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Angus Johnston @studentactivism
, 25 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
"I always do my best to treat people I disagree with respectfully, so here's the name and location of some people who wronged me. You know what to do."
We really need to name these kinds of actions—like ICE's scurrilous attack on Talia Lavin—for what they are. They're attempts to silence the administration's critics through mob action.
This WaPo story leaves me the strong impression that the owner of the Red Hen treated Sanders with considerably more respect than Sanders has shown her in return.…
By her account, the Red Hen's owner took Sanders aside, away from the other diners, explained her decision, and asked her politely to leave. Sanders' party's meal up to that point was comped.
Civility is an overrated virtue, but being uncivil to those who have been civil to you while complaining loudly about incivility is a particularly nasty vice.
Okay, this is probably pointless, since the majority of the folks nattering on about discrimination are just parachuting in from the Moment and not reading the thread, but here goes...
There's no federal, state, or local legal protection against—and nothing in the constitution about—"discrimination" as an abstract concept. You can legally discriminate, as a business owner, against customers who are left-handers, Yankees fans, or just about anything else.
There's also no federal law against discrimination on the basis of political affiliation. Some states have such laws, but Virginia isn't one of them. In most parts of the US, including VA, it's 100% legal to kick a customer out of your place of business for being a Republican.
And even if it WAS illegal in Virginia to discriminate on the basis of political affiliation, what happened to Sarah Sanders STILL wouldn't be illegal.
Sanders wasn't kicked out of the Red Hen because she's a Republican. She was kicked out because she's Sarah Sanders. There is no jurisdiction anywhere in the US where "being Sarah Sanders" is a protected class in discrimination law.
Do I want to bring Masterpiece Cakeshop into this? (checks mentions) Sure. Why the hell not?
There's currently no federal law or constitutional precedent banning public-accommodation discrimination against LGBT people, so Masterpiece Cakeshop's actions are unambiguously legal under current federal law. HOWEVER.
Masterpiece Cakeshop is in the state of Colorado, which does have an LGBT civil rights law, and it's under that law—not some vague principle of "discrimination" in general—that Masterpiece's owner was brought to court.
I'm not going to do a whole Masterpiece Cakeshop explainer here, but I will say that none of the zillion legal and constitutional questions raised by that case have anything to do with what happened at the Red Hen. None of them.
If you find all this confusing, here's a cheat sheet: In general, denying someone service in your business is LEGAL. It's only ILLEGAL if they're a member of a protected class, or you're motivated by specific, illegal animus. Neither of those conditions apply here.
Lemon out.
Addendum: If y'all could stop helpfully informing me that SCOTUS ruled that the baker's actions in Cakeshop were constitutionally protected, that'd be great. Because it didn't.
(Since a couple folks have asked, I spoke imprecisely a few tweets up. When I said "It's only ILLEGAL if they're a member of a protected class," I meant of course that it's illegal if you deny service based on their membership in that protected class.)
Okay, hi. I'm back. Just briefly. Because currently I've got a zillion people in my mentions saying "What if someone denied YOU service on the basis of your politics? Would you be okay with that?" And, well...
People on the left end of the spectrum—commies, weirdos, freaks, punks, longhairs, queers—getting denied service because business-owners don't like their kind IS THE STATUS QUO.
"Oh, what if a small-business owner decided he didn't like radicals and hippies? What would you all do then?" Dude. Have you ever interacted with any artifact of American popular culture from the 20th century?
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is outraged precisely because she has never in her life had the experience of being made uncomfortable in a place of business because of who she is.
And I can't say that I've had that experience all that frequently myself, especially recently, because I'm an aging straight white guy who cleans up okay. But come on.
I yield the remainder of my time to the respected gentleman from Louisiana.
(Though if I'm being honest, the gentleman from Harlem's version of that song is my own personal favorite.)
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