramount to any right or privilege of the individual citizen. The rights of the citizen are guaranteed, subject to the welfare of the State" (citation, see above).

    BTW, Justice Harlan was the only dissenter.

    (This has taken a long time to write, so I apologize if others above have made these arguments)

    One thing about libertarianism, for me, is that it is an idealized (oftentimes stylized) framework for wanting freedom from coercion and gaining/having/ being able to earn the economic power to be able to battle it on a private front, and the freedom from it on the public front.

  • ||

    This is fun! I can't wait for the rebuttal to the rebuttal. Lets see how many other bloggers we can get involved!

  • Not Ironic||

    Libertarians Not Allowed to Talk About Govermental Origin of American Racism--Might Offend Academics

  • ||

    She is coming from an academic environment in which everything involved with the Civil Rights movement is gospel and thus beyond question. As she herself puts it in the comment section of her post, race in her view is the "central problem" in American history. That is the prevailing view in leftist academia today and not even open to discussion there.

    To a libertarian, the extension of state power is the "central problem", with most other issues being connected to it. As such, it's easy to understand why such a silly brouhaha could erupt.

  • ech||

    The notion that economic incentives alone would have desegregated the South is a ridiculous fantasy that I am amazed to hear expressed by anyone with a sound mind and a basic education.

    Well, that's pretty much what happened here in Houston, TX. Admittedly, we're not part of the Deep South, but we had all the features of the Jim Crow laws. Sit at the back of the bus, separate restrooms, deed covenants (one house I bought had a 1920s deed restriction that I could only sell the house to "white, Christian males"), etc.

    During all the turmoil in Alabama and Mississippi and after a few low-key lunchroom sit-ins, the powers that be in Houston got together (literally in a smoke filled room). They decided that it was bad for business to continue segregation and possibly see the sit-ins escalate to riots. And the "whites" and "colored" signs vanished over the next few months.

    Would this have worked in the other parts of the US? I don't know. But in one of the larger cities of the US it did.

  • ||

    ech

    That is fascinating. Know of any books on the subject I could check out?

  • ||

    From Althouse about crying.

    ""And what on Earth would prompt actual tears from a seasoned law prof who trades punches (i.e. Sullivan) with the best of them?"

    I spent 9 hours in talks plus 3 nights at dinners with people who were all -- apparently -- quite right wing. We were discussing strong right wing positions, with me as the only one on the outside. You just need to try to picture how frustrating it was, and how disturbing the racial issue got over that stretch of time. Then picture a young woman smirking from across the table for 2 hours and prattling about white people and how bad government is. Then picture a big, gruff guy lashing out at you. It was surreal. But the thing that made me break down -- I kid you not -- was the realization that these people really didn't care about civil rights."


    Could she be more pathetic? This is the voice of a woman who is completely incapbable of seeing two sides to an issue or actually confronting opposing views on their own terms. Like someone said on the first thread, "note to self, do not attend UW law school."

  • ||

    I think I can clear this up. I have taken the Harvard (are you a racist) test and am proud to say I have no implicit preference for either white or black folks. I challenge Althouse to do the same. If, as I suspect, she fails miserably then she should immediately acquiesce to my view. And it isn't enough that she doesn't have an anti-black bias, but that she also not have an anti-white bias as well.

  • ||

    So...a woman who allows an ad on her website advertising the Nativity Gift Book has a problem with "true believers"?


    ooooooooookay...

  • ||

    Charles Olivier,

    I find Althouse's blog a fun read. For one thing, the topics she adresses and her attitudes towards them range widely and are unpredictable, and can start these sorts of intriguing dramas. Perhaps more importantly, she puts alot of herself and her life in the blog, her doodles and photos and nostalgic stuff about her childhood and teenage years, and, based on her writing, I find her a charming sort of character. (I never listen to her podcasts or watch her bloggingheads things, though, as I do most of my blog reading at the office, and that might be pushing it too far.) She can be overly emotional, solipsistic, and attention-hungry (she tries very hard to win silly contests, for example) but that is part of the package, and, as faults go, these are amusing ones.

  • VM||

    Citizen:
    Houston Timeline
    1933 - State legislature passes a law prohibiting "Caucasians" and "Africans" from boxing and wrestling against each other.

    1933 - City authorities reject plans for a Southern Pacific Station because blacks and whites would use the same ramps to reach trains.

    1947 - Legislature establishes Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University).

    1948 - Voters reject zoning. Houston continues as the only unzoned major city in the U.S.

    1954 - Segregation on city buses ends.

    1958 - Houston is dubbed "Murder town, USA" by Time Magazine for maintaining the highest murder rate in the nation, 15 per 100,000.

    1958 - Mrs. C.E. White becomes the first black person to be elected to the School Board. Shortly after her election, a cross is burned at her home.

    1964 - The city of Houston drops the item of race designation on job applications.

    1969 - "Houston" is the first word spoken from the lunar surface.

    1970 - In August, the Justice Department files suit against the Houston School District, charging that they were continuing to operate segregated facilities. The suit contended that segregation involved Mexican-Americans as well as blacks.

    1994 - Voters reject a zoning ordinance in low voter turnout.

    (hopefully there were some interesting things on this list.)

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I'd go out of my way not to patronize a racist, as I think would enough of the country to make racism a surefire business killer.

    Radley,

    You've obviously never been here:

    http://www.mauricesbbq.com/index.html

  • Royce||

    The latest from Althouse in her comments:

    "The libertarian ideology is a magnet for crazies. The non-crazy ones ought to try harder to demonstrate their sanity. If they can!"

    Nice.

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/12/when-divas-attack-part-2.html#116742210840748823

  • VikingMoose||

    Royce:

    Mr. Steven Crane and I volunteer to be the poster chidren (sic) of the non crazy ones!

  • Mamie Van Doren||

    Althouse has a problem dealing with young attractive women -particularly those with big tits.She lost me totally in the fight with the feminist lefty blogger who stuck her chest out while posing for a pic with Clinton.
    This is a good reminder of how out of touch liberal academia (even eccentric liberal academics open to conservative/libertarian ideas like Althouse) are when it comes to the marketplace of ideas.Of course the ideas in question are fairly simple-private property, freedom of association..........

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I don't know why, but I have an overwhelming urge to argue with this woman.

  • ||

    Royce- For the first time since I've been aware of Althouse, (that is, since this morning), I agree with her.
    I think a lot of libertarians have had the experience of looking at their fellow travelers and thinking, "If these are the people who share my views, I may need to rethink things."

  • ||

    TP'sG

    Went to that site. Didn't understand what you meant. Are they racists? How did you deduce that?

  • ||

    "If these are the people who share my views, I may need to rethink things."

    Then you start talking to people who share other views, and realize they're even loonier.

  • ||

    "I think a lot of libertarians have had the experience of looking at their fellow travelers and thinking, "If these are the people who share my views, I may need to rethink things."

    Holy shit, you're so right. The thing is, as much as I disagree with most libertarians about certain issues, every other large group (by large I mean >0.01%/population) is even more odious to me.

  • ||

    Shelby-I'll buy that as soon as you show me a blue Democrat or Republican.

  • ||

    No. 6:

    Can you clarify? Do you mean a Democrat wearing woad, or just any Republican, or one of either party who claims to be "blue"? Or something else?

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that's not Ron's position. I was under the impression that he believes that in the Jim Crow South, as opposed to an ideal world, banning private discrimination in public accomodations was justifiable, because it helped break the back of a system held together by unjust laws and private terror. Ron can correct me if I'm wrong.

    As for me: It's certainly true that just as the man who serves as sheriff by day might also go night-riding after dark, the man who goes night-riding after dark might also bar blacks from his lunch counter at noon. Once you're fighting a system whose tools include not just institutionalized coercion but the ongoing, wholesale humiliation of a class of people, every element of that humiliation, coercive and noncoercive, is a valid target of protest. In that larger context of a pervasive system of repression, I'm willing to support non-governmental violations of that guy's private property rights -- via, say, a sit-in.

    But I also think it matters what system replaces the system you're working to end. And the long-term consequences of informal grassroots trespassing are not the same as the long-term consequences of a permanent federal bureaucracy. When it comes to racial regulations in the south, what we have now is much better than what we had 50 years ago; but that doesn't mean it's either the only or the best historically possible alternative.


    Thank you, Jesse Walker, for reassuring me that you're a sane individual.

  • ||

    Shelby- I was making a snide reference to the Libertarian candidate who managed to turn himself blue (literally) by drinking colloidal silver.

  • ||

    Tell you what, No. 6, show me a (L/l)ibertarian who's denied Eastern Europe was under Soviet domination in the 1970s.

  • redneck hillbilly||

    guess I'm out of touch. Didn't know the Klan reorganized as something called a liberty fund.

  • Gerald Ford||

    I don't believe that Althouse feels dominated by libertarians.

  • ||

    To me this seems like elementary stuff. I think I understood in the 6th grade that people I despised--neo-Nazis, the Klan, et. al.--had a right to their civil stupidities. ...collectively and as individuals, despite being bad for society. I don't see why that realization should be any more controversial than the idea that individuals within those groups should be able to conduct their affairs as they please.

    ...and I'd bet that freedom of speech for neo-Nazis probably isn't a controversial topic to Althouse. Does anyone know--has she dismissed anyone as a "true believer" for defending such things?

    Also, I'm struck by the repeated use of the word "abstract". I'm not entirely certain that there are no real repercussions for not giving giving the idiots their due.

    Some of you have seen me here at Hit & Run speculate about the push for Intelligent Design as a reaction to religious people having evolution taught to their children in public schools. I've wondered aloud if the outcry against abortion might be muted with Parental Notification laws.

    From urban flight and opposition to school busing, from the paucity of employment opportunities afforded certain minorities to the explosion of racist skinhead movements in the 80s--who's to say that government coercion had nothing to do with these things? ...and if it did, is "abstract" the right word to describe them?

  • Never after midnight||

    Ann Althouse scores yet more traffic for another one of her childish blogfights.

    Please, please stop feeding the troll.

  • ||

    You know, I am gonna plead stupid here, but who in the hell is Ann Althouse? I am not up on this whole he said/she said blog crap.

    Nevermind, she's a lawyer, got it.

  • ||

    A law professor who thinks a healthy disagreement over the role of the state in regulating private businesses equals racism?

    I, for one, am shocked.

    She is an imbecile, just like 80% of her colleagues who still worship at the altar of of Justice Warren's 16 year assault on the federal model.

  • ||

    I'm really surprised at how irrational and arrogant and just freaking stupid Althouse has been about all this. I cannot stomach the "prove to me you're not a racist" and "they never said they cared about civil rights" and "you've lost me as an ally" bullshit. Why should anyone have to prove their moral bona fides to her? She's insecure, has serious self-esteem issues vis a vis young women, is not accustomed to open debate (kind of scary coming from a law prof), AND she's a sissy. You cry at movies, you cry when your husband hurts your feelings, you cry when someone dies - but in a political argument? Hothouse flowers should not play with the big kids.

  • ||

    Please stop this pissing match. Who really cares? Try to be bigger person than Ann, again.

  • Guy Montag||

    Thomas Paine's Goiter,

    what does http://www.mauricesbbq.com/index.html have to do with patronizing or boycotting racists?

  • ||

    Guy, I just asked the same question.

    You did nothing to reach out toward me, a moderate, who came to the conference interested in libertarians. You completely alienated me and lost me as a potential ally, which was surpassingly foolish politically.

    This was my favorite line. The "surpassingly foolish politically" line implies that she thinks that having her as an ally is a big deal. Granted, she has more influence than most people, being a professor at a large school and having a blog read by probably thousands, but come on.

  • ||

    The "surpassingly foolish politically" line implies that she thinks that having her as an ally is a big deal. Granted, she has more influence than most people, being a professor at a large school and having a blog read by probably thousands, but come on.

    Yeah, that part's funny.

    ...well I guess libertarianism will have to find a way to limp along. ...somehow.

  • ||

    Ech: I was not surprised to read about Houston's decision to desegregate, and why they made it. I've lived here nearly all my life (I'm from Beaumont so I'm almost a native) and the thing that strikes me most about this city is its absolute devotion to capitalism - that is, if you want to work and make money, you can, and good on you. And if you make enough money, you will be automatically admitted to the "in" crowd - here, everyone is nouveau riche and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Business is business and if you want to do business, you can. No banks failed in Houston during the Great Depression. We consistently have an expanding economy, low unemployment, and a cost of living that people in NY and San Fran and LA and Chicago can't even dream of. When the oil bust knocked Houston on its ass, Houston developed other businesses. Very little regulatory red tape and a city government that basically leaves businesses alone (except for the smoking ban bullshit, of course). I think it's very cool, and I've been thinking about it after reading the list of Stupid Ass Bans Attempted in NYC and the dialysis nightmare in NY state.

    Civic boosterism threadjack done now.

  • ||

    Guy Montag and Andy,
    I believe your question towards TPG would be answered here:
    http://www.mauricesbbq.com/politics/index.html

  • Paul||

    The notion that economic incentives alone would have desegregated the South is a ridiculous fantasy that I am amazed to hear expressed by anyone with a sound mind and a basic education.

    Crackpot. Althouse is a poor student of observation.

    Many ago, while walking around in a gay-friendly neighborhood, I noticed that near to Gay Pride week, all the major bars in the area (which catered to gays, natch) had a notable change in their positively mainstream beer adverts and banners on the outside. Banners not from back-room microbrews, but powerhouses like Budweiser, Coors etc.

    What you would see were pink banners, with images of trim, athletic looking men running, with a rainbow flag trailing behind them.

    I would look at my wife and say "how does the Bud rep know when and where to have these banners placed?" The second observation I made was "Budweiser, with no provocation from a government agency, must have determined that it's simply good business to tailor their advertising to a specific demographic."

    Now sure, you can make the age-old argument that none of this happens fast enough without the cattle-prod of government forcing it along. But the fact that it can't happen without government is hog-wash.

    To think that Budweiser has an entire arm of its advertising division dedicating itself to the gay population speaks volumes about how the desire to engage in commerce is a powerful force in overcoming idealistic tribalism-- especially when you have something the tribes may want to buy.

  • ||

    TPG,
    Regarding Maurice's BBQ and racist business killing, I guess you missed this part:
    Wal-Mart and Sam's Club pull Maurice's BBQ Sauce from Shelves because he flies the Confederate Flag!
    and
    "Unfortunately, Maurice's defense of the US Constitution cost him the grocery business in the Fall of 2000."
    Now, I am not saying that he is racist, but sayin' he is and sayin' that "In 55 years, he has built the largest barbeque operation in the country ... Supplying customers through the grocery industry made accessing "The World's Best Barbeque" even more convenient" but that has come to an end since apparently WalMart was his only grocery client. It paves way for companies like Sonny's Real Pit BBQ to drive him out of business. Sure, Maurice may have Columbus S.C. but Sonny's serves 9 states including the rest of South Carolina. Maurice is no longer the big shot he once thought he was.

  • Jennifer||

    I never heard of Althouse before today, so. . . can somebody tell me what's this business about her hating women with large breasts?

    Also, are we talking "Chesty Morgan double-Z cup" or simply "anyone with a cup size bigger than Ann Althouses's"?

  • ||

    Jennifer | December 29, 2006, 7:41pm | #
    Also, are we talking "Chesty Morgan double-Z cup" or simply "anyone with a cup size bigger than Ann Althouses's"?


    Does it matter what size they are? If you don't support Chesty Morgan then you are obviously a 'breastist' who would fight to keep boobies small.

  • Guy Montag||

    Kwix,

    I read that page and this one too:
    http://www.mauricesbbq.com/politics/maurice-makes-a-political-statement.htm

    Where is the racism?

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    Some months back a group of lefty bloggers went to some sort gathering where, if I remember right, among other things they got to hang with Bill Clinton. In one group shot (I believe with Clinton..it has been ages since I saw the picture), one of the female bloggers, was wearing a relatively tight shirt that emphasized the ol' bosom.

    Althouse also felt that the pose was purposefuly provocative and since that this female blogger was self-id'ed as a "feminist" that this was a big bit of hypocrisy and that she was trying to draw attention to herself, et cetera, et cetera.

    I never heard of her before that but Glenn Reynolds (of Instapundit) links to her a lot and joined her in her jihad against the chest thrusting other blogger (who is somebody I can't even remember).

    I saw the picture and my only thing was that I thought the woman was dressed a bit more causually than you might expect in the context of the picture and other people around her but in the way Althouse and Reynolds were carrying on you would have thought the woman was in lingerie or something.

    Now, lost in all of that, was some vaguely valid points about Liberal feminists defending some of Clinton's excesses but in the end it really did become this Althouse versus some random woman's boobs thing.

  • Jennifer||

    Ah. Thanks for the explanation, guys.

    Goddammit, I HATE catty nasty jealous bitches who think that you have to make yourself homely in order to have any feminist street cred.

    Aside: one of my Christmas gifts, from a friend who works for the Sci-Fi channel, is a small black T-shirt for Battlestar Galactica. Thanks to him I have a fairly sizable collection of Sci-Fi T-shirts, and my boyfriend loves them because they are, in his words, "great tit shirts." (Indeed they are.)

    If I ever meet Ann Althouse I plan to wear the BSG T-shirt; not only does it emphasize the ol' chestworks but it has the words FRAK OFF on it in big red letters.

  • ||

    Guy, I am not saying that there is racism, but I think that's what TPG is assuming based on the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag. Having lived in the Southeast for a fair bit, I have to admit that proclaiming "State's Rights" is quite often euphemistic for "uppity niggers should still be slaves".

    Besides, if his true beef was with a Federal government interfering in state's rights he wouldn't be flying the (war)flag of another confederation of states with it's own Federal constitution. He would have just flown the S.C. flag, refused to fly the US flag and been done with it.

  • Ann||

    Jennifer,
    I think the insecurity results more from the age of the other women.I'm sure if the young would-be-intellectual lady's breasts were smaller than Professor Althouse's she would be ranting about her high round firm ass.

  • ||

    Jennifer,
    I think this may be the blog post in question:
    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/09/bill-clinton-lunching-with-bloggers.html

  • Jennifer||

    I think the insecurity results more from the age of the other women.

    That's even more pathetic. Ms. Allegedly Brilliant Intellectual Lawyer won't be happy unless men think she's as sexy as a 26-year-old?

    Not a very feminist attitude to take. Shame on her.

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    Ann's blog post and the pic is here:

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/09/bill-clinton-lunching-with-bloggers.html

    Said woman is front and center. It's hard not to notice the person in the frelling center of the picture.

  • ||

    Here's one example of how economic incentives actually did help integrate (part of) the South.

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/lifestyle/article/0,1426,MCA_521_5134867,00.html

  • Wintermute||

    Big deal about Ann Althouse. She's day before yesterday's news.

  • Jennifer||

    That picture is what got Althouse so upset? The woman's not even that busty.

    I don't know what Ron Bailey was paid to talk to Althouse, but it wasn't enough. Christ.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Went to that site. Didn't understand what you meant. Are they racists? How did you deduce that?

    Hm. He took his "personal views" section off of the website.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    what does http://www.mauricesbbq.com/index.html have to do with patronizing or boycotting racists?

    Guy, sorry about that. I haven't checked his site since my last visit to Columbia. He used to have a "personal views" section of the website, which I'm guessing is now in his newsletter on the bottom left. I went to one of his restaurants and was a bit taken aback, then read his personal views on his website and it was obvious -- he was a racist. He was openly racist.

    Weird thing was, there were a number of black people in his restaurant when I was there.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Where is the racism?

    That is noticably tamer than his previous stuff.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    but I think that's what TPG is assuming based on the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag.

    Having been in a restaurant and having read his prior statement, I'm not assuming.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    And let me say this:

    It's his right to be a racist. And it's his right to make some mindfuckingblowingly good barbecue.

  • Guy Montag||

    Thomas Paine's Goiter,

    So, were these black folks just 'stupid' or were you reading in things that the man never said or believed?

    I say this in light of the earlier comment to the effect of States Rights are code for racism. BTW, I have heard that nonsense from my sister, who seems to meet a whole different set of people than I do, beacuse according to her, "everybody" she knows in the Hampton Roads area of VA would re-institute slavery if States could do as they pleased, or some variant of Althouseian nonsense.

    I am tempted to make a "Forest Raping Orchid Thief" link, but am a little sensitive to linking to my journal after some whining about that here. Should feel better tomorrow ;-)

  • Guy Montag||

    Thomas Paine's Goiter,

    Try "The Wayback Machine" and look for the archive of what you remember.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    So, were these black folks just 'stupid' or were you reading in things that the man never said or believed?

    I think the barbecue is just that good.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Try "The Wayback Machine" and look for the archive of what you remember.

    According to my wife, I read his views in the restaurant.

    I just subscribed to the newsletter. I'll see what happens.

  • ||

    Up to now, I've had a great deal of respect for Radley Balko, mainly because of his vigorous opposition to the militarization of our police forces in SWAT raids on homes. But this issue is the dealbreaker for me in terms of any interest in Libertarianism. I've lived in the South for most of my 46 years. My family is white and Southern. Anyone who thinks the South would have ended the vicious, brutal, dehumanizing practices of segration if only private industry were left to sort it out is dangerously naive. Anyone who believes that knows nothing, not a goddamn thing, about the South. Jim Crow was the will of the white people in the South, expressed through their government's laws, not the other way around. Look at a picture of grinning white folks enjoying a lynching and tell me the right response would be to let the market sort it out. Tell your black friends, coworkers and neighbors their parents and grandparents should have waited patiently. After all, nice white people like yourselves would have refused to shop at segregated stores. That would have solved everything! Jesus, what an idiotic, philosophy. I could not be less interested in whether Bailey or Althouse is a "true believer" or in silly, moronic claims about who's a hypocrit. To believe that private citizens should be allowed to discriminate in their businesses on the basis of race makes you a racist. Deal with it.

  • Sigmund Freud||

    Hey is "Beth" Professor Althouse?
    I can claim all my 44 years in the South-born in the cradle of the Rebellion-and I don't see it that way.Lunch counters were integrated by civil disobedience and the owners deciding that segregation wasn't good business.As history shows the railroads were opposed to seperate but equal.
    The last statement is the real "troll"statement.
    Believing in Rights of Property and Free association make one a racist?
    I still think what this incident(+ the Clinton/feminist blogger bit) shows is that Ann Althouse has a fear of sexual competition from younger prettier smart women.That fear makes her irrational on unrelated matters.

  • Guy Montag||

    Beth,

    Not sure what part of the South you were in, but it sounds like Cook County Ill. in the 1960s. We moved to Knoxville, TN in 1975 and it was the exact opposite, with nobody caring what your race was as long as you paid your bills. Well, that did not matter either because if someone fell on hard times the Church and neighbors helped pay the bills.

    Cook County seemed like the most segregated place this side of Kosovo when I was a kid and I am really close to your age.

    Now, I believe the advocacy here was that the federal government enforce the removal of segregation laws, then the rest will follow.

  • Guy Montag||

    If a merchant or their agent does not tell you why they are not going ot wait on you and they are jailed is that a thought crime?

  • Jennifer||

    I still think what this incident(+ the Clinton/feminist blogger bit) shows is that Ann Althouse has a fear of sexual competition from younger prettier smart women.That fear makes her irrational on unrelated matters.

    I agree. Can you imagine how she'd have reacted if a certain article had been written not by Ron Bailey, but Kerry Howley? Ha! She would've had a stroke.

    Which is why I think we should start an e-mail campaign to have Kerry transferred to the Althouse beat.

  • Guy Montag||

    Jennifer,

    With all of this Kerry talk I am developing an interest.

    Can she borrow one of you r t-shirts to model on my hybrid 1972 Dodge Charger?

  • ||

    My friends, in all honesty, what made me cry -- and I'm not too sentimental, as you may have noticed -- was the realization that these people didn't care about civil rights.

    What really cracks me up is how she flipped-out when the time-honored trump card of left-wing slap-dummies everywhere, racism, didn't produce the desired response. What's the matter - is the old incantation losing it's magic?

    As a matter of fact, I don't consider racism an issue of such import that it should automatically trump all other considerations. I believe private parties have an unalienable right to control their associations and their property, regardless of whether other people happen to like the outcomes of the choices they make.

    Given that most Americans, let alone libertarians, are overwhelmingly opposed to such government mandates such as affirmative action, forced busing, set-aside quotas, etc., I'd say that it's actually a pretty short list of people who think the primary purpose of public policy is to rectify the consequences of racism, above and beyond all other considerations.

    I don't think it's the Reasonistas that are out of step with the mainstream on this one, it's fanatics like Althouse, who think considerations of racism should dominate all public policy questions and pre-empt all other considerations, who are. I doubt she would have scored many points on this issue at the corner bar in any given neighborhood in the country, let alone at a gathering of conservatives and libertarians.

    If it upsets her that much, have her post her address and I'll be glad to mail her a hankie. A nice pink one to go with her politics.

  • ||

    This has been a great discussion! Without choosing sides, I think I disagree with Bailey on this small point: Bailey writes "As you know calling someone a racist in America in the 2lst century is the worst epithet you can use."

    I can think of two counterexamples. "Islamic Terrorist" and "Child Pornographer" are worse epithets (in America) than "Racist." "Racist" is the ultimate insult of liberals, but not as strong amongst Americans-in-general as the two epithets I've cited.

    Even if not, it seems to me that the First Amendment protects American racists. We are free to hate anybody we want, for any reason whatsoever. Whether manifestations or accusations of racism tend to break up alcohol-fueled dinner-table discussions, is really a question about tact and decorum, no?

  • Guy Montag||

    Pig Mannix,

    The Althousetas advocate an armed National Guardsman at every lunch counter, so that they look like they care.

    A lack of "ehtnic diversity" on Democrat Congressional staffs is not an issue.

    Send in the 82nd Airborne Division to the next selection of an NFL coach, but never mind about the executives at CNN.

    Federal Marshalls should be dispatched to the next Chamber of Commerce meeting, but just leave the History Department alone.

    She is a National Socialist with different topics than Hitler had.

  • Guy Montag||

    gutta percha,

    Actually, "racist" is worse because nobody that anybody pays any attention to will come to your aid, even if it is a false claim. If anybody does, they are 'racist' too.

    The other examples at least have a following in the Leftist press, the "Child Pornographers" to a slightly lesser extent.

  • ||

    The Althousetas advocate an armed National Guardsman at every lunch counter, so that they look like they care.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't think racism is a serious issue, or even that government has no role to play in mitigating it's effects. I'm just sick and tired of the attitude of the Althouse types who expect that every time they drop the "R bomb", the rest of the world should drop what it's doing and genuflect at the alter of diversity.

    Is racism a problem? Sure. Is it such a problem that it should be the primary consideration of all public policy questions? No, I don't think so. There are generally other considerations I'd give just as much, if not more, weight to. And I don't consider that any just resolution to discrimination against minorities includes depriving everyone of their legitimate rights of property and association. Reminds me of grade school where the teacher would punish the whole class because one student acted up.

  • ||

    Maurice's used to advertise on the old NAAWP website.

  • ||

    Guy, I take your point.

    I saw a great old movie on DVD this week, "Storm Warning," which relies in part upon the audiences' revulsion against the KKK, and in part against the provincial benightedness, clannishness of small-town America.

    The movie succeeds on characterization, photography, suspense and luridness. Ginger Rogers gets bull-whipped! Doris Day (!) gets shot to death. It's great entertainment.

    I'm kind of a reverse-racist (in America) because I (a very pale white person) admire (perhaps stereotypical) cultural qualities of some folks I've met, like Indians and other Asians.

    When I tote up all my hatreds, racial hatred is way way down on the list. But I think racial hatred is protected in America. I don't see how racial hatred could possibly be regulated by other means than social disuasion.

    And that is what AA is wrapped up in. She sees racism/racialism as THE ideological enemy, and is totally tuned in to detecting it, rooting it out, exposing it, denouncing it.

    She lives in Madison Wisconsin, so, big surprise, right?

  • Guy Montag||

    [geographical bigotry humor]
    Wisconsin is the Arkansas of the North
    [/geographical bigotry humor]

  • ||

    I'm trying to think of which movie I saw, where a character was asked why he DIDN'T hate a minority, and he explained it was because he was from Wisconsin.

    Was it the Navy diver movie with DeNiro and Gooding Jr? "Men of Honor."

  • ||

    Sigmund, I'm not Ann Althouse. Why would you say that?

    Believing in Rights of Property and Free association make one a racist? When you blithely ignore the actual state of race in America after the Civil War, yes. You're saying that those rights extend to reducing a minority to the status of animals. That's how it worked out, unimpeded by any Federal intervention to ensure the rights to life and liberty--those prime, inalienable rights we have by virtue of being human--to black people. If you accept that property and association rights means that majorities can act to humiliate and subjegate whole other groups, then, yes, you're a racist.

    You don't have to associate with anyone you don't want to, so that right is unimpeded. And there are all sorts of restrictions on property that we learn to live with. We should be up in arms because no one can put a "No Niggers" sign on the door?

  • ||

    Here's a Maurice's ad on a C of CC page from a couple of years ago (bottom left).

    If the C of CC doesn't meet anyone's definition of racists, I don't know who does:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010331232354/http://www.cofcc.org/

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Maurice's used to advertise on the old NAAWP website.

    *cough*

    Guy, like I said, I wasn't reading into some obscure reference.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Beth is raging against the strawmen in her brain.

    Let's all sit back and watch.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Henry - thanks for digging that up. I was struggling to find the stuff that I distinctly remember reading and I began to think I was losing it.

  • Guy Montag||

    Henry,

    This is the link:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20010401175656/www.mauricesbbq.com/

    I am missing the racism there.

    Also, I don't get how his ad being on the page you cite makes hm any more of a racist than the Nativity Story ad on Althouse's page makes her a Christian.

    If you find something on the wayback machine, aka, www.archive.com that is an old page on his domain, please feel free to post that.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Is racism a problem? Sure.

    Problem for....?

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I am missing the racism there.

    Guy,

    Either you didn't read the C of CC page at ALL, or you're being purposefully obtuse.

  • ||

    Here is Maurice's ad in the C of CC's "Shop Right", self-described as "The On-Line Market for Southern Patriots & Euro-Folk":

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010219095200/www.cofcc.org/shopright.htm

    The Maurice's ad doesn't load for me ( a common issue on the Wayback Machine), but it is the one below the Star--just click on that black box (oh, the irony!) and you are linked through to Maurice's.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I agree. Can you imagine how she'd have reacted if a certain article had been written not by Ron Bailey, but Kerry Howley? Ha! She would've had a stroke.

    Any face to face meetings must include Kerry holding the Reason mag with her stomach on the cover.

    Think about this -- if an old man with intelligence can make her bawl, a hot younger chick (her nemesis) with serious chops would break her.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Euro-Folk

    That music would just be awful.

  • ||

    By the way, the C of CC was on the NAAWP's "racially aware" links page--along with the Nazis at Stormfront:

    http://web.archive.org/web/19990502022634/http://www.naawp.org/#NAAWP%20Links

  • Guy Montag||

    Beth,

    Sigmund, I'm not Ann Althouse. Why would you say that?

    Because you sound like the same whackjob with the same writing style and bad argument technique.

    I happen to be a person who does not want the government telling me who must be allowed to enter my property.

    Personally, I do not make those decisions on race or sex or orientation. I make them on the single circle Venn Diagram of my world: cool is in, everything else sucks and is out.

    If you are 'ethnic' and out, too bad, it is not because of your ethnicity, it is because I don't want you here.

    Same with my lunch counter, if I had one. Show up with an Edwards button? Get lost. Show up plain and polite? Have a cup of coffee, first one is on me.

    Oh, now there might be some discrimination. Hottie chicks get a discount, no matter what political crap they wear, so more stupid guys hang around and buy more stuff. BTW, hottie chicks come in all races, but not all sizes. No, they do not come in all sexes either.

    Don't forget EXTRA TRANSFAT TUESDAY!

    How many federal actions am I looking at already with the above scenario in the bizarro world of 2006?

  • Kevin B. O\'Reilly||

    I'm quite sure that wasn't Kerry Howley's midriff on the cover!

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    How many federal actions am I looking at already with the above scenario in the bizarro world of 2006?

    Let's start with the hate crimes first. I think it's enough to land you a secret plane ride to Gitmo.

  • ||

    And let me say this:

    It's his right to be a racist. And it's his right to make some mindfuckingblowingly good barbecue.


    LOL! I've got to order some of his BBQ sauce. This also makes me want fly Ole Stars and Stripes in its' right place, subservient to the state flag and in direct opposition to US CODE--Title 4 Sec. 7.(f) Guess I will have to go buy a flag pole now. What a genius way to make a statement about the 10th amendment! Could you imagine what would happen if everyone who believes in states rights starts doing it at the same time?

    P.S. Ron, I think she likes you. This is just her own little psychotic way of showing it.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I'm quite sure that wasn't Kerry Howley's midriff on the cover!

    In all previous discussions, that Kerry Howley has always been the answer.

  • ||

    Well, Ms Law Professor, the (probably) (covertly) racist libertarian journalist who posted this just got a southern black man pulled off death row. Can you point to a similar achievement in your distinguished career?

  • ||

    @Thomas Paine's Goiter

    Problem for....?

    Well, I think it's obviously a problem for individuals who are the targets. And in consequence, to the extent that such a situation creates civil unrest, it becomes a problem for society at large, as well.

    @Guy Montag

    How many federal actions am I looking at already with the above scenario in the bizarro world of 2006?

    Dude, you are never going to see sunlight again at that rate!

  • ||

    Ok, Guy. I get it. I, like Althouse, disagree with your views so we must be the same person.

    As far as your lunch counter? You lost that argument long ago, and we're all the better for it. Your views are why Libertarians are going to remain on the margins with the Greens and the LaRouches.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Well, I think it's obviously a problem for individuals who are the targets. And in consequence, to the extent that such a situation creates civil unrest, it becomes a problem for society at large, as well.

    Right.

    But help me out here - how is the government responsible for eliminating a state of mind, a guaranteed right that said government is specifically not allowed to infringe upon?

  • Guy Montag||

    Thomas Paine's Goiter,

    How many federal actions am I looking at already with the above scenario in the bizarro world of 2006?

    Let's start with the hate crimes first. I think it's enough to land you a secret plane ride to Gitmo.


    How is loving hot chicks a hate crime? Or is hating Edwards buttons a hate crime now?

    BTW, I already have my Club G'tmo t-shirt, as mentioned in The New Republic. Would be a great vacation if I could finish working on my 1972 Dodge Charger while there.

  • ||

    But help me out here - how is the government responsible for eliminating a state of mind, a guaranteed right that said government is specifically not allowed to infringe upon?

    Well, I don't think I ever claimed that government was responsible for altering anyone's state of mind. There might be an argument to be made that government should be cognizant that such a state of mind is prevalent, and take what action it can legitimately take to mitigate the consequences for the effected group. Not to the extent of infringing on the legitimate rights of other individuals, but I don't think government action to ensure minorities are able to exercise their rights, such as the ensuring the right to vote can be exercised freely, to provide additional police protection in jurisdictions where violent acts against said minorities are prevalent - protecting those rights is a basic responsibility a government has to it's citizens, and doesn't infringe on the essential rights of other individuals.

  • Guy Montag||

    Thomas Paine's Goiter,

    How many federal actions am I looking at already with the above scenario in the bizarro world of 2006?

    Let's start with the hate crimes first. I think it's enough to land you a secret plane ride to Gitmo.


    How is loving hot chicks a hate crime? Or is hating Edwards buttons a hate crime now?

    BTW, I already have my Club G'tmo t-shirt, as mentioned in The New Republic. Would be a great vacation if I could finish working on my 1972 Dodge Charger while there.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Or is hating Edwards buttons a hate crime now?

    The emotional stress that you would cause for trial lawyers would be immense.

  • Swimmy||

    This whole thing is kind of funny.

    And now to turn the chauvinism on: Althouse's description of KMW makes her sound like the perfect woman.

  • ||

    Since the thread is dead: Yeah, Althouse is not only extremely hot, but she is also certified Officially Not Racist by the Official Racism Rating Agency!

    Few individuals earn the Officially Not Racist award, especially those among InterTube Hotties.

    Kudos and congratulations to the few, the pure, the certifiably Not Racist Ann Althouse!

    Way to go.

  • ||

    Beth,

    Too bad you see the world in only black and white (no pun intended). Like someone pointed out earlier, how are black people better off patronizing places that despise them but are forced to give them service? I sure wouldn't want to go to a place that only served me because they had to; I'd rather go to a place that really wanted my business. If that meant straight-up leaving the South, then so be it. I can't understand why anyone would want to live down there, let alone blacks.

    But I digress. The point is that government cannot end private bigotry via legislation (although it obviously has the duty to ensure government entities are free of bigotry). The right to eat a cheeseburger in my diner is not an unalienable right. If you can't see that, well, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

  • ||

    What message are Republicans supposed to have sent to Southern segregationists? They never offered to do anything for them and they never have done anything for them.

  • dhex||

    the kkk hypothetical came up, i presume, because of a need for a group that ms. althouse would have found immediately distasteful. i would have used a fred phelps/landover baptist religious example myself, since freedom of religion is (hopefully) a fairly deeply held conviction for those interested in issues of "fairness."

    if one wants to argue that discriminating on the basis of race is inherently worse than religion or sexual orientation or what have you, that is an interesting (albeit strange) argument to go over.

    none of this covers up the fact that these back and forth posts are two steps above a high school clique fight, and utterly ridiculous to boot. neither party comes off very well, especially ms. althouse, who sounds like a college freshman encountering genuine resistance to her ideas for the first time.

  • Ellie||

    I think the real gem of that blog post is the person in the comments thread who argues that using the "would you serve someone in the KKK?" hypothetical means you are equating being black with being a member of a "terrorist organization."

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Well, I don't think I ever claimed that government was responsible for altering anyone's state of mind.

    That seems to be Althouse's argument.

    There might be an argument to be made that government should be cognizant that such a state of mind is prevalent, and take what action it can legitimately take to mitigate the consequences for the effected group.

    Special treatment?

    Not to the extent of infringing on the legitimate rights of other individuals, but I don't think government action to ensure minorities are able to exercise their rights, such as the ensuring the right to vote can be exercised freely, to provide additional police protection in jurisdictions where violent acts against said minorities are prevalent - protecting those rights is a basic responsibility a government has to it's citizens, and doesn't infringe on the essential rights of other individuals.

    So you're saying that the government should ensure the basic rights of all of it's citizens? Seems like the bill of rights was enough to mandate that.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Since the thread is dead: Yeah, Althouse is not only extremely hot, but she is also certified Officially Not Racist by the Official Racism Rating Agency!

    http://www.law.edu.ru/script/marcimage.asp?marcID=1132307

    *shudder*

    EW. That's not funny as satire or sarcasm.

  • ||

    "I came away surprised that some people, especially the libertarians, were hardcore, true believers, wedded to an abstract version of idea and unwilling to look at how it played out in the real world."

    She's been a political blogger for years, and just now realized that libertarians' view of freedom is highly abstracted?

    Good Lord.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I think the real gem of that blog post is the person in the comments thread who argues that using the "would you serve someone in the KKK?" hypothetical means you are equating being black with being a member of a "terrorist organization."

    In your warped view, yes.

    The rest of the sane world took that to equate one group of hated people with another.

  • Jennifer||

    I might be kind of sympathetic to Althouse's main point--as a soft-core libertarian I often think the hard-core ones are too, well, hard-core--but her blog entry just sounds like a whinefest. "Ron Bailey and I were drinking wine and I told him I used to be a hippie and he didn't smile disarmingly and share some equally pointless personal anecdote with me! WAAAAAH!"

    I've never met Bailey in person and have no idea what he's like. But if he is awkward and taciturn rather than chatty and vivacious, what the hell has that to do with his views on racism and his debate with Althouse? Nothing. Althouses's bringing this up was basically cattiness, only one step above "It was hard to pay attention to him when he spoke, because that big ugly zit on his mouth kept demanding my attention." Oooh, meow, honey.

    (Personal note to Ron Bailey: the proper response would have been to smile and say "Really? I used to sell brown acid to hippies. Did you have some at Woodstock?")

  • Guy Montag||

    Jennifer,

    Yea, all that nonsense Eve Fairbanks adds to her stories can be seen in the Althouse stuff. Like Nick's "camel eyes" or my awkwardly perched self in the wrong environment are just two that come to mind.

    In my case it was a fabrication too.

    Adds nothing to a serious story at all. Like adding a politician voted with a twinkle in his eye.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I want to weigh in as a libertarian who is sympathetic to Althouse's main point, too.

    Of all political philosophies, libertarianism should have the strongest culture of free thought. Instead, libertarians are often ridiculously dogmatic.

  • Paul||

    Look at a picture of grinning white folks enjoying a lynching and tell me the right response would be to let the market sort it out.

    Beth, you're confusing criminal behavior with discrimination. As much as it's hard to stomach, they're two different things. Yes, they come from the same thing: racism, but they're not the same act or result. No one, especially Mr. Balko (if I may speak for him) would suggest that we turn a blind eye to someone being murdered and "let the market sort it out". You're conflating two very different things and making them one. Allowing a hotel owner to have "no colored" on his door is yes, repulsive, but the libertarian argument is that his business would eventually fail, or at minimum, suffer for it. The libertarian position is simple: freedom of association. There is no connection (no matter how hard you try) between murder and freedom of association. And it's precisely this confusion of issues which has hindered race relations in this country, not helped them.

  • Guy Montag||

    Mike Laursen,

    I want to weigh in as a libertarian who is sympathetic to Althouse's main point, too.

    Of all political philosophies, libertarianism should have the strongest culture of free thought. Instead, libertarians are often ridiculously dogmatic.


    Sure sounds like the ridiculously dogmatic one here is Althouse, taking the ultra Left position that nobody does anything unless the government makes them.

    The libertarians were simply making a point of removing racist laws were beneficial and she called that view racist.

  • ||

    Fair enough, Paul. Lynching and "no niggers" signs aren't the same. But my point is in response to the libertarian argument that segregation was state-supported, and that removing Jim Crow laws was enough. You seem to believe, counter to all evidence from our history, that private business segregation would have been ended by market forces. The market in the South is the people I point to, the grinning faces attending lynchings. No, the market didn't, and would not have, changed a thing, certainly not on an acceptable timeline.

    You argue that a segregated hotel would have failed. That's silly. They didn't. And competing, non-segregated businesses didn't take up the slack. What happened to anyone trying to change that market by opening a non-segregated cafe, or hotel, or general store? They were firebombed and driven out of business.

    This is what drives me nuts about the libertarian fantasy of history. If I've used the word racist unfairly, I apologize--certainly I don't believe Radley Balko is racist--but the devotion to a ridiculous abstract faith in principles of market forces drives libertarians to espouse fantastical scenarios that first are inaccurate (nothing in the history of segregation suggests the market would have ended segregated businesses and services) and second are coldly accepting of racism, in arguing that people suffering enormous injustice, daily humiliations, and persistent violence ought to have just put their faith in the market and waited patiently, because after all, the bigots have rights, too. I guess you don't have to be racist to ignore racism. But it's hardly a difference worth noting.

  • Jennifer||

    Beth, your points are valid, but there are some libertarians (myself included) who believe that the anti-discrimination laws were necessary in the 60s, to force the South out of its Jim Crow rut, but also believe that now, two generations later, we should try dismantling the laws and seeing what happens. Or do you think such laws will be necessary forever and ever?

  • ||

    For all those asking who Althouse is, she's a law professor by day, and a traffic troll by night. She picks petty little fights for the attention. Her usual pattern goes like this:

    - Attack someone random,
    - Go on about how she's a nonpartisan moderate, _but_...
    - Get a link from Instapundit and various righty blogs,
    - Get the vapors about how uncivil people are and shut down her comment thread.

    NB: her nonpartisanship is very similar to Instapundit: it leans curiously Republican party line, aside from a few pet issues.

  • ||

    Andy, you are a fine example of Libertarian ignorance of history. You think the Civil Rights act boils down to "why would you go where you aren't wanted?" Say you're a black family traveling from one town to another. Along the way , you're unable to find a hotel to stay in, a restaurant to eat in, or a hospital to treat you if you're in an accident. This was the case in the segregated South. It wasn't a mere social unpleasantry.

    And I do have the right to enter any diner I please and order from the menu. How is it you haven't figured out that the segregationists lost?

  • Jennifer||

    Forgive me for repeating myself here, but:

    Beth, your points are valid, but there are some libertarians (myself included) who believe that the anti-discrimination laws were necessary in the 60s, to force the South out of its Jim Crow rut, but also believe that now, two generations later, we should try dismantling the laws and seeing what happens. Or do you think such laws will be necessary forever and ever?

  • Guy Montag||

    Beth,

    What you say is apparently the law everyplace but Washington, DC.

    Did you know that in DC every single bartender I have spoken to says they can refuse service for any reason even for race?

    I have been denied admittance to 2 different places, and have been given the "heads up" on other places not to even try, because I am a non-black male. Maybe *you* could walk into those places, but I have been stopped before even getting in line at 2 of them.

    Also, they have a thing here called "women's bars" that any man entering gets harassed, even refused service. They are not private bars requiring a membership, they are just bigoted homosexuals who hate men.

    Now, get off of your fantasy bigot crap and try exploring reality.

  • ||

    Jennifer, you bring up a much more interesting and debatable issue. I believe the market would be a more effective agent in maintaining racial equity now, but I also can't stomach what I know would be the result of ending civil rights enforcements. In the South, at least, people of color would have to navigate a landscape pocked with hostile, segregated areas. Cities would be fine, but it would be frightening to drive cross country. I don't want to live in a country where getting off the interstate would put one in pre-apartheid South Africa. I also don't see any reason to return to a pre-Civil Rights act era. What's the point? Who would it benefit to tolerate allowing a racial majority the right to subjegate minorities?

  • Jennifer||

    So Beth, I take it that you DO think these laws will be necessary forever and ever? Our country is to be an eternal kindergarten, with sharp-eyed teachers requiring us all to Play Nice because we won't do so on our own?

    Another question: you seem to assume that the majority, nay, the overwhelming majority, of white business owners would love to go back to discriminating against black people, if only they could.

    How is it that this discriminatory white majority keeps electing a government that makes discrimination illegal?

  • ||

    Guy, I couldn't have guessed from anything you'd posted here that you were a white male resentful of the horrible restrictions that plague white men at every turn. Of course there are bars in every town where white people feel uncomfortable, where blacks feel uncomfortable, where straight men aren't welcome, where gay men or lesbians aren't welcome. Humans find ways to accomodate both our differencs and our prejudices. Again, you demonstrate one of libertarianism's major weak points, the inability to cope with contradiction, and with messy reality. Idealism isn't workable.

  • Jennifer||

    I just realized that the last three hotels I stayed in, in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, were all owned by immigrants from India. As a white person, I am still willing to try doing away with the laws requiring those Indians to rent a room to me.

    I'll bet they do it anyway.

  • ||

    No, Jennifer, I don't believe an overwhelming majority of white business owners would discriminate. I don't think I said anything to indicate that, but if so, then I'll clarify. I think enough would, across the South, that life here would become more hostile and contentious than it already is. And I find it unacceptable that Americans should be divided into groups of different value when our Constitution declares that we are all created equal with certain inalienable rights.

    Are you okay with keeping murder laws on the books? Theft laws? Rape? Isn't there going to be some time when we can get rid of all those and don't need "the sharp-eyed teachers reminding us all to Play Nice"? There's nothing inherently odd about keeping laws on the books, unless they're unjust laws.

  • Jennifer||

    Are you okay with keeping murder laws on the books? Theft laws? Rape? Isn't there going to be some time when we can get rid of all those and don't need "the sharp-eyed teachers reminding us all to Play Nice"?

    So you're back to your fallback argument that lynching and discrimination are the same thing, huh? You see no difference between a man who would rape me and a man who would refuse to accept my money in exchange for a hotel room?

  • Jennifer||

    Actually, a better question would be "do you not see the difference between a man who would rape me at a party versus a man who wouldn't invite me to the party in the first place?"

  • ||

    Jesus, Jennifer, what a silly example. When have white people, like myself and yourself, ever been denied a hotel room? You can put yourself into all sorts of theoretical scenarious where you're generously willing to put up with discrimination, because it just ain't ever going to happen.

  • Guy Montag||

    Beth,

    Somehow I knew you would respond with some exagerated nonsense that deserves no comment.

    Yes, you sound just like Ann again.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Having grown up in the segregated South of the 1950s, I am hardly oblivious to the reality of social and private discrimination as well as its legal institutionalization under Jim Crow laws.

    It is entirely consistent with even hard core libertarianism, whatever that means, to hold that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other legislation were morally appropriate and even necessary state actions aimed at undoing the immoral harm caused by earlier state action. It is also consistent with libertarianism to hold that there may be certain legitimate exceptions, e.g., common carrier and other effectively monopoly public accommodations situations, in which state power should require service to any paying customer.

    It is worth noting, in any case, that civil rights legislation was itself caused by a real change in racial attitudes throughout the U.S. at least as much as it subsequently contributed to changing them and that not even the South of the 1950s and '60s was as monolithically racist as it is often portrayed.

    As for what might have happened had the '64 CRA never been passed or what would happen today, it seems to me that's anyone's guess. I seriously doubt the grim picture Beth paints as to how the South would behave today is at all likely, but I am reminded of the old story about the chicken and the pig whose contribution to a breakfast of bacon and eggs calls for substantially different levels of commitment.

  • Jennifer||

    Jesus, Jennifer, what a silly example. When have white people, like myself and yourself, ever been denied a hotel room?

    Jesus, Beth, do you understand that the ethnic makeup of our country has changed in the last 40 years, and the days when white people owned ALL the hotels and ALL the other businesses are over? Do you understand that most of the businesses I patronize are owned by people whose skin color differs from mine? Do you understand that stereotypes like "Pakistani convenience-store owner" do in fact have a firm basis in reality?

  • ||

    No, Jennifer, I'm not confusing discrimination and a criminal act of violence, though you're vapid if you don't understand how the two frequently overlap--discrimination was enforced through violence, especially where it wasn't backed up by law. I'm arguing that we have some laws on the books forever because they're needed. If you want to argue that Civil Rights laws aren't needed, then do so. But don't argue that it's just a bad idea to keep laws on the books as if we need to be kept a sharp eye on. We do need some sharp eyes, and the examples I cited are just some of many.

  • ||

    libertarians to espouse fantastical scenarios that first are inaccurate (nothing in the history of segregation suggests the market would have ended segregated businesses and services) and second are coldly accepting of racism, in arguing that people suffering enormous injustice, daily humiliations, and persistent violence ought to have just put their faith in the market and waited patiently, because after all, the bigots have rights, too.

    Beth, as you yourself agreed to, private segregation and violence aren't one and the same. But then you go and conflate them again in the next paragraph. I'll admit I don't know everything about the Jim Crow South- I was born decades after and hundreds of miles too far north to have lived it first hand. I'll even go as far as to say that the feds should have stepped in to stop the violence towards non-segregated businesses. Maybe they should have even (and I know this may be sacrelidge on a libertarian site) subsidized non-segregated businesses. But trying to eliminate bigotry outright through forced integration is something I can't get behind. Maybe they could have forced hospitals to give services to blacks, that's one thing, but no one should be forced to sell a damn sandwich to someone they don't want to, however dispicable their reasons are.

    I don't want to live in a country where getting off the interstate would put one in pre-apartheid South Africa. I also don't see any reason to return to a pre-Civil Rights act era. What's the point? Who would it benefit to tolerate allowing a racial majority the right to subjegate minorities?

    Give me a break.

  • Guy Montag||

    Beth is not anti racial discrimination, she just wants to make sure one group can be easily accused of it.

    Same with sexual discrimination.

  • Warren||

    Beth,
    The idea is that we should all have the freedom to do whatever we want. Murder, rape, theft, etc. are just laws, because while we should be allowed to do whatever we want, that does not extend to infringing on the rights of others to do what they want.

    Regulations requiring a merchant to do business with people he otherwise wouldn't, is an intrusion on his freedom. The same is not true if you are refused service. There is no right to be served.

    Allowing bigots to practice racism is not palatable to anyone (save other bigots). However, there are serious questions as to the costs and consequences of attempting to improve society by reducing freedom.

  • Jennifer||

    I agree with the earlier hypothesis that Beth is Althouse, or at least one of her disciples. Same shrill reliance on insults when she's disagreed with, same deliberate (I hope, for her sake) misunderstanding of points made, same inability to comprehend the difference between laws against murder and laws requiring everybody to play nice. In schoolyard terms, she thinks "don't beat up any of your classmates" is the same thing as "don't have a party unless you invite every single one of your classmates." And if I'm not invited to a party, that violates my rights same as if I'm assaulted.

    Not to mention this apparent ignorance of the fact that we're long past the days when all the business owners are white.

  • ||

    Jennifer, so the racial makeup of the U.S. has changed. So what? That could mean any of several things. I'm not arguing that the state of race relations across America today is the same as it was in the Jim Crow South. I do believe that some, if not all, of the legal remedies to the hundreds of years of race discrimination in the country are still meaningful. I don't believe we have the right in public accomodations to discriminate. That's it. You are free to believe that we do, but when you offer your own experiences, as a white woman, to justify that, the example falls short.

  • Jennifer||

    Jennifer, so the racial makeup of the U.S. has changed. So what?

    So "quite a bit," when you're trying to argue that we need laws to protect black people from those monolithic white business owners who would refuse to take their money. But when I point out that many businesses are owned by non-whites these days, you pooh-pooh that as somehow irrelevant to your thesis that the country is run by white business owners who are just champing at the bit to return to the days when only white people can be business customers. And the fact that my white self has never been discriminated against by these non-whites is somehow interpreted by you as further proof of your white privilege thesis, rather than evidence of my thesis that most business owners are in it for the money, which spends the same way no matter WHO forks it over.

  • ||

    No, I'm not Althouse, nor anyone's disciple, but I'm sure having the same experience of dealing with deliberate obtuseness. I haven't conflated murder and discrimination. You, on the other hand, seem to conflate racial discrimination with "oh, too bad you weren't invited to my party." It must be nice to live in complete ignorance of your nation's history. I don't think geographic distance, or age, is an excuse for that.

    Warren, I appreciate the civility of your tone in response. Our key disagreement is summed up in your final question: I think it's obvious that our country was much improved by the restricting of some freedom to discriminate.

  • ||

    "I don't believe we have the right in public accomodations to discriminate"

    If you believe that then it's not such a stretch to believe that no one is free to open "public accomodations" or not. If I'm going to be forced to serve people I don't want to, why should I even open a restaurant, or a hotel? Or are you going to force me to do so? That reeks a little of... oh what's that ideology? Co... Comm... I forget.

  • Jennifer||

    I haven't conflated murder and discrimination.
    --Beth, December 30, 2:08 p.m.

    Look at a picture of grinning white folks enjoying a lynching and tell me the right response would be to let the market sort it out.
    --Beth, December 29, 10:26 p.m.

  • dhex||

    "I don't believe we have the right in public accomodations to discriminate."

    public accomodations meaning hotels and restaurants or colleges and golf clubs and all points in between?

  • Jennifer||

    It must be nice to live in complete ignorance of your nation's history.

    It must be nicer to live in complete ignorance of what you yourself said less than 24 hours ago on the same damned thread.

  • ||

    Jennifer, you're distorting what I've said, so I take that to mean you've lost track of your own point. I've not said white business owners are monolithic, nor that they are chomping at the bit to discriminate. I've been very clear that I think the market would be much more effective now than it was in the Jim Crow period in fighting discrimination. But there would be enough segregation should we end our Civil Rights enforcement that things would be ugly and unpredictable. I don't believe any American should have to wonder on entering a town whether they are welcome there, because of their race. While it's infinitisimily possible that you, as a white woman, might experience such prejudice, it's very, very unlikely. But black citizens will unquestionably experience it--probably not in the majority of businesses, but again, in my view, any such bigotry is unacceptable.

    I agree most business owners are in it for the money. Where we disagree is much more narrow.

  • ||

    Jennifer, lynching was a key element in enforcing de facto segregation in the pre-Civil Rights era South. You were referring to our exchange on whether laws should remain on the books forever, as if for some reason, we stop needing laws that are effective and just. Now you're conflating two different issues.

  • ||

    dhex, that's an excellent distinction, and one that is pretty much the state of the law right now, isn't it? Private clubs are allowed to discriminate, aren't they? I have no problem with those issues being debated locally. Generally, from what I'm familiar with, the policies tend to hinge on the degree to which public business is connected with the clubs. There are a few racially segregated country clubs in my area, and their presence is a factor in our area's inability to develop economically. Big companies don't want to move where their black and Jewish employees aren't allowed to play golf, and so forth. There's a great example of the market at work. Sadly, people here accept this bigoted tradition at the expense of civic and economic health.

  • ||

    The libertarian position is simple: freedom of association. - Paul



    There's also an economic way of looking at the problem. After the Civil War, but before the Feds ended reconstruction, there was consternation among much of the white populace of the states who had attempted to secede precisely because some black folks were rising economically, and that some white folks were cooperating with that advance. The Jim Crow laws didn't kick in until after the Compromise of 1877, and the withdrawal of Federal troops. Besides any racist desire to put the Freedmen back "in their place," the JC laws were barriers to entry for competitors. Racist laws proscribing or limiting the economic activity of certain groups is a worldwide phenomena. It sometimes doesn't work the way those enacting them would hope. Consider the prominence in banking and trade of both the Jews in Europe and the overseas Chinese in Asia, two groups who had their rights to own and farm land restricted, while the groups with the majority of political power disdained certain types of commercial activity as beneath them. (see Sowell's Markets and Minorities)

    Absent Jim Crow laws, it wouldn't have surprised me if African Americans might not have gravitated to entrepreneurship or employment in various industries that white folks considered beneath them, and prospered in them. Of course, agitation among "white trash" angry that a black man was doing better than they were might also have resulted in race riots that would have been essentially pogroms based on color. Even with Jim Crow we had such horrible incidents as the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, while as late as 1943 we had the Detroit Race Riot, in an evironment where the Federal government's military contractors were directed to practice non-discrimination. I think it would be foolish to expect that the mere absence of Jim Crow would have inevitably led to comity between the races. It could only allow those who wished to associate with each other freely to do so, and there still would have had to have been honest enforcement of the law against private actors who intimidated or retaliated against those who did, by violence or its threat. Even as a libertarian, I could agree to federal intrusion if the states and localities refused to uphold the rights and privileges of citizens, (14th and 15th Amendments) or to guarantee republican government. (Article IV, section IV)

    As for the idea that any accommodation located along a federal highway ought to serve all comers, I have no problem with that being made a requirement for a business that wants to be located on a rest area or at an exit. The Feds could even jawbone the local town fathers when planning when and how to site the road. "We could put the on and off ramps for this stretch of the road in Shelbyville, or here in Springfield. Of course, we'd rather do business with folks who are friendly to everybody, you know what I mean?"

    Kevin

  • dhex||

    "I don't believe any American should have to wonder on entering a town whether they are welcome there, because of their race."

    i doubt anyone else here does, either. not that it doesn't exist in small pockets (i.e. parts of new york city - ever try shopping in a hacidic grocery store? it's an interesting experience.) but i have to wonder quite seriously if there would even remotely be such a return. the speed of communication, the general public humiliation factored into the taint of racism, the proliferation of recording devices, etc.

  • Jennifer||

    While it's infinitisimily possible that you, as a white woman, might experience such prejudice, it's very, very unlikely. . .But black citizens will unquestionably experience it

    How do you know? How do you know what thoughts run through the mind of the Indians who own the motels in which I've stayed? How do you know what the Chinese launderer or the Pakistani convenience-store owner or the Hispanic grocer thinks of me? How do you know they aren't all thinking "Goddamn, I hate that pasty white bitch and the second the anti-discrimination laws are repealed she is OUTTA HERE! Fuck her money and fuck her too!"

    In short, how do you know that blacks are the only people who will have problems with business owners whose race is different from their own? How do you know that the guy who immigrated from India last year has the same racial attitudes as a Klansman born in Alabama in 1920?

  • K-Dog||

    "Reminds me of grade school where the teacher would punish the whole class because one student acted up."

    That still happens, all the time; it's one of the main reasons why I didn't go into classroom teaching.

    "What's the point? Who would it benefit to tolerate allowing a racial majority the right to subjegate minorities?"

    Hmm...I just thought of another good reason to keep the civil rights laws on the books: Who's to say that, with the current state of illegal immigration, the current majority/minority ratio will always stay the same? This may seem outlandish to some, but if you read the accounts of the pro-illegal immigrant rallies that have been held down here in Texas recently (there were more than a few cries of "We're going to take back Texas for Mexico" and things like that), it suddenly makes having those laws around seem like a good idea.

  • ||

    In the South, at least, people of color would have to navigate a landscape pocked with hostile, segregated areas. Cities would be fine, but it would be frightening to drive cross country.

    I live in a suburb of Chicago. What do you think the chances are of my, or any white person, taking a midnight stroll down 95th street unmolested are? I hate to break this to you, but taking a wrong exit off of the freeway can be a pretty frightening - not to mention dangerous - experience already, and not just for people of color. Believe me, I've done it, and count myself lucky to have escaped with my skin, anti-discrimination laws notwithstanding.

    And yet, you still fail to address Jennifer's point distinguishing between a simple refusal to do business, and the threat of physical violence.

    I don't believe any American should have to wonder on entering a town whether they are welcome there, because of their race.

    Yet every American does have to wonder exactly that, regardless of their race. And I don't see that prohibiting private discrimination in business dealings has done anything to alleviate that.

  • dhex||

    beth: it would seem that the answer, at least for bigots, would be to start only private clubs that double as businesses.

    though i would argue these things exist de facto in many ways, often invisible to people.

  • ||

    dhex, that seems accurate. There's all sorts of private clubs that serve the role of letting people associate as they want. I don't object to that, and our laws allow that. I think we've achieved a tolerable accommodation where Americans of all stripes are able to move freely and are treated the same in public, but have the freedom also to choose how to associate and where to live. It involves compromises, and some inherant contradictions.

  • ||

    "And yet, you still fail to address Jennifer's point distinguishing between a simple refusal to do business, and the threat of physical violence."

    No, I have not failed to address that. They are two different issues, and Jennifer obviously disagrees with me over one of them. I don't believe there's anything wrong with the Civil Rights era laws forbidding some businesses, such as restaurants, hospitals, and hotels, from discriminating in offering services.

  • ||

    If I remember correctly the original Althouse post that sparked this made a poorly framed attempt to point out that libertarians were "believers." Implying, I think, a contrast between having faith in your position and being open to the possibility that your position is wrong.

    For many people of all political stripes having faith that you position is the correct one is a virtue. For others it would be considered hubris.

    The issue of government's role in dealing with racial discrimination in the market seems to do a good job of identifying which libertarians are faith-based and which are open to the possibility that the axioms that form the basis for a libertarian philosophy are merely flawed approximations used for ordering an imperfect system. It is the difference between believing libertarianism is a perfect solution vs. believing it is the best from among a set of flawed solutions (and being willing to adjust and compromise for better outcomes).

    " Since the two principles, Authority and Liberty, which underlie all forms organized society, are on the one hand contrary to each other, in a perpetual state of conflict, and on the other can neither eliminate each other nor be resolved, some kind of compromise between the two is necessary. Whatever the system favored, whether it be monarchical, democratic, communist or anarchist, its length of life will depend to the extent to which it has taken the contrary principle into account."

    "...that monarchy and democracy, communism and anarchy, all of them unable to realize themselves in the purity of their concepts, are obliged to complement one another by mutual borrowings. There is surely something here to dampen the intolerance of fanatics who cannot listen to a contrary opinion... They should learn, then, poor wretches, that they are themselves necessarily disloyal to their principles, that their political creeds are tissues of inconsistencies... contradiction lies at the root of all programs."

    Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865).

    And, much to the sadness of the Hit & Run crowd, with that, MainstreamMan retires.

    Adieu

  • ||

    "I don't see that prohibiting private discrimination in business dealings has done anything to alleviate that."

    Then you really don't have much knowledge of how things have changed in America post-Civil Rights act. There's a big difference with being conscious about racial difference and being fearful about racial discrimination.

  • ||

    No, no, Pig Mannix, you don't understand. Only minorities, especially blacks, can be victims of racism, not whites. /sarcasm

  • ||

    Jennifer, I don't know what lurks in the hearts of men, so your examples all sound like very good reasons to keep the Civil Rights laws on the books.

  • ||

    "But my point is in response to the libertarian argument that segregation was state-supported, and that removing Jim Crow laws was enough. You seem to believe, counter to all evidence from our history, that private business segregation would have been ended by market forces. The market in the South is the people I point to, the grinning faces attending lynchings. No, the market didn't, and would not have, changed a thing, certainly not on an acceptable timeline."

    While there are libertarians who espouse that, I wouldn't hold that up as "the libertarian argument".

    If I had to point to "the libertarian argument", it would have freedom as a default position, on various grounds, and be highly skeptical of government attempts at social engineering--also on various grounds.

    As an example, I cited a number of problems earlier in this thread that I suspect government coercion may have contributed to. ...which is to say, I'm not entirely certain that minorities in the South didn't suffer any negative effects because of government coercion.

    Also, reading some of these comments, you'd think that minorities in the South are on parity now, but my understanding is that this is not the case. ...to what extent government coercion plays a part in that disparity is open to honest debate, is it not?

  • ||

    Then you really don't have much knowledge of how things have changed in America post-Civil Rights act. There's a big difference with being conscious about racial difference and being fearful about racial discrimination.

    In that case, I invite you to join me in that midnight stroll down 95th street. ;-)

  • ||

    kevrob, I'm inclined to agree that the absence of Jim Crow wouldn't have changed much in the period following the war. Jim Crow is a symptom, not a cause. You offer some interesting history of the immediate aftermath; I'd add that it wasn't only the white Southerners that contributed to the racial practices that kept blacks from developing down some of those enterpreneurial avenues you refer to. During Reconstruction northern whites also took advantage of the post-war chaos to cement their own advantages. Part of my family who were free blacks before, during and after the war owned land in northeast Louisiana and lost it to carpetbaggers who wanted to develop it agriculturally. They left the south and went west. Descendents of theirs only recently, in the late 1990s, were able to buy the land back, and did that only by having white family members do the transactions then transfer the deeds. The owners would not sell to black people.

  • ||

    No thanks, PigMannix. And if you and I were black, I wouldn't join you on a stroll through white parts of Brooklyn late at night, or in a small town in Mississippi. That there are parts of the country where race violence occurs doesn't change the fact that Civil Rights laws substantially improved the landscape for the vast majority of people.

  • ||

    Ken, sure, I realize not all libertarians have the same belief systems. Let's just stipulate that. I also agree that there were tradeoffs for blacks in the South, but I don't see any that would have made it unworthwhile to enact the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Acts. And there's urgent need for debate, analysis and change in policies that have created long-term economic underclasses among poor people-minority as well as whites--in the whole country, not just the South. Where I get off the bus relates to a common libertarian tendency to see government coercian, as you prefer to call it, as an all or nothing issue.

  • ||

    It's midday and I have to move away from the computer. Thanks for the discussion.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Of all political philosophies, libertarianism should have the strongest culture of free thought. Instead, libertarians are often ridiculously dogmatic.

    And you take this from the Althouse/Bailey exchange? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    In short, how do you know that blacks are the only people who will have problems with business owners whose race is different from their own

    Because only white people are racists, silly.

  • Guy Montag||

    If Professor Althouse was truly against bigotry she would stop practicing it herself.

  • ||

    And there's urgent need for debate, analysis and change in policies that have created long-term economic underclasses among poor people-minority as well as whites--in the whole country, not just the South.

    OK, I'll bite: what policies have created this permanent [rainbow] underclass.

    Where I get off the bus relates to a common libertarian tendency to see government coercian, as you prefer to call it, as an all or nothing issue.

    Curious given that you just assigned blame to government coercion (policies) for this sad state of affairs. Did you actually get off the bus, or were you run over by it?

  • ||

    "Dealing with those ideas without throwing a fit and unleashing accusations of racism every time your own beliefs are challenged is part of having a grown-up discussion with grown-up people about grown-up topics."

    Radley, that's something worth remembering during your otherwise outstanding reporting on the Maye case. That the State of Mississippi doesn't see eye to eye on the Maye case doesn't make the state and justice system awash with bigots. Wrong maybe, but the racism charge you hurled at them has little more evidence behind it than Althouse's.

  • ||

    I think that what Althouse is ignoring here, is that there are many ways to bring social pressure to bear against people who practice morally repugnant behavior, that stop short of employing the power of the state.

    I'm a hard-line Libertarian, and I often defend the right of people to do things that they Should Not Do. The reason I do so, is that I consider liberty to be a very important value, and when anyone proposes to mandate a limitation on one's liberty, I say that the burden of proof lies with the side calling for force.

    Looking at segregation in particular, it may interest some people to know that the railroads in the United States didn't choose to segregate their carriages, they were required to do so by laws passed in southern state legislatures. Implementing that legally-required discrimination imposed a considerable financial burden on the railroads: maintaining separate facilities, rail cars, etc.

    If any person opens a restaurant and decides to refuse to serve members of some particular race or religion, I see that as a business opportunity. In the absence of state regulation mandating discrimination, a business that chooses to serve all comers is likely to prosper, whereas one that excludes is leaving money behind that it could otherwise earn.

    If a KKK member opened a restaurant in my neighborhood and excluded Jews, Blacks, Asians, etc, I would in turn refuse to patronise that restaurant myself. I would shun its owner and staff, and I might even picket the establishment. I would probably be hostile to people who patronized the business in question. I could do all manner of things to make my displeasure known, short of calling for the state to forcibly require them to serve the entire community.

    By supporting the racist's right to do or not do business with anyone they choose, I maintain my own right to throw any asshole wearing a swastika or a "god hates fags" T-shirt out of my OWN establishment.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Oh, and for the record: If I owned a restaurant, I would refuse to serve David Duke, Jesse Jackson, Jerry Falwell, John Kerry, and many, many other people whose behavior I find morally repugnant.

    -jcr

  • RSDavis||

    You know, as a libertarian writer and debater, I am almost always in the political minority during discussions. I have to say no matter how outnumbered I have ever been in a debate, I have never cried before.

    Methinks Miss Althouse needs to man up and lay off the crazy pills.

    - Rick

  • ||

    I love the victimology on display among white men.

    Somebody was rude to you in a bar? I guess you DO have the moral authority to tell black people experiencing institutionalized segregation to suck it up.

  • Mike Laursen||

    And you take this from the Althouse/Bailey exchange? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

    Nah, of course I didn't actually RTFA. I was just commenting on libertarian culture in general, from about thirty years of observation.

  • Mike Laursen||

    MainstreamMan, thanks for introducing me to that Proudhon passage. It is so true.

  • Paul||

    certainly not on an acceptable timeline.

    Beth,

    To this, we can at least have a debate. Few libertarians (Barry Goldwater included) deny that had the government not forced a restaurant owner to serve blacks at the lunch counter, it wouldn't have happened as quickly on its own. But as one previous poster noted, and I'll add to, I'm not sure if I would want to eat food prepared by people who were forced at gunpoint to serve me. See where I'm going with this?

    You argue that a segregated hotel would have failed. That's silly. They didn't. And competing, non-segregated businesses didn't take up the slack. What happened to anyone trying to change that market by opening a non-segregated cafe, or hotel, or general store? They were firebombed and driven out of business.

    And with these comments, you're jabbing in several different directions. Allow me to address each point.

    First, you're correct, segregated businesses were doing fine during segregation. No argument. The point I'm making is that cultures (especially western cultures) change over time. The country was headed toward better race relations regardless of the feds wagging a finger at us. Do you really believe that a racist hillbilly was no longer as such when a federal law was passed?

    Second, manu of the problems with market's failure to correct race issues in this country was due to government (state level, usually) interference with the free movement of transaction amongst its people. So what you're suggesting is that it required government to unravel the racist policies of... government. There was institutional discrimination in the ability for blacks to own business, get licensed etc. Often times, the business license requirements and regulations were merely byzantine processes designed to minimize or hinder the participation of blacks in the mainstream economy. In fact, you may recall that some of the first gun control laws passed in this country were specifically designed to keep firearms out of the hands of blacks. County or state rules which made it difficult or impossible for blacks to vote, or register to vote. So in some way, I suppose I could say that I do agree with federal involvement. If that purpose was for one more powerful government agency to limit the discriminatory policies of a lower one, then yes, federal intrusion into race issues was a good thing.

    As for your point about firebombing business-- we're back to where we started. Racist hillbilly with violent tendencies doesn't want any blacks owning a business. Federal laws are passed which allows or greases wheels for blacks to own businesses. What, racist hillbilly loses all violent tendencies to firebomb black businesses (or churches)?

    As I stated, much of the federal intrustion made race relations worse in the short term because if there's one thing a racist hillbilly can't stand more than sitting next to darkie: it's being FORCED to sit next to darkie.

  • uncle sam||

    I think is would be handy if bigoted restaurant owners could put "No Niggers" signs on their business establishments. Otherwise I might inadvertantly patronize them, and I'd much rather not.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Nah, of course I didn't actually RTFA. I was just commenting on libertarian culture in general, from about thirty years of observation.

    Wow, thanks for your deep insight Mr. Rather.

  • Paul||

    Somebody was rude to you in a bar? I guess you DO have the moral authority to tell black people experiencing institutionalized segregation to suck it up.

    joe,
    There is no institutional discrimination...the feds passed a law.

  • Paul||

    Looking at segregation in particular, it may interest some people to know that the railroads in the United States didn't choose to segregate their carriages, they were required to do so by laws passed in southern state legislatures.>/i>

    John C.

    This is the point I'm trying (and will probably fail) to make to Beth. The government rules forcing de-segregation were put in place to eliminate the government rules forcing segregation. Real discrimination requires government.

  • Guy Montag||

    Paul,

    Save your electrons. Beth has no interest in eliminating bigotry, she just wants one group to be easily accused of it so she can continue whining about 'those racists'.

    When someone from one of her non-favored groups is discriminated against, they should suck it up rather than saying the bigots are wrong, even if it is someone like me who believes that bigots should be free to be stupid and deal with their own ignorance without my financial assistance.

    She writes of her own imagenings and assigns them to the people she responds to.

    She is not Beth, she IS Ann Althouse with a dash of Eve Fairbanks and Maureen Dowd.

  • David Nieporent||

    Fair enough, Paul. Lynching and "no niggers" signs aren't the same. But my point is in response to the libertarian argument that segregation was state-supported, and that removing Jim Crow laws was enough. You seem to believe, counter to all evidence from our history,

    Counter to WHAT evidence, Beth? What evidence is there that market forces are insufficient to severely limit (not "end" -- civil rights don't "end" it, either) discrimination?

    that private business segregation would have been ended by market forces. The market in the South is the people I point to, the grinning faces attending lynchings. No, the market didn't, and would not have, changed a thing, certainly not on an acceptable timeline.

    The argument that it wouldn't have happened "fast enough" without civil rights laws is one thing, but the argument that it wouldn't have happened at all is quite another.

    Consider this, Beth: if no businesses would have done business with black people, then why did all the Jim Crow laws exist? Why did they feel the need to pass a law telling a railroad it had to have separate cars? Why did they feel the need to pass laws outlawing integrated schools? Why did they pass legislation telling integrated baseball teams that they weren't allowed to play in their towns?


    You argue that a segregated hotel would have failed. That's silly. They didn't. And competing, non-segregated businesses didn't take up the slack.

    They couldn't. The government wouldn't let them.

    What happened to anyone trying to change that market by opening a non-segregated cafe, or hotel, or general store? They were firebombed and driven out of business.

    Which libertarians would have made illegal, so this is an irrelevant point. Everyone (except anarchists, I suppose) thinks government should have stopped people from firebombing buildings. You concede above that lynching isn't the same as discrimination, but as soon as people say that they want to allow the latter, you start acting as if they've said they want to allow the former.

    You (and people who think like you -- there were many such commenters on Althouse's blog) keep ignoring what libertarians say in favor of declaring that entirely different scenarios wouldn't work. What we want is for (a) governmental discrimination to be illegal in all respects, (b) government to vigorously enforce criminal laws (e.g. against "firebombing"), and (c) private people to be allowed to choose whom to associate with.

  • Jennifer||

    I still wish Beth would have answered my earlier question from 2:22 yesterday: how does she know that all the immigrants, of multiple ethnicities, who have come to America and opened businesses over the last 40 years share the anti-black racial attitudes of a Klansman from the 1930s?

    If I were prone to the same debating techniques as Ann Althouse, I would accuse Beth of projecting her own racial attitudes onto others. But I seriously doubt that it the case. Nonetheless, Beth, if you're still here, please answer my question: how do you KNOW that all these business owners from east Asia and central Asia and Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa have a pro-white anti-black worldview? Since it is one of the main foundations of your argument, its source matters.

  • Guy Montag||

    I want to see the evidence of where firbombing of businesses that served blacks was made legal. If it was against the law it couldn't happen, right?

  • VikingMoose||

    Sigh. Yet another argument where "the free market will solve everything." "No it won't. If it will, what's the solution?"

    First - anybody here who's using this to justify their own racism: FUCK YOU. Bigots can go to hell. And I don't wanna hear "the market will take care of it". Yeah - who changed your fucking light bulb, asshole? "The Market?" Is that how it works?

    Now.

    Explaining economic discrimination in terms of wage rates, instead of trying to guess intent or suchlike, the lit defines this type of discrimination as different wage rates for the same productivity:

    wb (rate for black workers) and ww (for white), wb < ww including wb=0 where MPLb (marginal product of black labor) equals MPLw, you have discrimination.

    Becker modeled this in his 1957, 1971 work "The Economics of Discrimination".

    Bigoted employers gain utility that is discounted at rate d when they have to hire minority workers. Their utility is discounted d(Lb) (d -> prejudice variable times the Labor supply for black labor. d=0 in nonprejudiced situations)

    The basic idea is that, under perfect competition, where firms do not have (product) market power, non-prejudiced firms enter the market and take advantage of the wage arbitrage between black and white labor. (Recalling from above that wb < MPLb = MPLw = ww)

    The increase of demand for Black labor will equilibrate this, thus eventually causing discrimination to disappear. (Discrimination on the margin < Discrimination on the average).

    Furthermore, this assumes that black workers have the opportunity to work at non-discriminatory firms. That has some very strong limits to employment opportunities in the Jim Crow era, which should underscore that we had all but perfect competition, etc. back then.

    There are instances where Becker's conclusion (discrimination will, in perfect competition, eventually disappear - ugly paraphrase, and I hope it suffices. Apologies if it doesn't) may not hold. Employer prejudice, however, can still persist, with the employer bearing the extra costs. (willing to pay more for the same MPL)

    If the employer is willing to pay, it is possible for discrimination to exist and persist.

    Labor supply is also an issue. Take unionized industries and assume a prejudiced union. While that isn't a free market scenario, it is one that isn't too hard to imagine. The barrier to the free market solution is simply too high, so our friends who like that cop out will have to think a bit.

    Customer prejudice is harder to overcome. Consumers are also have this power. And this power is exercised daily.

    David H. Autor (2003) notes:
    "Assume ...that customers discriminate against B workers and so get lower utility from purchasing services from a firm if they have to interact with B worker. This will lower the labor market return to B workers to working in jobs with customer contact." (notes page 6)

    Consumers can also make these decisions based on clientele. (Think: patronize restaurants that are non-smoking or no-cell phone zones or organic or what have you). Or, given two substitute firms, choosing one that caters to the gay or evangelical markets)

    Here consumer discrimination might not be competed away - there is "not an obvious way for one consumer to arbitrage the prejudice of another" (ibid). Even though these consumers for whom the coefficient of discrimination, d>0 probably will have to pay higher prices for their goods or services, we have ample evidence that consumers will be willing to bear these costs (for example, organic Whole Paycheck… errrr Whole Foods - where consumer pay higher prices. Or Starbuck's. Consumers demonstrate a willingness to pay a premium to satisfy certain tastes)

    Consumer prejudice presents an example where the market might not cause discrimination to disappear.

    What does that mean? It doesn't really give any ammo to either side here. Here's why:

    Then the question is: what is the marginal deterrence for discrimination? What are the costs of achieving d=0 throughout the economic society? Are those costs worth bearing?

    Think of it this way: what are the costs of achieving a crime-free society? Are they worth it? Costs of achieving a terror threat of zero? We have people that certainly advocate those positions here. Now we have this group to add to the mix.

    What about when costs of shopping at a "correct" establishment are too high? You don't want to travel across town for a loaf of bread from Whole Foods. Or something like that? Consumers make such decisions daily.

    Some suggested titles:
    Markets Forces and Sex Discrimination by Hellerstein, Neumark, and Troske (2000 J. of Human Resources XXXVII)

    Arrow (1973) and Phelps (1972) are two famous economists who examine statistical discrimination and model it in those works.

    Charles and Guryan (2006) have "Prejudice and the Economics of Discrimination" (available online)

    In the meantime, please challenge bigotry to the max allowable in the given situation.

    cheers,
    VM

  • ||

    Somewhat recovered from the overwhelming ennui induced by my examination of the testimony in this case, I shall now deposit a penny or two in the slot.

    I had never heard of Ann Highhorse until Bailey's post. Unfortunately, my insatiable thirst for knowledge, combined with my unstinting search for new ways to avoid doing anything productive, led me to click on several of her linked posts, including this precious, glittering gem: "I concede I'm not the most conservative. But I am a diva, and I am a blogress, and I can be your blogress diva, you conservative, you."

    Leaving aside any speculation regarding what constitutes a "conservative" in the context of the People's Republic of Madison, Wisconsin, my initial response to this fatuous dollop of goo was straightforward- anybody who refers to herself as a "diva" ought promptly to be fed to the nearest lion.
    On further reflection, the real root of this unseemly little tiff became painfully apparent, to wit: "There can be only one!" This is indubitably the basis of her animus toward Mr Bailey's perky, smirking young libertarian colleague. Blogressing is a fiercely competitive racket, and the climb to the pinnacle of blogressdom is littered with the flyblown remains of those whose self-absorption is incomplete. Imagine yourself, having already confessed to a less than total conservatism, face to face with a ferocious cub blogress, and a libertarian one at that. The only possible defense is obfuscation and attack- "Conservatism is all very well and good, but only in proper doses. I mean, really- nobody likes a fanatic."

    Or crying.

  • ||

    Fair enough, Paul. Lynching and "no niggers" signs aren't the same.
    But my point is in response to the libertarian argument that
    segregation was state-supported, and that removing Jim Crow laws was
    enough. You seem to believe, counter to all evidence from our
    history.


    Actually, it seems to me that all the evidence from our history
    suggests that markets were far less interested in segregation than
    were state and federal governments. Railroads seemed to not want to
    be segregated in 1896, far ahead of when state and federal governments
    wanted to care about this issue. It is reasonable, and most likely
    true, to argue that federal intervention in 1964 solved the problems
    created by Jim Crow laws faster than the market would have if they
    were removed, but I am not at all convinced that the market,
    completely absent Jim Crow laws would have been slower to resolve the
    issue of racism than the governments that passed said laws. If racism
    is the majority position, then governments will be able to stop the
    minority that is interested in integration. (which it did in the 20th
    century south). If racism is the minority position, (as it clearly is
    now) then an openly racist business is making a very poor business
    decision, and a covertly racist business is already able to elude the civil rights act.

    I have never understood the civil rights act as an argument against
    federalism. Certainly this is a case in which the federal government
    was doing the right thing and the state governments were not, but it
    is not as if this is a universal trait. Remember the fugitive slave
    act? When state governments wanted to keep runaway slaves from being
    sent back into slavery and the federal government prevented them from
    doing so? Is this not just as valid an argument for states rights as
    the civil rights act is against them?

  • ||

    I appreciate that Mr. Rhoads, but surely you'd admit that baseball never would have been integrated, considering the racism of the era, had it not been for the Baseball Integration Act of 1947.

    ...What do you mean there wasn't a Baseball Integration Act of 1947?!

  • ||

    Im on Ann's side. She's hot now. She musta lost weight. I like her crimped hair too.

  • ScoreKeeper||

    Bailey got served by Althouse. After all of the faux intellectualism was hashed out, she called him a sissy for not knowing when and how to hit on a woman. She won. Sending big boy Balko in for back-up couldn't even help.

  • ||

    SK, a quick glance at Ron's staff bio on this site shows that he is married. Women who expect every likely guy to flirt with them, even if they are already spoken for, are a bit damaged.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Althouses's comments are more than odd--they're bizarre. Even worse, watch her podcast debate with Jonah Goldberg.

    One thing seems clear: This is a woman scorned--scorned intellectually in a very public way. At the Liberty Fund conference she was clearly outgunned intellectually. Like many lawyers, she's a mile wide and a foot deep. When put in a room with serious and thoughtful people who think much more deeply than she's accustomed to, she was simply out of her element.

    Furthermore, she's an extreme moderate except when dealing with issues that she cares about (e.g. abortion), and then she becomes precisely the kind of person that she claims to hate.

    In the end, when thinking of Althouse, I'm reminded of David's Brock's assessment of Anita Hill.

  • pandora canada||

    fuck!

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