5/23/2010

Great exposition of liberal hypocrisy on race

One of the beautiful things that I love about libertarianism is its logical consistency. Part of the reason I began to take an interest in an alternative to the liberal or conservative viewpoint to being with was precisely because of the enormous amount of hypocrisies that seemed to be entrenched in both ideologies.

Jacob G. Hornberger whom is the founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation recently wrote a beautiful and concise piece highlighting one of these hypocrisies, specifically the liberal hypocrisy on race.


To examine into this latest instance of liberal hypocrisy on race, let’s delve into a few basics.

Suppose a certain white homeowner in a community publicly announces that he is holding a weekly TGIF cocktail party at his home every Friday night. He publicly invites everyone who lives within a one-mile radius of his home to his parties, but with a big exception. He says: Blacks and Jews are not invited and will not be permitted into his home.

How would libertarians respond? We would say that that man has every right in the world to take that position. We might criticize him, we might condemn him, we might ignore him, we might boycott his parties. But we would defend his right to discriminate against anyone he wants, as a matter of principle. After all, we would argue, it’s his home — his private property. To paraphrase Voltaire, we might not agree with how he uses his property, but we would defend his right to use it any way he wants. That’s what private ownership and a free society are all about.

How would liberals respond to that hypothetical? They would take the same position as libertarians! They would say that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to keep anyone he wants, even on racial grounds, from his home. They would defend the homeowner’s fundamental right to associate with anyone he wants, even if his choices are abhorrent and offensive to everyone else. They would not call on amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to apply it to private homeowners.

What? Could this actually be possible? Could liberals actually be defending the right of a bigot to be a bigot in his own home? Wouldn’t this make a liberal himself a bigot? After all, isn’t that what liberals claim about people who call for the right of discrimination in private businesses — that their support of such a right makes them a closet or overt bigot?

Liberals would respond, “No, we’re not bigots simply because we support the right of homeowners to discriminate against blacks, Jews, Catholics, Hispanics, the poor, and anyone else. We simply believe in the principle of private ownership of one’s home and we’re willing to defend that principle, even when homeowners make racist choices.”

Well, then why don’t liberals extend that reasoning to people who support the right of private business owners to discriminate? Why are they so quick to claim that they’re not bigots when they stand on principle when it comes to the right of homeowners to discriminate but so quick to label libertarians who call for the same principle to be applied to business owners as racists and bigots?

Like I say, two-faced and hypocritical.





Full article is here.

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