Nondiscrimination in public accommodations, housing and jobs is an important principle to liberals. It’s not an important principle to the Right, which has a long history of what we might call creative interpretation of the Constitution to find “rights” to discriminate, based on religion or a backward reading of “freedom of association.”
Last yearÂ White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders let it be known that the White House had no problemÂ Â with businesses hanging antigay signs that explicitly state they don’t serve LGBT customers. Perhaps the Red Hen restaurant should have posted a sign saying they don’t serve liars and hypocrites before Sanders went to dinner there. But if I could explain anything to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, it would be that once you allow discrimination, you don’t get to whine when the hammer falls on you.
In short, either businesses get to discriminate, or they don’t. Make up your mind.
The American Right is largely made up of people who are incapable of understanding that the Golden Rule also works in reverse: What you want to be allowed to do unto others can also be done unto you.
Of course, systemic racism has allowed white people special privileges to discriminate racially, consequence free, for a long time.Â But as those days are at least beginning to draw to a close, it might be argued that public shaming and shunning is just tough love to teach the slow-learning sots the value of antidiscirimination laws.
For example, recently Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican and knee-jerk Trump supporter, needed a police escort to leave a movie theater in Tampa because members of the audience were harassing her. (The film was Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which makes this story even better.)
Bondi was not happy.Â â€œWhen youâ€™re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, thereâ€™s something wrong,â€ she said. â€œThe next people are going to come with guns. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going to happen.â€
Maybe. But nobody with guns came after these people, who were caught on video screaming at a black family in a resort swimming pool in Tampa.
Dr. Covey BanksÂ took to Facebook with her story of being harassed and racially taunted by a white family at Omni Orlando Resort while in the pool. It all started when Banks noticed a little girl crying to her mother about needing to use the rest room.
In her Facebook post, Banks recounted hearing the girlâ€™s mother tell her daughter to just pee in the pool.
â€œThe little girl was crying and begging her mother to take her to the bathroom. The mom started looking around we presumed for the bathroom, and we pointed it out to her â€¦ She started yelling â€˜you donâ€™t know what MY daughter is saying,â€™ â€˜Iâ€™m taking her to the bathroom,â€™ â€˜I was not telling her to pee in the pool (guilty conscience), etc. Figuring she was embarrassed because she got caught being nasty, we paid her no mind,â€ she stated.
But then the white family ganged up on Dr. Banks and her children and screamed racialÂ epithets at them. When there’s violent cursing and screaming at people who are respectable patrons of the resort using the resort pool, there’s something wrong.
The altercation was being recorded by Dr. Banks’s neice. The matron of the white family tried to grab the phone out of the girl’s hand, and Dr. Banks grabbed the woman’s arm to stop her. In true redneck snowflake fashion, the white woman then declared she’d been assaulted.
Tampa police were not helpful. This is just what happens in Pam Bondi’s Florida, I take it. TheÂ Omni Orlando Resort refused to intervene and remove the rednecks from the resort. However, when the video of the altercation went viral, the resort issued an apology to Dr. Banks.
I agree with AG Bondi that it’s dangerous when people show up with guns, like this guy in Charlottesville last year.
But, you know, wingnuts are the ones who insist on being able to carry any firearm they like anywhere they want. They count on the indulgence of the rest of us, who really don’t get our jollies by intimidating people with scary-looking weapons. If the Left were as violent as the Right, we’d be having open warfare in the streets in this country. And on those rare occasions righties really are held accountable for their bad behavior, they feel soooo sorry for themselves.
Now we lefties are getting fingers wagged at us, and once again we’re being told to be civil. I’m all for civility, but it would be nice if the same standard of public decorum were applied to the Right as well. I never support violence, no matter who is perpetrating it. But as Josh Marshall says, “Many calls for civility are simply calls for unilateral disarmament from those protesting injustices and abuses of power.”
The Right doesn’t want civility, because they aren’t about to practice it themselves. They just want us to shut up.
Josh Marshall continues,
One might further note that it is simply too comical to be lectured about social decorum by a party whose members shouted â€œYou lieâ€ at a President during a State of the Union address and made Donald Trump their party leader. But even that is really beside the point. What does matter is where we draw the lines of whatâ€™s legitimate and whatâ€™s not. Most of the civility talk isnâ€™t about any real red line, any boundary that is critical to the kind of free society we want to preserve and build. Itâ€™s more a wet blanket meant to tsk tsk legitimate protest and legitimate resistance to corrupt government, misrule and injustice.
And I say that if a baker can’t be compelled to bake a cake for a gay wedding, then a chef can refuse to cook for Sarah Sanders. And it wouldn’t be that difficult to make a freedom of religion case for that.