Guest Column: Anti-discrimination laws are new Jim Crow laws
My Point of View, By Ebenezer Howe III
Most of the time I have a problem picking a topic on which to write My Point of View. Sometimes I am so upset with things that what I would put down may not be publishable for the Tribune. But, I am going to give ’er a shot this time.
The Albert Lea Tribune of Oct. 5 had on the Opinion Page under Editorial Roundup a re-print of an editorial from the Rochester Post-Bulletin published on Sept. 28. The title of that editorial was “Civil Rights Don’t Stop at a Business Person’s Door.” The Post-Bulletin, in my opinion, is a far left-leaning publication so it is common for me to see their writings in conflict with my beliefs.
The gist of the editorial was agreement with the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis that had ruled against a Minnesota couple who wanted to expand their media production company to include the filming of weddings — but only heterosexual weddings. The setup took about one third of the editorial and the remainder was the interpretation from the judge and the editorial board’s misguided analogies in support of the ruling.
First, civil rights have to do with what government can and cannot do to an individual. The government is to treat all individuals uniformly and hopefully fairly. If not fairly, then uniformly unfair. Second, everyone has the right to discriminate. If you don’t like your obnoxious uncle, you do not have to invite him for holidays. It is your right to discriminate against him or anyone. I think they call that freedom of association.
I googled the definition of freedom of association: “The right to form societies, clubs and other groups of people, and to meet with people individually, without interference by the government.”
So, it also stands to reason for an individual to not meet with people individually, without interference by government.
Now, let’s put this in Freeborn County terms. I am going to open an eating place, and I am going to put on the door, “Norwegians need not enter.” I should be able to discriminate against anybody I choose. Any loan officer who gives me a loan to open my shop will end up being fired when the bank president exercises his discrimination right to terminate a fool who would make a loan to a sure bankruptcy. Since Norwegians can’t enter, neither will their friends. No customers, no cash, I’m done, out of business. The marketplace handled it.
Well, well, oh but, yah but, that is just like Jim Crow laws — wrong you are. Jim Crow laws were government telling individuals they must discriminate, not individuals discriminating by choice. They were laws saying only whites eat here or blacks to the back of the bus — forced segregation by law.
Always let the marketplace handle it. If a village wanted a videographer to always be available to film events and paid $500 for every event he filmed, then the videographer must do same-sex marriages because every individual must be treated the same by that village’s government. If tax money goes to pay for some films, then tax money has to pay for all films in this village. But, in the case of an individual or a business, which also should be looked at as an individual, discrimination should be allowed. Some other individual will see the opportunity to make some cash and start filming same sex marriages or providing whatever service for which there is a discriminatee. So, the people who won’t perform the service, lose the cash; their choice.
I believe Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim, who was quoted in the editorial, drinks from the poisoned well of political correctness along with all the legislators who pass anti-discrimination laws.
I see anti-discrimination laws as the new Jim Crow laws.
Now let’s talk just a bit about judicial elections.
Freeborn County is one of 11 counties in the 3rd Judicial District. The district has 23 judges. That is why we have so many judges on the ballot every election. When you get the voting instructions from the demonstration judge, prior to getting a ballot, he always says, “Remember to vote both sides.” Then when you turn your ballot over, you see all those judges and you feel, “Oh my goodness, I don’t know any of these people.” Why is that? Because the system is rigged against campaigning for judges. Nearly all Minnesota judges are politically appointed, as were the two judges seated in Freeborn County. Then, through a 1981 law, the word incumbent is after their name at the next general election, an unfair advantage. The incumbent label is unique to Minnesota and to judicial elections and a powerful deterrent to judicial challengers. This 1981 law is in deep need of repeal. Please consider candidates who agree.
Alden resident Ebenezer Howe is chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the local party members.