Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

Cases of Racist Discrimination

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

As I’ve written elsewhere, I found an 1895 case in Aspen, Colorado, involving a man accused of violating the state’s anti-discrimination law.

In his book on Frederick Douglass (p. 39), Timothy Sandefur discusses how Douglass would be refused service and that his fellow white Abolitionists also would decline to use the service. One time, when Douglass “refused to yield his seat on the train to a white man, a mob tore the bench on which he was sitting from the floor of the car,” Sandefur writes.

Later (p. 75), Sandefur notes that Douglass was concerned with private discrimination, such as “the boycotting of black businesses by white customers” and the practice of some labor unions of “admitting only white members as a means of limiting competition for jobs.” And “black entrepreneurs were often excluded from access to capital.” (And of course government discriminated in various ways too.)

Sandefur also discusses (starting on p. 78) the 1875 national Civil Rights Act promoted by Charles Sumner. “It prohibited discrimination in hotels, theaters, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation,” Sandefur summarizes. Douglass argued that a person “has the right to walk, ride, and be accommodated with food and shelter in a public conveyance or hotel.” But the Supreme Court gutted the act with its Civil Rights Cases of 1883. Wikipedia summarizes, “The decision has never been overturned, but in the 1965 case of Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, the Supreme Court held that Congress could prohibit racial discrimination by private actors under the Commerce Clause.” In 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson established the “separate but equal” doctrine (which pertained to government policy). While I’m mentioning infamous Supreme Court cases: In 1857 the court under Roger Taney ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Black people do not have U.S. citizenship.

Sandefur (p. 86) writes: “Douglass and Wells might break up segregation in a Chicago eatery, but an ordinary farmer who tried to do the same in any rural Mississippi coffee shop might very well be murdered.” (Douglass once took wells to a “whites only” restaurant for lunch.)

Cases of Discrimination

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

In my new column for Complete Colorado, I discuss an 1895 case of clearly-wrong racist discrimination and modern cases of possibly benign discrimination (“people of color only,” “ladies’ night”).

In other news, “52 Black former McDonald’s franchise owners are suing over discriminatory practices.”

Libertarians and Discrimination Law

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

As of right now, following is the Libertarian Party’s official position on discrimination law:

“Libertarians embrace the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights. We reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that ‘right.’ We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts, and other free market solutions.”

In other words, the LP wants to repeal anti-discrimination laws as they apply to private parties.

LGBTQ Legal Protections

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, [Supreme Court Justice Neil] Gorsuch wrote, which bars discrimination ‘because of sex,’ also covers claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said, “My statement after the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ workers are protected from discrimination: This strong 6-3, Supreme Court ruling is a victory for LGBTQ workers and a significant step on the road to equality. We must continue to create a community where people feel safe, and loved, and valued, and respected. No person should be afraid to show the world who they are – and no LGBTQ person should risk losing their job by doing so. Colorado will continue to lead on anti-discrimination policies and my administration will continue to build a Colorado For All.”

Colorado Rep. Brianna Titone also commented on decision as the legislative session wrapped up.

Ilya Somin breaks down the decision. I personally wish this matter had been resolved by Congress clarifying the relevant legal language, but of course Congress is infested mostly with moral cowards and imbeciles.

Andrew Koppelman, pointing to a 1988 paper of his, says, “I’ve been arguing in print, since I was a law student, that discrimination against gay people is sex discrimination. I’m glad the Supreme Court finally saw it.”

Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ Workers Protected

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Supreme Court says federal law protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination.”