So we get it. There’s a real reason why the Left accuses the Right of Racism every time they don’t quite get their way. Like Terrorism, it works like hell. It’s a reflexive go to tactic; not because the Lefty cares a thing about racism*. It’s like the dumb old ball coach who power runs the 3 gap until someone on the other team steps up and lays his favorite RB out like a Playboy Centerfold. They do it because it works and we aren’t stopping it.
Our latest entry into the race card derby was none other than Ron “Mr. Rational” Fournier. You see Jonah Goldberg at National Review has penned a piece arguing that a Indiana’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act was nothing like Jim Crow Laws in the old south.** He even had the unmitigated gall to apply economic and historical analysis to the equation and argue that the entire point of Jim Crow had far more to do with limiting the earning power of Black Labor rather than exclude the Black Consumer from buying from certain stores. Businesses often disliked Jim Crow because it limited retail foot traffic and ridership. Jonah explains below.
They started passing laws that made it hard or illegal for blacks to move freely for work. Vagrancy laws basically made it illegal for blacks to be unemployed, even when simply switching jobs. It became illegal to solicit labor across state lines, etc. While plantation owners liked these statist economic regulations, other businesses didn’t. Southern streetcar businesses often opposed the forced separation of black and white passengers on the grounds that it was simply a burdensome regulation (requiring more cars, more conductors, and offending valued customers, etc.).
Jim Crow laws were designed to force people who would have gotten along not to. The RFRA tries to prevent people who do not want compulsory association to be freed from it. Freedom of Association is a staple of the Bill of Rights. Part of choosing with whom you associate is exclusion. That can be achieved by migration (see White Flight from many urban areas) or by exclusion. (Hampton Sydney and Sweet Briar Colleges’ respective exclusionary admissions policies based on gender).
The legal basis supporting this entire mindset that you can make somebody care is yet another negative externality from Chief Justice John Roberts’ Dredd Scott Decision of The 21st Century that upheld the Obamacare individual mandate. If you can make somebody buy insurance, you can control who their business has to serve.
This is far beyond any argument in support of the disparate impact clauses in 60’s and 70’s era Civil Rights Acts. There is no rational basis to argue that Adam and Steve could not find an equally enjoyable pizza joint for their rehearsal dinner or bakery for their cake if a Christian refused them either service. There is no vast cartel of business that will prevent homosexuals from being able to successfully complete their grocery shopping. The agency that would allow Memories Pizza to have a disparate impact on the lives of all gay citizens of Indiana by not catering their wedding functions does not exist.
So this is not a Civil Rights Issue. This is an uncivil rights issue. This is the right to not merely defeat someone who holds differing beliefs but to not have to coexist with them at all. The reason Ron Fournier reflexively whips out the race card is to shame Jonah Goldberg out of opposing this obvious infamy. Fournier is name-calling like Joseph McCarthy in order to intimidate opposition into avoiding debate. To quote Michael Stipe of REM. “Enemy sighted. Enemy met. I’m addressing the realpolitik.” In this case, Ron Fournier is the enemy of basic decency and the realpolitik is a hideous thing to behold unmasked in broad daylight.
*-Just listen to The Left’s new Daily Show host on Jews
**-And not just because Southern Democrats *liked* Jim Crow Laws.