A Question for Rachel Maddow

Wesley Messamore
May 21, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Watching Rachel Maddow attack Rand Paul with a typical, predictable, closed-minded, and intentionally dense line of questioning:  "Should restaurant owners be allowed to discriminate against racial minorities? Yes or no, please," I have a question of my own for her.

Rachel, should black restaurant owners be forced to serve white nationalists? Hmm? Say David Duke walked into a black restaurant and wanted to be served.  Does the black restaurant owner have a right to say, "Mmm... no thanks, we'd rather not serve you"?  Or does David Duke have a right to be served by the black restaurant owner? Yes or no, please.

It's interesting -- to be consistent, Maddow would practically have to say that Duke has a right to the black restaurant owner's labor, which is dangerously close to advocating something akin to slavery. Yes or no, Maddow?

Let's use another example: if Fred Phelps (that's the God Hates Fags guy) walked into a gay bar and demanded to be served a drink, would Maddow support the right of the restaurant owner or bartender to refuse to serve him? Yes or no, please.

Removing laws against something does not necessarily mean you support that thing- it means that you do not support using coercive force to stop that thing. Unless you want to admit that you support forcing all of your personal views on everybody else, which isn't very tolerant, you must agree that you don't have to force your views on other people in order to hold those views.

As for religion- racist views are often religious views (sadly) for the ignorant jingoists who hold them. Many white supremicists have some odd understandings of certain passages of Christian Scripture, so to deny one of them service for being a racist, would be to deny them service on the basis of creed. Or conversely, a racist restaurant owner might say that it's not on the basis of skin color (when it obviously is) that he denies service, but some made-up excuse.

In the end, the central issue here is freedom. And if you want to deny the racist his freedom to be ignorant, you end up denying the black restaurant owner his freedom to be rational. If you want to cast Rand as the guy who wants people to be able to discriminate, then you have to be willing to be the guy who wants to force a black man against his will to serve a Klan member. Don't act so self-righteous.

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