Saturday, February 21, 2015

I Was a Victim of Legal and Legitimate "Discrimination" (Edited)

(This post has been edited to remove un-auntly language.)

First the apology: This post cites a comment that, although justification for blocking a troll from my Google + page, made me laugh. The troll had referred to a florist refusing to create bouquets for a same-sex wedding as the "crime" of "discrimination." Since I can remember genuine discrimination (jobs closed to women, schools closed to students with physical disabilities, homosexuality as grounds for involuntary institutionalization and suspected homosexuality as a barrier to employment, and worse things were illegal but still going on when I was a child) I find this ludicrous, and said so. The troll then said "You were a victim of discrimination but you still support discrimination?"

And then he worked himself up into a real hatespew and got himself blocked from my Google + page. Like I'm so sorry about the hypertensive headache he's probably brought on himself. Not.

Actually I'm even wondering, since I've contacted Google repeatedly about blocking a rich and famous hater from my page, whether the troll was deliberately invented as a little tutorial about how to block trolls. Is it really that easy to push real trolls completely over the edge? Without even trying?

But here's the story, in case any real people want it.

I've been a victim of genuine discrimination that did me harm, yes; most recently ageist bigotry in hiring, and there was also one memorable weekend in Washington when I was refused taxi service on the Saturday night for being White and then cursed, long and loudly, on the Sunday afternoon for not being White. I wouldn't call that sort of thing a crime to be compared with the crime of letting a patient die from loss of blood because he was the "wrong" color for the only hospital within a hundred miles. I laughed at it, at the time. But I don't like it or support it, at all.

I've also been a victim of the kind of social rejection the troll had in mind. It's even documented on this web site, at greater length than I now think it deserved:

There were sequels; the jerk Thomas was quite a character during his short time in my town, good for more drama and gossip even than Two-Dollar Mary. He approached and quarrelled with the town's most visible left-winger, who is not-my-brother-I-don't-know-some-sort-of-cousin and who has been threatened with violence for uttering liberal views on homosexuality in public. He sank a lot of money in a store, created an extravagant window display that wasn't for sale, and lost his entire investment. He got into a screaming rage with the older lady who had taken him on as a partner and, when his clamor attracted attention, threw a large metal sign at another storekeeper--I was an eyewitness when the police arrived. He was easily the most gossip-worthy topic in town before the great car chase, and I'm not sure of any reason to doubt anything that was said about him, except the other rumor that linked my name with his. It is not true that I ever said that Thomas would look good tied to the back of a truck. I can imagine no circumstances whatsoever under which Thomas would look good.

In any case, you will perceive, much more hate coming from a homosexual man (making a bid to take over someone else's store) than from a Christian woman (doing what she believes to be her duty to tell a couple of younger women she believes they're doing something wrong). More violence. More harm to others as well as the self.

And, yes, I think that kind of social "discrimination" is well within the constitutional rights of individual freedom of speech. Thomas was stupid and self-destructive and obnoxious. But nobody else has the ability to change that; the Creator gave Thomas a certain right to be stupid, self-destructive, and obnoxious--at least as much right as the Creator gave Thomas to feel whatever he felt toward his late lamented boyfriend.

Everybody does not like everybody else in this world. Some people do not have the mental capacity to appreciate us. Some people actually do us less harm by expressing their hostility to us, openly, than they might do if they were forced to deny it (or were mentally sophisticated enough to conceal it). So long as their hostility is limited to verbal or social demonstrations that hurt our feelings, as distinct from doing us any material harm, they have a right to be as hostile as they are. By and large that's their loss not ours.

For the more emotional, melodramatic, and immature among us, anyway, it's possible that some people aren't even hostile to us, but sincerely want the best for us when they say things we don't want to hear. I don't believe that two women who want to claim to be married to each other are doing the best thing for each other. I believe they are supporting a view of marriage that is inherently discriminatory to people--almost certainly including one of them--and unbiblical and un-American, and nobody should support that view of marriage. I know of no reason why anyone would imagine that a meddling older woman in a flower shop, refusing to make a bouquet for them, would change their view of marriage or their intentions toward each other. The woman's meddling can reasonably be described as stupid. But I'm hard pressed to imagine any rational basis for describing it as criminal; even if the couple weren't able to buy a floral bouquet across the street, has anyone ever suffered any material harm from not having a floral bouquet?

There's no way to keep people from having emotional feelings about each other, for any reason or none, based on a rational objective consideration of someone's public behavior or based on a hallucination or whatever else. Someone who's not already taking my money is entitled to say, purely because he's insane, that he doesn't want my patronage for his business. In fact, even someone who has taken my money to do a job is entitled to return the money and reject the job--as it might be a dentist who insisted, twenty-five years ago, that my wisdom tooth was beyond his capacity to treat and had to be surgically removed by a specialist. In fact, much as I didn't like having to suffer with that wisdom tooth until the specialist could deal with it, I actually prefer that that dentist "discriminate against" my teeth, rather than try to do something he wasn't qualified to do, do it wrong, and do real harm to me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of "discrimination."

There is something profoundly wrong with comparisons between social "discrimination" and the kind of oppression of which "discrimination" against some groups of people has been a part. The problem was not that Hitler looked at the ugly old Jew and felt revulsion, as Hitler described in Mein Kampf; the problem was that Hitler later ordered the murder of millions of Jews. The problem was not that John Adams feared that "on the day women are our equals, they will be our masters"; the problem was that women weren't allowed to vote, own property, attend schools, or practice trades. The problem was not that ancient British writers defined ugliness in terms of typically West African physical traits; the problem was that people of West African descent were enslaved. That rich White male homosexuals have the gall to compare people's refusal to celebrate their weddings to the Holocaust or the Trail of Tears is obviously not a problem of the magnitude of the Holocaust or the Trail of Tears, but neither is it something society ought to tolerate.

So yes, trolls, if you really think you want to call social rejection "discrimination," I've been a victim of "discrimination" that was legitimate and legal. And I'm glad. Nyah nyah nyah. And, by the way, I reserve the right to discriminate against trolls. And, as mentioned on my Google + page...people who confuse social rejection with material harm annoy me; my web site hereby defines those people as trolls, and reserves the right to treat them as such.