The poison pills of political correctness continue to choke Lady Liberty. Consider discrimination. No rational person condones prejudice; it is morally reprehensible.
Yet administrative “legal” dictates regarding the subject now approach the absurd. Government routinely violates the individual rights of business owners and selective others, forcing them to perform minuscule tasks like bake wedding cakes for homosexual marriages although this violates religious beliefs or cut the hair of individuals who reek of marijuana although other customers must inhale the stink.
In 1964 Congress passed Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241), forbidding discrimination by employers on the basis of race and/or sex in hiring, promoting, and firing. Title VII of the act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to implement the law.
Later legislation expanded the EEOC role, so this sprawling agency presently enforces regulations prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, wages, testing, training, apprenticeships, and all other terms and conditions of all employment. Ergo, any individual identifying with any protected group can sue on grounds of discrimination.
The validity of the Civil Acts Right was defended by referring to the 1868 Equal Rights clause in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Note: This amendment applies only to states. It does not mention the private sector nor does it mention employment. Given certain lingering discrimination practices in the 1960s (usually by governments regarding schools, transportation, etc.), one might stretch it to apply to protection against government employment discrimination.
But where is a legal argument addressing private discrimination, which is a moral issue?
Government dictates range from smoking prohibitions in “public” places such as restaurants or retail stores (neither of which is “public”) to the current president’s attempt to regulate trans fats in food products. Thousands more laws regulating private businesses and personal choices exist from every level of government, and each one violates the rights of an individual.
Leaving aside whether government should own/manage property like parks, subway and bus systems, it may be accepted that since they do, government can rule.
Private business owners, however, should not have to rely on excuses like religion or drugs or any excuse to exercise their fundamental right to do as they please on their own premises and sell to or serve whatever they wish to whomever they wish as long as they do not infringe on the constitutional rights of others, which are the rights to life, liberty, and property.
Why should it be permissible for individuals in any artificially protected group to exercise the privilege to infringe upon the inalienable rights of other individual’s right to their life, liberty, and property?
Yes, this means that despicable as it is to refuse service to someone of a personally disliked group or that senseless as it might be to refuse to hire any person who doesn’t have red hair, private businesses should be able to do what they wish without laws forcing them to conform to bureaucratic edict.
It has been demonstrably evidenced that an unregulated marketplace resolves most discriminatory behavior — Jews and Italians once suffered discrimination in America, and that disappeared naturally — but even if it doesn’t, discrimination is a moral issue outside governments’ legal venue. Every person has free will to choose how, where, and when they spend their efforts, time, and money.
If there is a choice, nonsmoking customers will dine at smoke-forbidding restaurants; smokers will choose smoke-permitting places. If company A will not hire individuals of a particular “group,” buyers can boycott their products.
Government bodies and regulatory agencies are constructed of many individuals, so why accept that these individuals can violate the rights of other individuals like owners of private companies large or small?
The poison pills of political correctness should not be swallowed even if shoved down our throats by government dictate. We should spit them out and vote only for candidates who vow to fight against political control of our personal beliefs and preferences be they good, bad, right, wrong, discriminatory, or inclusive.
As long as an individual does not violate the constitutional individual rights — not demands or privileges — of any other individual, then discrimination even though morally vile (as in every kind of prejudice) or selectively beautiful (as in choosing a wine or a home), should be legally free from government interference.
Alexandra York is an author and founding president of the American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) a New-York-City-based nonprofit educational arts and culture foundation. She has written for many publications, including "Reader’s Digest" and The New York Times. Her latest book is "The Innocent." For more on Alexandra York, Go Here Now.
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