In a Fundamentally Transformed America, Shop With a Lawyer and Seek to be Offended

Michael Hausam
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Posted: Apr 02, 2015 12:01 AM
In a Fundamentally Transformed America, Shop With a Lawyer and Seek to be Offended

In the free market capitalist vision of society, individuals and companies would set aside whatever personal animosities they have if they wanted to supply goods and services to the widest possible customer base. That would impact decisions on hiring employees, establishing relationships with suppliers, or seeking out new customers.

The misogynist would hire women because they couldn't afford to bypass half the population, possibly missing a person who could add value to their business. It might mean a racist might source from a minority-owned company, if they offered the best price or service. A conservative Republican might transact with a liberal Democrat, because a sale is a sale and businesses can't survive without them.

On the other hand, in that society they'd also be free to do business with whom they'd like. The only force, one way or the other, would be the dispassionate judgment of the marketplace. The men-only, majority-race only, conservative-politics-only business would compete with those that didn't have those self-imposed restrictions. And the business would survive or it wouldn't.

Fortunately, such silliness isn't going to be happening any time soon here. Rather than dealing with the sometimes-messy consequences of freedom and liberty, it seems we'd prefer to follow offense with a lawsuit. It seems that the force of the government, after a successful court battle, which would then force someone to provide a good or service for someone else, is the way things are now supposed to be done.

Personally, if someone didn't want to cut flowers for me or bake a cake for me or do my tax returns or drive me to the airport because of my race/height/gender/sexual preference/lack of hair/music choices/politics/whatever, I'd move on to the next company. I might Tweet about it, write about it, Yelp it, or maybe even be a part of some sort of organized protest, but that's it. The last thing I'd do would be to clutch my pearls and call my attorney.

Apparently I'm extremely out of step. But I'm not unwilling to learn.

Since the breaking of the horrific story of the bigoted and hateful Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Bill Clinton... Oh wait. Same basic law but that was way back then and now it's the evil Mike Pence in Indiana. Or Whatever.

For some reason, the analogy that is dominating social media right now about this is of the struggle blacks, Jews, and other minorities suffered generations ago. I even saw a meme that suggested that the KKK utilized a freedom of religion argument to enforce anti-miscegenation laws and whites-only restaurants. I don't know the facts about anything related to that, other than it was sixty or seventy years ago, based upon the pictures. I do know that if my local donut shop put up a "whites only" sign tomorrow, the public outcry and pushback would be fierce and immediate. And it would happen well-before any civil-rights lawyer or local district attorney would act, of that I'm certain.

Yes, I'm aware that I live in a bubble supported by white privilege. Etc. Etc.

Now of course, people nowadays have a new set of "rights" (to not be offended, to be reassured of their place a top the moral high ground, to be told everything they do is awesome) and should absolutely sue any one who infringes on them. As much as my instinct is to reject the concept out of hand, I also realize that getting with the program may not be a choice I am able to make for much longer. So before I'm literally forced at gunpoint to relent, I'm ready to give it a try.

In that vein, I've two ideas I'm seriously considering implementing. Firstly, I'm going to sue my coffee roaster. The barista at the coffee shop I frequent - which is not a Starbucks because I have all my constructive race conversations on Twitter - has a "Ready For Hillary" bumper sticker on his car and I feel marginalized as a Hillary hater. I have a right to not feel marginalized so that's my cause of action. Secondly, I'm going to sue the local Porsche dealer. As I don't have sufficient funds to purchase the 911 I want, their not giving me one gratis is discrimination due to my financial situation. And discrimination is wrong too.

Please wish me luck, but I think I have two winners here...