Wise individuals discriminate all the time. Think about it.
In today’s society, “discrimination” has become a trigger word used to vilify anyone who chooses not to associate with another because of a difference he rejects. As such, liberty is being trampled as freedom of speech, association, and even thought become prohibited.
But “discrimination” is not a bad word. It is a good word. It is the right of every individual.
An intelligent, thoughtful individual discriminates in many life choices, be it in health decisions, foods he eats, what he purchases, places he goes, activities in which he participates, the music and art he appreciates, or with whom he associates. Our values, culture, religious beliefs, and many other factors shape what we appreciate.
If you didn’t discriminate, all manner of people (and some you may find very disagreeable) would be in your life. But you, and you alone, choose with whom you associate on the basis of your likes and dislikes. You choose your friends, just as you choose what family members are allowed closeness in your life. You choose with whom to get a cup of coffee, with whom to see a film, or with whom to go skiing. You choose whom you pick up the phone and call. You choose the people with whom you associate and those you purge from your life or at least minimize communication with. You choose whom you socialize with. In other words, you discriminate.
You discriminate on the basis of all kinds of things: people’s personalities, interests, values, and morals, and behaviors that stem from those things. You decide whom you’d like to get to know better, and whom you’d rather not. And while there are those who discriminate on the basis of characteristics you or I wouldn’t regard as important, it is their right to do so, or at least it should be.
Personal discrimination for any reason should be protected and honored in a free society.
Yet that isn’t the case today. On the contrary, the individual’s right to choose — be it during hiring, renting, selling of a service, or other examples — have been sorely infringed. Forced integration pervades society. In a free country, we shouldn’t have to associate with anyone we’d rather not. No federal government program/regulation/law should grant special rights, protections, or other advantages to any group of people; not for ethnicity, sex, age, religion, national origin, economic class, sexual orientation/gender identity, disability, or any other class distinction. People should be free from any such considerations in all transactions. Likewise, there should be no laws making some crimes worse than others on the basis of assumed or actual motives, biased or not; a crime should be adjudicated on the transgression itself, not on who committed the crime, who the victim was, or why. There are no special circumstances when it comes to violence; existing laws only need to be enforced. And there’s certainly no Constitutional validity whatsoever to the concept of “hate speech,” despite laws made referencing it.
Discrimination is not necessarily in itself unjust or wrong. In fact, it can be very good. But anti-discrimination laws discriminate unjustly and are wrong. Americans should be treated equally under the law.
It matters not the basis of said discrimination, be it on a factor someone chose or was born with, since everyone should have the ability to associate or not associate with any other. Let’s say a store decided it did not want to serve blonde green-eyed women. It should be their prerogative to do so. I, being in the disfavored group, would shop elsewhere. Perhaps as word spread, my friends, family, associates, and civic connections might choose to not shop there in protest. Perhaps not. Either way, both the store and individual shoppers could use their free will to do as they choose, and the free marketplace would take its course. Individuals and private organizations should have the liberty to discriminate in all their personal and business matters.
Our country has suffered because of the socially ingrained idea that to discriminate is wrong and must not be tolerated. Nothing is more intolerant than taking away this fundamental right from the individual and his enterprises, be they business, educational, or social.
The only place for mandated nondiscriminatory practices is within the government, since it is predicated on the taxation (legalized theft) it extorts from all people. As for all other discrimination, even if the majority find its form repugnant, the market should be allowed to reign. Because the government is deeply involved in and subsidizes areas in which it doesn’t belong, society now must debate — politically and legally — issues such as gender-identity controversies ranging from restroom- and locker-room use to athletic competition (in public schools or federally subsidized universities). Whereas a small limited government would simply let (what should be) completely private entities decide for themselves.
As society has moved away from respect for the individual, it has embraced putting groups, especially those who have suffered wrongdoing in the past, on a victim pedestal. Such groups of the once-oppressed wallow in victimhood status, while using the force of government to now truly unjustly discriminate against people not in their protected group.
Equality is not what this leftist agenda espouses; rather it focuses on and elevates differences as being more important than the individual, and thus more important than freedom. All manner of silencing and distorted interpretation of others’ speech occurs once the radical liberal victimhood mentality takes hold. Reality is forsaken as everything and everyone not in the favored group is perceived in the worst way.
Anti-discrimination laws are indicative of a dangerous shift from liberty to tyranny occurring at all levels of social interaction. The suppression of discrimination is not just limited to race, as it once was. It now extends to include, for example, liberal ideas, none of which can be forthrightly criticized any longer; with the irony of those proclaiming coexistence being the very perpetrators of rabid intolerance.
From college campuses to the public at large, those with ideological, political, and traditional religious ideas are now commonly persecuted through threats and acts of violence, with tacit approval given by society at large, media, and even governmental figures by their non-action or non-condemnation when the discrimination is directed toward those with views they reject. Free speech is replaced by the mandated use of politically correct pronouns; free thought is replaced by the assigning of unworthy motives to those wishing to preserve historical statues; and Judeo-Christianity is censored while all other belief systems cannot be critiqued at all.
Anti-discrimination laws are discriminatory.
Hailed as a mark of progress, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) was anything but. In a government attempt to end an evil, a greater evil manifested: forced association in the private sector.
Had the CRA simply addressed remedy of governmental discrimination, it would have been morally just. It went much further and is responsible for taking away the right we once had to choose whom we hired, fired, rented to, or in any other way associated with, within our personal and professional lives. Its alleged good and morally sound intention, like so many others, was perverted once the government perpetrated it. As the years pass, its premise is being built upon, adding more classes of people who are given arbitrary special rights by the government to be used against those who would rather not accommodate them.
Governmental interference in the private sector has since taken many forms through intrusive programs, from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (formed in 1965), to the Department of Labor’s affirmative action, to the 1968 Fair Housing Act, to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and others.
On March 13, 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) introduced another, even more sweeping, liberty-killing federal proposal, referred to as “The Equality Bill,” which would extend the Civil Rights Act mandates to include “sex discrimination,” with prohibition of discrimination on the basis “of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes.” Again, to ban personal and private-enterprise discrimination against those groups, this faction of Democrats seeks to increase government-al discrimination against people who have differing views on biological sex and marriage. It would seriously attack the rights of employers, workers, charities, and others. Expanding current federal civil-rights law to include LGBT people in such a broad way will result in more social and legal conflict, as it effectively prohibits religious freedom to discriminate.
A centrally planned society is a tyranny, because the government controls the economy or social and business interactions. The forcing of people to associate, to pretend that only politically correct ideologies are worthy and acceptable, and to tolerate the destruction of historical monuments and markers under the guise of eradicating discrimination cause more tension, anger, and often violence. Forced respect in speech and association is not only unnatural, it is a totalitarian, destructive, governmental attack on the inalienable rights of the individual. All anti-discrimination laws forcing private individuals and businesses to conform to any societal or cultural demand are wrong.
Racism, radical liberals’ most widely used accusation of discrimination, is still a reliable standby to thoughtlessly attack persons with whom they disagree. Voluntary social segregation is harming none; governmental discrimination is the only area where harm is perpetrated. Now, many loudly claiming racism are often only reacting to objective rejection or identification of liberal ideas. It may have nothing at all to do with race, though the race card is used.
The government likes to focus on differences and encourages legislatively letting some groups designate themselves as permanent victims. It’s a way the government gains more power. Sad to say, many who consider themselves unfairly treated socially, see nothing unjust in asking the government to step in to make things right for them. They are unable to distinguish between the right every individual has of personal discrimination and unjust legal discrimination. Ironically, they often seek and agree with the imposition of discriminatory practices upon others just to vindicate the persecution they’ve suffered. But two wrongs do not make a right.
The intrinsic liberty of the individual
The Bill of Rights was expressly created to prevent the government from interfering in how we live our lives: our religion, speech, right to assemble, bearing of arms, and privacy are all cited as protected, regardless of whether they fit within popular opinion or not. Yet today our government intrudes into these areas and unjustly discriminates in them simply to gain political support.
While the radical Left tramples freedoms to protect their feelings, those who value liberty must steadfastly protect each and every right to save what remains of this nation’s proclamation of freedom, and treasure, value, and uphold it. We should be allowed to be free from government interference and provided full government protection under the law to express and evince any belief that is physically noninjurious and nonthreatening, no matter how politically incorrect. Unless you actually trespass on the fundamental rights an individual has to his person or property, your right to discriminate in thought, speech, and action should not be infringed. This is and should be maintained (restored) as your right in a liberty-loving nation.
Socially rejected or not, political and religious beliefs, as well as any bias and subsequent speech and deeds not using or threatening force, must not be infringed. To use the state, the law, to “equalize” in an effort to stop discrimination is a clear violation of the liberty of every person. It makes such activists the most unjust discriminatory group of all, as they attempt to use the law to enforce their rejection of the U.S. Constitution’s respect for individual liberty. The individual’s right to discriminate is a right the majority should never have been allowed to take away. The private sector should have been kept free from all anti-discrimination laws.
Those who love freedom should demand that government stay out of every area of our lives that we have not constitutionally authorized it to be involved in (which is very little). Leave all the rest to the people to do as they will on the basis of their spiritual consciousness. Some will choose love, others will choose hate. Only this approach respects the intrinsic liberty of the individual.
This article was originally published in the October 2019 edition of Future of Freedom.