Should There Be Discrimination Laws?

 

We all discriminate. We pick whom we marry, which stores we choose (and shun), which doctors we like… essentially every choice we make that deals with other people is a form of discrimination. Every choice comes with an opportunity cost.

I think that there should be no laws against discrimination at all. Much “tribal” discrimination can be good: mosques should not have to hire Jews; “entitled” employees should work for companies that cater to them; cohesive social groupings rely on stressing the commonalities between people.

The downsides of discrimination are found in the free market. Companies and individuals that discriminate without concern for merit will discover corrections: “Go Woke, Go Broke.” DEI is one big discrimination racket that specifically shuns merit as a means for choosing talent, after all.

That leaves non-profits and governments. And there I am not sure. Should government hiring decisions account for race or socioeconomic class or sexual preference? It is not as if government is efficient anyway. Indeed, I generally prefer my government to be incompetent, in which case hiring for DEI works for me. Should the government discriminate based on the fads of the day, or, as a matter of law, not discriminate on any basis at all? Is there, in any case, any way to ensure or enforce government hiring to be meritocratic?

What do you think?

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 30 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I’m interest in balance, too.  For example, a Jew who only applies for jobs at mosques, and never gets hired, should not be able to get unemployment.  Because that would essentially be a scam.

    • #1
  2. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    iWe: Should the government discriminate based on the fads of the day, or, as a matter of law, not discriminate on any basis at all?

    Goodness knows the DEI-types sure want to discriminate.  The most instructive thing to come out of the recent affirmative action rulings from SCOTUS was that it proved what arrogant hypocrites our DEI-addled elites are.  Harvard and the University of North Carolina argued passionately for the right to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, etc.–as if the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Right Act should not apply to them.   But if you were to ask them if the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Rights Act should be repealed generally, so elites and non-elites call all discriminate as they please, they would be appalled.   

    • #2
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    iWe: Should the government discriminate based on the fads of the day, or, as a matter of law, not discriminate on any basis at all?

    Goodness knows the DEI-types sure want to discriminate. The most instructive thing to come out of the recent affirmative action rulings from SCOTUS was that it proved what arrogant hypocrites our DEI-addled elites are. Harvard and the University of North Carolina argued passionately for the right to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, etc.–as if the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Right Act should not apply to them. But if you were to ask them if the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Rights Act should be repealed generally, so elites and non-elites call all discriminate as they please, they would be appalled.

    Ray, I agree with your assessment, but I wonder why you think that this was a new element of the recent SCOTUS ruling.

    The same issue has been apparent in all of the cases on this issue, going back to Bakke in the 1970s, hasn’t it?  My impression is that the other side has always been arguing passionately for discrimination against whites, men, and Christians.

    • #3
  4. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    iWe: I think that there should be no laws against discrimination at all.

    I completely agree.

    Now, consider that:

    1. The subject DEI categories all tend to vote Democrat, by a lot.
    2. At the same time, discrimination against Republicans is freely allowed.
    3. DEI sidesteps the regular meritocracy, allowing otherwise unqualified Democrat party operatives to be placed in positions of power, enabling all sorts of graft.

     

    • #4
  5. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Ending discrimination based on a person’s birth circumstances is built into the country’s founding. A meritocracy cannot exist in the presence of protected royal and aristocratic classes. We wanted a new beginning.

    That’s why institutionalized slavery brought us to war. It was the inconsistency of the ages.

    I have mixed feelings about the diversity, inclusion, and equity movement. It has been taken up by truly insane people. That path seems to be the same for every single social reform effort ever embarked upon throughout U.S. history. It’s very frustrating.

    However, I have seen some good come out of the anti-discrimination efforts that are part of this movement.

    And we are better off with a larger talent pool that includes people of all kinds–religions, backgrounds, abilities, and so on. We can’t be a meritocracy without a commitment to nondiscrimination.

    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning. That’s why the New York Philharmonic is almost as good as the Boston Symphony. (Just kidding. There’s a lot of friendly rivalry between the Boston and New York musicians. :) :)  )

    • #6
  7. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Anti-discrimination laws have become a major problem for 2 reasons:

    1. The laws themselves have been expanded far beyond their original purpose; and
    2. The laws have intruded into areas of life and business to which they have no reason to intrude.

    Anti-discrimination laws began for the very specific purpose of reversing the very specific mandatory racial discrimination imposed by (Democrat-created) “Jim Crow” laws, and the earlier race-based slavery laws. The simple race-based anti-discrimination laws were to try to undo decades of government-imposed racial discrimination. But then other groups who believed that the government might be discriminating against them got themselves covered by those laws. First immigrants who believed that people from different national origins and who looked or sounded different from the majority Anglo-Saxon population. Then every conceivable group that felt aggrieved. Now everybody wants their favorite potential bias covered by anti-discrimination law. 

    When the first anti-discrimination laws appeared for race only they also applied only to government and to monopoly businesses. At the time, people’s interaction with the government was mostly only in criminal law enforcement, so the effects of the law as applied to government were limited except for black people who had previously been unfairly targeted by law enforcement. But then the laws were expanded to apply to competitive businesses. And government expanded to intrude into many more areas of the lives of everyday Americans. So the application of anti-discrimination laws are now felt everywhere. 

    I understand the original purpose for which the original limited-scope and limited application laws were created coming out of the Civil War and a period of government-mandated racial discrimination. But we are decades beyond those circumstances, and society was well on its way to solving the issues for which the anti-discrimination laws were created. But those laws have expanded in scope by encompassing more “protected categories” and by application to more areas of life, and some people have turned them into weapons of social disharmony rather than tools of social cohesion. Fights over the application and effect of those laws now cause much harm, so yes, they should go away. 

    • #7
  8. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Whenever a person or institution acts, it discriminates. So, without government discrimination there is no government action, and therefore no government.

    In a happy society, government discriminates or refuses to discriminate in accordance with the demands and permissions of the religious and social traditions of the society.

    A society where government refuses to be constrained in that way by the norms of the society that empowers it is the opposite of happy. It is a tyranny.

     

    • #8
  9. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    During my 40 year professional law career I kept seeing instances in which any time a legal category is specified, such as government regulation to give priority to work in a category, we ended up spending more time arguing about whether something fit into the category to get the preferential treatment than we did working on the underlying goal. Fewer categories means fewer disputes. But if government is going to act, it must categorize. So, less government would less categorization and less conflict. 

    • #9
  10. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    iWe: Should the government discriminate based on the fads of the day, or, as a matter of law, not discriminate on any basis at all?

    Goodness knows the DEI-types sure want to discriminate. The most instructive thing to come out of the recent affirmative action rulings from SCOTUS was that it proved what arrogant hypocrites our DEI-addled elites are. Harvard and the University of North Carolina argued passionately for the right to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, etc.–as if the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Right Act should not apply to them. But if you were to ask them if the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Rights Act should be repealed generally, so elites and non-elites call all discriminate as they please, they would be appalled.

    Ray, I agree with your assessment, but I wonder why you think that this was a new element of the recent SCOTUS ruling.

    The same issue has been apparent in all of the cases on this issue, going back to Bakke in the 1970s, hasn’t it? My impression is that the other side has always been arguing passionately for discrimination against whites, men, and Christians.

    I confess, I did not share that impression in 1978.   I recall the rhetoric attending the Bakke decision as much more in the spirit of “let’s extend a helping hand to bring under-represented ethnic minorities into the professions.”  That kind of thing. What is new to me, which was right there in the many leftist podcasts I listened to in the wake of the Harvard/UNC decisions, is the volume (and unanimity!) of openly hostile, bigoted, anti-white rhetoric coming out of the mouths of our elitist commentariat.   I admit I was shocked at how many of our elite commentators are open race-bigots and not ashamed to show it.   To me, that’s what’s changed from 1978. 

    • #10
  11. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Zafar (View Comment):

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    It is entirely possible to say something like “mosques would be better off (intellectually, spiritually, morally) if they hired Jews…and yet object to the idea of the the govenrment forcing them to do so.

    Too often, people hear something that sounds like—and often is—a good idea, a Good Thing.  “Oh, absolutely, that’s a right!” they say,without remembering that something that is a right under the US Constitution is something the government is supposed to enforce. With “Force” being the operative syllable in that word.

    What would be the mechanism that would ensure that mosques are hiring Jews? How many Jews? What punishments ought to be imposed upon mosques (imams, boards of directors) who don’t hire Jews, or fail to do so in what the presumably seecular government believes to be sufficient numbers?

    I’m with iWe: Maximum freedom of association for citizens, while the government, monopolies and (arguably) entities that recieve federal funds must hire according to merit. 

    • #11
  12. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning.

    The “anti-racists’ want the screens removed. 

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Zafar (View Comment):

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    That’s an authoritarian thing to say.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning.

    The “anti-racists’ want the screens removed.

    That is terrible news.

    One thing I have always loved about the world of classical music is that it is so immune to all that stuff. The only thing that matters to a conductor is that the musician get it right.

    When all that matters is the performance of the individuals, diversity just naturally happens. Our school’s string orchestra had kids of all sizes and ages. It was the most wonderful thing to see.

    • #14
  15. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    That’s an authoritarian thing to say.

    If they apply for a job then they should be fairly assessed based on the job’s requirements and their skill set.  It doesn’t seem that extreme a position.

    • #15
  16. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning. 

    I believe that’s been the case for a long time.

    Just like the blindfold on the Lady Justice statue, eh?

    But most importantly… they did it without their audition process being managed by legislation.

     

    • #16
  17. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning.

    Actually, I understand this has been a fiction at many orchestras for years. The audition is behind a screen, but DEI means they know who is a minority hire. The screen is mere theater.

    • #17
  18. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    iWe (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning.

    Actually, I understand this has been a fiction at many orchestras for years. The audition is behind a screen, but DEI means they know who is a minority hire. The screen is mere theater.

    Favored minority hire. 

    • #18
  19. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    I generally agree with you iWe that individuals, businesses and private organizations should be free to discriminate or not as they see fit. However, I disagree that government should be allowed to discriminate. Government needs to treat all equally in the resolution of disputes, potential criminal matters, government contracts and the hiring and firing of government employees.

    • #19
  20. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    iWe (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    A friend of mine, a youth orchestra conductor who lived in Manhattan, told me once that the New York orchestra conductors gave auditions separated by a sheet from the auditioning musicians. In other words, the conductors couldn’t see the person auditioning.

    Actually, I understand this has been a fiction at many orchestras for years. The audition is behind a screen, but DEI means they know who is a minority hire. The screen is mere theater.

    Is it? I have no first hand knowledge of the issue; but, I read an article not too long ago in which the usual suspects (members of the race hustler industry) were complaining that there were too few of this or that group and to correct that the blind auditions needed to be eliminated.

    • #20
  21. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think where America ran amok as a result of the 1960s era civil rights acts was that diversity became a goal in and of itself, rather than excellence.

     

     

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    iWe: Should There Be Discrimination Laws?

    Considering the title is actually “Should there be discrimination laws?” rather than “Should there be anti-discrimination laws?” or “Should there be laws against discrimination?” I’m going to comment in the spirit of the actual title.

    Yes, there should be discrimination laws.  We should be discriminating against non-citizens, mostly, and not in favor of illegal immigrants especially.

    SpaceX should not be required or even expected to employ non-citizens, for example.

    We should be discriminating against people who have broken laws.

    We should be discriminating against people who want to make the US socialist/communist.

    And so much more.

    • #22
  23. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    I agree 100% that there should not be laws favoring one ethnic or sexual group (or whatever may come up) over others, for pure reasons of judging people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin (amongst other non-character factors). 

    Besides, the whole enterprise has been a perversion of the real world.  The people who the government tries to protect are the people who already have the most protections built-into society – Blacks, Women, Minorities, Gays.  I’m a White Male and I’ve been slightly irritated that as long as I have lived, all the non-Whites, Women, and sexual deviants have had more privileges and opportunities provided by the government than I have had, despite the fact that most of this time there has been little or no predominant discrimination against these groups (there was discrimination against Blacks in the South and Gays early on but that disappeared decades ago).  The only discrimination currently accepted by society at large is against White Males, and especially Southern White Males.  WHERE ARE MY REPARATIONS??

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    I agree 100% that there should not be laws favoring one ethnic or sexual group (or whatever may come up) over others, for pure reasons of judging people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin (amongst other non-character factors).

    Besides, the whole enterprise has been a perversion of the real world. The people who the government tries to protect are the people who already have the most protections built-into society – Blacks, Women, Minorities, Gays. I’m a White Male and I’ve been slightly irritated that as long as I have lived, all the non-Whites, Women, and sexual deviants have had more privileges and opportunities provided by the government than I have had, despite the fact that most of this time there has been little or no predominant discrimination against these groups (there was discrimination against Blacks in the South and Gays early on but that disappeared decades ago). The only discrimination currently accepted by society at large is against White Males, and especially Southern White Males. WHERE ARE MY REPARATIONS??

    In terms of opportunities, I think the problem has been the affirmative action laws, which guaranteed preferences to certain “protected groups” of people, rather than the anti-discrimination laws. 

    The anti-discrimination laws are often diametrically opposed our Fourth Amendment right of free association–a conflict recently seen in the baker who did not want to bake a cake for a gay wedding. 

    I think that’s the issue iWe is getting at here. 

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Zafar (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    That’s an authoritarian thing to say.

    If they apply for a job then they should be fairly assessed based on the job’s requirements and their skill set. It doesn’t seem that extreme a position.

    This is a more malicious pernicious use of the passive voice than “We’ve been told.”

    • #25
  26. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    That’s an authoritarian thing to say.

    If they apply for a job then they should be fairly assessed based on the job’s requirements and their skill set. It doesn’t seem that extreme a position.

    This is a more malicious use of the passive voice than “We’ve been told.”

    Suggested edit: change malicious to pernicious.

    (I assume that Zafar believed that what he said was right when he said it.)

     

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    IMO mosques should definitely have to hire Jews.

    That’s an authoritarian thing to say.

    If they apply for a job then they should be fairly assessed based on the job’s requirements and their skill set. It doesn’t seem that extreme a position.

    This is a more malicious use of the passive voice than “We’ve been told.”

    Suggested edit: change malicious to pernicious.

    (I assume that Zafar believed that what he said was right when he said it.)

     

     

    I’ll go along with that suggestion.

    • #27
  28. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Jim Crow was a regime of discrimination laws. If southern whites had actually “hated” blacks,  laws would not have been required to keep them separate. The obstacle that the real racists were (and are, still) attempting to o’erleap in their push for a racist society is that a white business owner will take green money from a black person even if the former is a racist. Black Americans built a middle class, and accrued real wealth and power because of this. BTW, racism doesn’t prevent either lust or love between individuals either, as evidenced by the DNA of many Americans (black, white, brown).  

    Both Jim Crow and apartheid violate the principle that citizens should associate freely, without interference from the government. Both, as it turns out, also happen to have deleterious effects on the individuals “protected” by them.

     Should a mosque be forced to hire Jews—perhaps as imams? Sure, why not?

    @Zafar’s  approval of the idea serves as a demonstration of the progressive’s ignorance about, and/or contempt for religion and the religious.  Meaning is defined by limitation: A mosque that hires and presumably ministers to Jews, Christians, Hindus, bisexual gender-fluid polyamorist pagans… is no longer a mosque. It’s a Unitarian-Universalist church…until, in the end, it becomes an ironic hipster condominium with unusually nice tilework.

    • #28
  29. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    As it is now, with so much money being made available to the “oppressed minorities” that BLM/AntiFa were able to destroy 38 neighborhoods across America during the May 29th thru mid Oct 2020 “peaceful protests” without many serious repercussions,   it is becoming  obvious that the law is almost irrelevant.

    On top of that, we are no longer a nation of laws.

    Perhaps we can vote our way out of the situation. But given the concepts held dear by the majority in the 18 to 24 year olds demographic now eligible to vote, plus the illegal methods used by the Democrats, I am doubting it.

    • #29
  30. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Should a mosque be forced to hire Jews—perhaps as imams? Sure, why not?

    @ Zafar’s approval of the idea serves as a demonstration of the progressive’s ignorance about, and/or contempt for religion and the religious. Meaning is defined by limitation: A mosque that hires and presumably ministers to Jews, Christians, Hindus, bisexual gender-fluid polyamorist pagans… is no longer a mosque.

    To be honest I was thinking more along the lines of things like competing for a cleaning contract – in which case I think the mosque should give Jewish owned firms a fair go.

    [Edited to add: a Jewish Imam does appeal to me, but I guess it’s not doable  and I’m not a mosque goer anyway.]

    [Btw] I’m not treating anybody with contempt, not the religious and not the progressives either.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.