Anti-Discrimination Protesters are Protesting Themselves
The protests against the religious freedom bills are becoming so ubiquitous that their anti-discrimination message is becoming blasé. Recently North Carolina passed a bill that overturned a Charlotte ordinance forcing businesses to grant biological males access to female restrooms. The bill basically allows businesses to do what they want with regard to their bathrooms. But that’s too much freedom for PayPal, the CEO of which cancelled plans to put an office and 400 jobs in the state. Bruce Springsteen chimed in too, cancelling a tour stop in the state, disappointing all the fans who had already booked hotel rooms and travel for the show.
Not to be outdone in protest, the New York-Mississippi Society has cancelled what would’ve been the 37th picnic showcasing Mississippi culture in Central Park due to the recent passing of a religious freedom bill. Evidently, you can’t enjoy Mississippi mud pie or the blues of BB King in Central Park because everything associated with the state must be annihilated. The Canadian pop star Bryan Adams jumped on the bandwagon and cancelled a tour stop in Biloxi to protest the Mississippi bill.
This comes after threats by the NFL and Disney that they will limit business in Georgia if a similar religious freedom bill had been passed.
I think it’s great that people are using their economic and social clout to attempt to affect social change. They are free to make themselves heard and freely associate with whomever they want. They can make decisions based on their deeply-held convictions and act on them. All of these protests are commendable efforts putting principle ahead of profit—morals ahead of money. They are courageous, bold, economic statements based on deeply held beliefs. They also have the consequence of being illogical, oxymoronic, and absolutely absurd.
While making these anti-discrimination declarations, none of these protesters bothered to ask the basic question, “If discrimination is wrong, why is it okay to discriminate against the discriminators?”
Never mind that PayPal operates in and Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have performed in several countries in which homosexuality is a crime—that’s right up there with the hypocrisy of Al Gore’s private jet tour to stop Global Warming pollution. But that’s not the worst flaw in this type of protest.
All of these boycotts are in effect saying, “I’m not going to do business with you because of my deeply-held belief that you need to do business with people despite your deeply-held beliefs.” These protesters are in effect protesting themselves. It’s so illogical that it’s hard to explain it to people. Socrates is no doubt double face-palming in his grave.
The only thing I can think of is that Bruce and company think some discrimination is more discriminatory than others. It’s okay to discriminate against an entire state because its representatives passed a bill he deemed discriminatory, but a business owner shouldn’t be able to keep men out of a woman’s bathroom.
The illogic is enough to make one cry like a Social Justice Warrior at a Trump rally.
I do agree that all discrimination isn’t created equal. When discrimination is voluntary as in the business owner who won’t bake a cake for a gay wedding and the singer who won’t perform for those bakers, it is legitimate. When discrimination is forced as in the Jim Crow laws of the early 1900s South, it is illegitimate. The laws in question, however, are legitimate because they are protecting someone’s right to discriminate, not forcing them to do so.
Of course, this difference is far too logical for some of these protesters to understand. Until they do, I’ll be looking for another electronic payment service and not singing along to “Summer of ‘69”.
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