Where should the discrimination line be drawn?
I recently had a discussion with my Liberal friend about this subject matter. I believe that private business should be allowed to refuse service for any reason, including bigotry, as it is within their 1A right; there are plenty of other non-bigoted businesses who would be very happy to grant you their services. Now, I’m not saying that it should be taken upon the individual employees of the business; I am specifically referring to, for example, a mom and pop restaurant who will not serve a black person because of their racist beliefs.
He, on the other hand, believes that allowing private businesses to refuse service based on race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. sets the precedence for the normalization of bigotry, i.e. telling people “bigotry is ok.” He also pointed to the Fair Housing Bill as an example of not allowing realtors to discriminate against people due to the color of their skin, also to the Jim Crow Laws having normalized discrimination.
I will say that “separate but equal” became the norm as a result of Plessy v. Ferguson, and Homer Plessy being told to hop off was indeed a violation of his rights. He was using public transportation, not private transportation. That’s what the difference is. I will also say that the Jim Crow Laws were rightfully abolished because when it comes to public services, i.e. services owned by the people, discrimination is indeed a violation. His point about the Fair Housing Bill is valid, as they were private realtors, but I think it’s a stretch to say that suddenly all private businesses will discriminate and discrimination will become the norm if allowed.
In the end, Freedom of Speech is a two-way street, and suppression of free speech is a form of fascism. However, discrimination should not be the norm, so there should be a line drawn, but I don’t believe people should have the State force them into not-discriminating.
What is your take on this? It’d be nice if you can help me better-understand the fundamental principle.
Edit: historical mistake
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