The post on guns triggered a query as to my position on the 1964 civil rights act. My thoughts are not particularly original, or cogent, but here goes:
1) Though I endorse the principle that private property owners should be able to use their possessions as they wish, slavery was America's Original Sin, and segregation was an outgrowth of a bitterly unjust and state-enforced order. Just on those grounds, I'm probably prepared to make an exception to general principle.
2) I'm not particularly friendly to public accomodation laws in general, though I'm not a lawyer, and fully recognize that I may simply be missing important facets of the debate.
But even if I endorsed the principle that racist shop owners ought to be free to exercise their beliefs, one's right to discriminate against people on the basis of race or creed is literally the last right I am interested in defending. When we have rolled back eminent domain abuse, ended state nannying about our health choices, curbed prosecutorial abuses, obliterated corporate welfare, stamped out farm subsidies, ended the moronic drug war, established well-funded school voucher programs, pruned our overgrown tax code, torn down our trade barriers, shoved the government all the way out of our bedrooms, rationalized regulation, and gotten the Supreme Court out of the business of approving nativity scenes in remote town squares . . . well, then I might be prepared to sit down and ponder, philosophically speaking, whether one's fundamental human right to be a repulsive racist should be recognized by the legal system in this context.
Last time I looked, we still had a ways to go on those other things yet.
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