How we deal with public bigotry

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Mar 3, 2011.

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How should we deal with bigotry?

  1. Bigotry is sick. Government should outlaw all forms of it, and jail violators.

    12.9%
  2. Bigotry is sick. Unless personal liberties are being undermined - gov't should stay out of the way.

    54.8%
  3. Bigotry is sick. Westboro is ok, but not serving someone should be against the law.

    19.4%
  4. Other (describe below)

    12.9%
  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #1
    1) Essentially every single person here is anti-bigotry, anti-racism, etc. All we seem to disagree on, is how to deal with it and what role government plays in the equation.

    2) In a recent thread, the vast majority of posters (me included) seemed to carry the consistent position that the sickening members of the Westboro Baptist Church still deserved the right to free speech about public issues in public places. Most seemed to agree with the Supreme Court that they had the right to protest even at the funeral of a fallen soldier holding hurtful signs and yelling hurtful phrases within sight and hearing distance of the bereaved.

    3) In another recent thread, the vast majority of posters (me not included this time) seemed to carry the consistent position that the acts of a couple who operated a bed and breakfast in their own home but refused service to a gay couple was hideous sickening display and that the state should force them to offer services to the gay couple due to their protected status under the law.


    Based on these facts, it seems that we all agree about the disgusting nature of bigotry in general, but seem to disagree regarding the extend to which we allow bigots to live their own lives free to be bigots if they want to as long as they're not hurting others.

    I'd like to better understand where most of you draw the line. If you'll allow bigots to harass the bereaved family of a fallen soldier an their funeral, preventing them from the solemn service we all agree they deserve, but won't allow a Christian family (how does freedom of religion play into this argument?) to chose who they will and who they won't offer B&B services to... where exactly do you draw the line? You'll let them undermine and overwhelm funeral services, but if they refuse to sell a minority a hamburger that's over the line? Please help me to understand your position and what in your mind is the role of the government in this regard.
     
  2. codymac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #2
    Have you seen the John Quiñones program on ABC called "What Would You Do?"

    It's a bit anecdotal (he's a journalist, not a sociologist/psychologist), but he has done specials on race on his programs and it's worth a watch as it shows people publicly drawing their lines.
     
  3. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #3
    thread 1 (westbro) is free speech. Free speech is protected

    thread 2 does not deal with free speech. You are running a public business. As such you have it open to the public and can not discriminate.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #4

    I didn't comment on the B&B thread, so I don't know many of the details. However, this dividing line seems pretty obvious to me.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    This.

    The Phelps klan is free speech and they have a right to do so. The second one of them opens up a business and starts kicking out customers on the basis of sexual gender, then it's discrimination and should be illegal.
     
  6. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #6
    Perhaps another line to follow as part of this discussion... as an 'oppressed minority' (lets use homosexuals in this case) which would be worse for you to experience...

    A bunch of crazy ******* protestors screaming hate-filled smears against your fallen love one, saying that God hates them, that they're going to hell, that God wanted them to die, etc. while preventing you from having a proper funeral, and from putting your loved one to rest in peace

    or...

    A couple of private Bed and Breakfast owners not allowing you to take advantage of their services because they find homosexuality to be a sin.
     
  7. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #7
    It is very obvious except to people like Rand Paul who dream about a day when the Constitution is given its "original" meaning, and we all have a Constitutional right to discriminate (edit - in our businesses that provide certain services to the public) against anyone we want.
     
  8. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    #8
    Good point. They are a bit incongruent. Perhaps a more congruent way to analyze the underlying issue of the OP would be that - for the private business scenario - the private business owner does not exclude anyone, but has unavoidable, derogatory signage (like that used by Westboro - I don't care to quote but we've all seen it) on the walls, in the menu, on the product they manufacture, etc. Just a thought.
     
  9. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Location:
    totally cool
    #9
    It would have been enough for the owners just to say no and send the couple on their way, but they went too far by sending emails telling the two that they are wrong. If the incident were just left at "no, thank you" we probably would not be having a discussion about it.
     
  10. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #10
    Both would be equally bad. However, people have a right to say whatever they want, they do not have the right to do whatever they want. The difference should be obvious.

    The KKK can say that all blacks and Jews should be killed or deported. They don't have the right to actually go out and do it. Actions and words are two very different things.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    Same answer as before. I quoted myself to save me the time of typing it up again. Please read it this time.

     
  12. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
    I have been delayed by morning meetings and such, but I will try to reconstruct my previous response. In summary, yes, Phelps is entitled to free speech, but no, this does not imply support for entirely laissez-faire operation of businesses.

    While an individual generally has the right to open whatever sort of business he likes, and to run it however he pleases, we also hold that communities have the right to organize themselves as they see fit. The residents of a community are well justified not to want a pig farm in the restaurant district or an explosives factory next to a kindergarten. For this reason, communities license businesses, and attach community-determined stipulations (including zoning requirements, and in some cases, public hearings) to the issuance of those licenses.

    There are, of course, limitations: naming particular establishments would probably run afoul of the Constitutional restriction on bills of attainder, so cities that do not want a Wal-Mart institute restrictions on "big box" stores by a more general description. Further, on a court challenge, the community would likely be obliged to provide a rational basis for any restriction or risk having it stricken judicially.

    For roughly the same reason a community might not want a strip club to open next to an elementary school, the same community might not want a "whites only" business next to that school. If you were issued a license for a business purporting to offer services to the public, and the community has attached non-discrimination requirements to that issuance, then discrimination is a violation of your covenant with the community in which you operate. In order to deprive a community of that right, one would have to go to court and prove that bigots are an example of a historically oppressed class entitled to stronger than "rational basis" justification. I expect most will admit such a suit would have little value apart from the comedic.

    I expect the OP will sense a hypocrisy here: he will suppose, quite correctly, that I would object to a community-sponsored law that banned black people or gay people or Jews from opening businesses in the community. I mention this to highlight the important distinction: all those groups are examples of historically oppressed groups, not for any particular offense against the community, but for simple identity hatred. I believe a community would be hard pressed to come up with even a rational basis for such a restriction, but the law would require an even higher standard for the community to prove the legitimacy of the restriction. The bottom line is that such groups do enjoy greater Constitutional protection to live freely than their assorted antagonists do to practice bigotry against them, and I stress that this is exactly as it should be.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #13
    There's a simple solution to this B&B thing. They should just become a private club where people have to purchase memberships. They can discriminate all they want then.
     
  14. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    IOWA
    #14
    I tend to agree, but it's irrelevant to the discussion, agreed?
     
  15. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #15
    of course the law says the opposite of what you and obeygiant wish were true. The B&B owners would be violating Illinois law in refusing to rent to gays but they were certainly within their free speech rights when they sent emails expressing their views
     
  16. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
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    IOWA
    #16
    Yes. We're arguing that the law is ridiculous and should be changed... and no one is suggesting that their email was illegal... just in poor taste.

    P.S. Why is it that my position seems to win all of these polls, and yet I'm essentially in here arguing (on the side of one or two other people) against an army of left leaning individuals? Quit hiding in the woodwork, people! Speak up!
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #17
    What's right is not always what's popular. You seem to think it is.
     
  18. Macky-Mac, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #18
    why do you think you're winning this poll? The selection
    is winning at the moment so I would say you're losing this one. (my bold of course)

    That's what I would select but I don't think it reflects your views at all. I would say you're only focusing on the liberties of the bigot and not looking at all at how the liberties of the victim are being undermined and damaged.

    edit; I assume that you would have to select "other" in this poll since it seems to me that you've made a consistent point that the bigots' rights should trump the victims' rights, no matter how damaging the bigotry might be
     
  19. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    #19
    I am in agreement with most people on this board. Westboro has every right to do what they do.

    Regarding the B&B situation or any situation regarding sexual orientation discrimination I always use the argument that if you changed Homosexual couple with Black couple or Physically disabled couple would you still think it was okay. Discrimination is a Black & White issue for me.
     
  20. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #20
    because you are constructing the polls and framing the questions. Hardly independent.

    Having said that, I agree with your position - for the most part. We can't make laws for stupid.
     
  21. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #21

    Winning the poll? LMAO.
     
  22. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Spot on.

    Westbro are treading a fine line and pushing freedom of speech quite far, but they are still just in it (even if they are bigoted morons).

    B&Bs are not somebody's home, they are a business. Freedom to think in a discriminatory manner exists in business, freedom to act in a discriminatory manner is not allowed.
     
  23. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #23
    I imagine you are not accounting for people who find all the existing poll options either ridiculous (all but "Other") or useless ("Other") and therefore present an argument so as to facilitate a discussion rather than playing around with trying to "win" a facile straw poll.
     
  24. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    Communard de Londres
    #24
    You think that's a possibility?
     
  25. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #25
    Bigotry is sick. Unless personal liberties are being undermined - gov't should stay out of the way.

    This IS the Libertarian view. The problem for Libertarians is what is a personal liberty? Can you be discriminated for race, religion, and sex? Libertarians say, if I own a store/restaurant, it is my personal right/liberty to discriminate. I disagree.

    BTW, one of the most poorly constructed polls I've seen ever.
     

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