Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Toxic identities

Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination at public accommodations was a misguided attempt at coercing racial discrimination out of existence. The ’60s Congress and President Lyndon Johnson abused the fact that some motel and restaurant owners in the South were racist to trample on constitutional property rights and the right to freely associate with whom we choose.

Racial discrimination is evil because epidermal melanin content is superficial and an accident of birth. There’s nothing you can do about your race. But, as TourĂ© and Rob Parker have pointed out, “black” is not only skin pigment, it’s a cultural construct: a narrative of victimhood and a put-upon, retributive attitude towards dominant “white” culture.

Whereas black skin pigment is superficial and therefore meaningless, black the cultural construct is psychological and behavioral, speaking to character. “Uncle Toms” look black, but they “act white” by practicing responsibility, diligence, and temperance. The powers say the opposites of these virtues are the essence of blackness.

“There’s a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal.” –Eric Holder

Racial discrimination against blacks is subject to prosecution under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but behavioral discrimination against blacks—or anyone, for that matter—is not. If you act like a jerk, businesses don’t have to put up with you. The conflation of race and behavior by TourĂ©, Parker, and others excuses blacks for uncivil behavior, for it asserts, like their skin pigment, blacks have no choice in how they act.

Perhaps you’ve heard of “flash mobs,” where a crowd of mostly young, black men gathers unexpectedly and loots stores and beats up unsuspecting people (see Mall of Louisiana, Galleria at Military Circle, and Wisconsin State Fair). As a business owner, how do you respond to a large number of young men “acting black” in your store, dressed like thugs and making a racket? It’s not racial prejudice to take precautions to protect your property. You don’t, though, because that would make you and by extension your business non grata. So you do nothing, despite that your fears are rational and based on the character traits you observe in the young men, not their color.

“Every weekend on Friday and Saturday nights a bunch of juveniles will just swarm the malls, no intentions other than being up to no good, shoplifting, running rampant, getting into fights and just generally driving out the other traffic that comes in the mall because they don’t want to be around that,” said one store manager who did not want to be identified.

Why didn’t the store manager want to be identified? Is he afraid of retaliation from the bored adolescents trashing his business? No, he’s afraid of being tsk-tsked by the PC police. We are not supposed to notice criminal behavior by majority minority groups. That’s just how they are, you see. Race and behavior are the same, you see.

Worryingly, the courts are pushing the same destructive standard for gays and other LGBT subcategory people, where the protected aspect of identity also is behavioral. They are creating a right to vulgarity, toxic to civil society and often an antecedent to violence, while outlawing rational defensive reaction.

From acting “black” to acting “gay,” multiculturalism’s promise is fulfilled. You can no longer expect people to obey civil customs. To each his own, and to hell with anyone who says otherwise.

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