Discrimination exists.  Anybody that tells you it doesn’t is lying.  Some discrimination is good, some is bad.  People telling you that all discrimination is bad are ignorant, lying, and/or evil.

You use discrimination when you pick one apple over another.  You use it when you pick one barber shop over another.  You use it when you pick one route over another.  You use it any time you choose between two or more options.

Since The Panic one of my clients left.  Because of that I no longer drive into the city.  Because of that it is now inconvenient to use my old barber.   I <b>needed</b> a haircut.  There is a newish shop in town.  I tried four times to get a haircut there.  She was booked and told me to go away and come back some other time or make an appointment.  Twice I showed up to find the shop closed.  Twice I was told she was booked and to go away.

My lady was with me for the last one.  When asked she told me her opinion, she didn’t like the lady.  I didn’t like the lady.  I didn’t like the shop.

Google is my friend and with a little looking I found another local barbershop.  It was actually a little closer.  Went there.  It was hard to find, inside a business building.  No real outside signs.  I walk in and it feels right.

There are two young men and one immediately leaps up to get his chair ready.  It is well lit and decorated with American Flags, some Vet Honors, Police Patch board, hunting stuff over one chair with fake (plastic)  rifles.  Over the other chair were car things.  Everything about the shop yelled “We Love Our Country!”

And indeed they do.

Was I discriminating against a female when I choose a male barber over her?  No.  I was discriminating over the type of shop and the difference in attitudes.  Turns out that the guy that did my hair is a “master barber” and interned under a his father-in-law, a “Master Barber Instructor”.  Didn’t know that was a thing.

Yeah, it was a good haircut.  I’ll be going back next month.

Discrimination works.

Discriminating based on inmutable external characteristics is not as good.  You might agree that discriminating over a person  in confined to a wheelchair would be bad.  Just because they are in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they can’t do the job.

Note that the fact checkers say this isn’t really IRS training agents. Nor is it a recruiting exercise, instead it is an opportunity for college students to pretend to be IRS CI agents to help convince these accounting students to join the IRS, NOT recruiting which is doing things with people in order to get them to join your organization.

I have no problem with working with people of other races, genders, or religions. That is because I do discriminate based on merit. If you are good at your job, I do not care what you look like, who your partner is, or what god(s) you do or do not worship.

When discrimination is because of an immutable trait, then it starts to become bad. If you refuse to hire somebody because they are black, that is a bad discrimination. If you refuse to hire somebody because the are a female or because the are a male, that is a bad discrimination.

We just watched Something the Lord Made, based on the life and work of Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas. The casual discrimination contained within was saddening. Dr. Blalock didn’t discriminate against Thomas, but he didn’t see the institutional discrimination that was taking place.

I did grow up in a time where that casual discrimination still existed. In highschool I hung out with the “smart” crowd. I already knew I was going to be going to University to study Computer Science. In preparation I took a personal typing course. I was the only male in the class.

In talking to one of my friends, also one of the smart crowd, I found that she was also going into computer science. I asked her why she didn’t take a typing class.

“If I take a typing class I will become a secretary for the rest of my life.”

That was a casual discrimination. So she showed up at University with a significant handicap for being a computer science. She couldn’t “talk” to the computers easily. If you can’t touch type at 50+ WPM including special characters, you aren’t going to be doing very well in computer science. You can certainly do ok as a copy paste person, but there is now way you can write hundreds of lines of code in a day if you can’t type.

(Nor can you write long blog entries in a timely fashion.)

Because the Democrats refused to stop discriminating against blacks we ad to pass the 13th and 14th amendments and later the Republicans pushed the Civil Rights Bill through Congress and forced LBJ to sign it into law. A good thing.

The law basically says that you can discriminate against people based on immutable characteristics.

Enter the world of word redefinition. According to the left, a person is born gay. Since they are born gay and it can’t be changed then it is an immutable characteristic and as such is protected via the anti-discrimination laws.

Well it turns out that the won that battle. Mostly because nobody was really fighting it all that hard. Yes there were some people that thought that religious tracts said that homosexuality was a sin. Yes there were people that were badly hurt because they were homosexuals. In general, unless you flaunted it in the work place nobody knew, nobody cared.

Unfortunately we ended up in a situation where “You will be forced to care.” The act of discriminating morphed from actively discriminating to not celebrating enough.

And then we ran into the issue of anti-discrimination laws vs. the rights of people to choose who their clients are.

If somebody comes to us and requests that we do work for them, we can flat out refuse. A customer came to a client, they wanted a site to facilitate getting an escort for events. If you were a successful but fat slob, you could go to them and have some eye candy on your arm when you went to the awards ceremony. Everything appeared to be on the up and up. They had both male and female escorts. Everybody seemed to be of age. Everything was strictly of a non-sexual nature.

My client almost refused this customer. One of the devs had an “ick” moment. In the end, my client excepted and that customer was a customer for a good many years, paying well. At no time did it ever appear that they did anything even approaching illegal.

We have the right to reject a client for any or no reason. Except…

In Colorado they have an Anti-Discrimination Act. This was used to attempt to drive Masterpiece Cakeshop out of business in retribution for refusing to make a custom wedding cake for a long time customer. The baker had been doing business with this gay couple for years. When they were able to get married they came to Masterpiece Cakeshop and requested a custom wedding cake.

The baker told them that he would not make them a custom cake but that they were free to choose from any of the other wedding cakes his company made. He also suggested another bakery which had no religious beliefs stopping them from making custom wedding cakes for same sex marrages.

This went all the way to the supreme court and in 2018 they issued their opinion

Held: The Commission’s actions in this case violated the Free Exercise Clause. Pp. 9–18.

(a) The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression. See Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. ___, ___. While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion. To Phillips, his claim that using his artistic skills to make an expressive statement, a wedding endorsement in his own voice and of his own creation, has a significant First Amendment speech component and implicates his deep and sincere religious beliefs. His dilemma was understandable in 2012, which was before Colorado recognized the validity of gay marriages performed in the State and before this Court issued United States v.
Windsor, 570 U. S. 744, or Obergefell. Given the State’s position at the time, there is some force to Phillips’ argument that he was not unreasonable in deeming his decision lawful. State law at the time also afforded storekeepers some latitude to decline to create specific messages they considered offensive. Indeed, while the instant enforcement proceedings were pending, the State Civil Rights Division concluded in at least three cases that a baker acted lawfully in declining to create cakes with decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages. Phillips too was entitled to a neutral and respectful consideration of his claims in all the circumstances of the case. Pp. 9–12.

This meant that the Supreme court said that Rights guaranteed by the Constitution could not be usurped by state laws, even if those laws were designed to stop discrimination.

So we now walk a delicate line. If you belong to a religion that hates white Christian Men, does that mean you can discriminate against white Christian Men? Likely “no” as discrimination because of race is Unconstitutional. Your right to be free of discrimination because of your race is balanced against his right to practice his religion free from government interference.

In 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis the issue is back again. In this case 303 Creative is a web designer that creates websites celebrating marriage. She is refusing to create a website to celebrate a gay marriage because her religious beliefs say that it is not a real marriage.

We know that separate but equal doesn’t work. If a employer was discriminating against a openly gay person, is that a violation of that person’s rights? What if it is a Catholic School and they have a religious requirement that all employees act in keeping with the morals of the church? Since the church believes that homosexuality is a sin this means that the school will not higher homosexuals.

Is that discrimination?

In some cases it seems simple enough. If there are 1000s of web-designers that are willing to do the web page, is there really cause to force this particular one to do the site?

And how do you force somebody to do their best work when they are doing it under duress?

I don’t think there is a simple answer.

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By awa

3 thoughts on “The question of discrimination”
  1. “Dr. Blalock didn’t discriminate against Thomas, but he didn’t see the institutional discrimination that was taking place.”

    No, he didn’t. Still, it was very disappointing that Blalock didn’t invite Vivien on stage when he received his award.

    Good movie, though.

  2. “Discrimination “ is a tool used by liberals…
    We the People judge others by the content of thier character.. liberals point the finger and say “I THINK you said that(did that) because you are racist… or I FEEL that you are racist… all this touchy feely “diversity, inclusive “ crap just makes me not want to talk to ANYONE…. Simple solution- can you do the job? Yes. Your hired..
    Are you one of “those” easily offended?? Go away..

  3. A thoughtful and well written post.

    Where I work they’ve done away with merit based raises citing all kinds of discriminations that happened in the past. Really they’re just too afraid/uncomfortable to actually tell someone no or why Bob got a raise and Bill didn’t. Heaven forbid any kind of protected class get into the mix.

    The slow subtle shift of language has damned us as has the unchecked rewriting of history.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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