Professor Rhode writes:
As the history of civil rights legislation suggests, customer preferences should not be a defense for prejudice. During the early civil rights era, employers in the South often argued that hiring African Americans would be financially ruinous; white customers, they said, would take their business elsewhere.Fair enough. How about the preferences of the business owners as a defense? Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments anyone? Is it asking too much for a law professor to be aware of those? Sheesh. Once upon a time, such lunatics were confined to street corners. Today, they get professorships at the country's leading law schools.
In rejecting this logic, Congress and the courts recognized that customer preferences often reflect and reinforce precisely the attitudes that society is seeking to eliminate. Over the decades, we've seen that the most effective way of combating prejudice is to deprive people of the option to indulge it.Right. Because there's no good reason not to fight prejudice through government coercion. What's a little thing like personal choice and property rights – when that personal choice is wrong (in the eyes of a statist feminist) and someone's employment is at stake?
But if "depriving people of the option to indulge it" is the goal, for the holy sake of acceding to 'society's desire' to eliminate it, why stop there? Why not just lock up anyone who says an unkind word about Rosie O'Donnell? Better still, why not drown anyone over the age of twelve who makes a rude remark about Elena Kagan?
Ok, fine. I'm finally going to join the "there ought to be a law" crowd. Let's toss out the First Amendment and make stupid suggestions from PC Progressives that ignore my constitutional rights illegal. If they're free to indulge their subjective desires, backed by cherry-picked data, and have them enforced by law, so am I. Let's do a little social engineering my way for a change.