Last week was an interesting time for racism – or at the least the supposed semblance of racial discrimination. Heineken pulled a “lighter is better” advertisement after the social media public had yet another overreaction to some alleged nefarious racist intent. Ben Shapiro penned a tremendous piece at The Daily Wire about taxis, Uber, and racism. A Canadian union representing black janitors argued that racism was behind a series of layoffs. And an advocacy group is upset because there are too many white people inside of the Federal Reserve System.
Simply entering the term “racism” into the Google News search bar will yield hundreds of results about white privilege, an offensive act, or claims of discrimination. To the postmodern social constructionists, who view the world from the perspective of identity politics, everything is racist. A marketing placard, a benign television commercial, or a business promotion. You see, it’s all racist.
This is why many on the left often advocate that anti-discrimination laws are necessary in the marketplace. Without the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and a panoply of other benevolent government-mandated rules, racism would run wild. Blacks would be refused service, Hispanics would be kicked out of restaurants, and storefronts would install giant signs that inform customers that “Jews Will Not Be Served.”
To the paranoid leftist, this is certainly in the realm of possibility without state intervention. Why? Because that person thinks all straight white male entrepreneurs sporting MAGA red caps will actively coalesce to suppress minorities. It is pure nonsense, but in an anti-capitalist environment where it is perpetuated that everything is a form of white supremacy, these ideas are taken seriously (we’re looking at you Shaun King).
Are anti-discrimination laws needed? No.
Racists Will Pay a Racist Premium
Here’s an obvious point: discrimination is bad for the bottom line. It is unfeasible for a business – any business – to turn away money from customers only because of their skin pigmentation. It’s a ridiculous way to maintain a business model.
Should the government repeal a myriad of laws, there will inevitably be some private enterprises that embrace their inner racism. In a free market, they won’t keep their doors open very long. The laws of the invisible hand will always intervene with the “racist premium.”
A software proprietor is interested in adding one more employee to his payroll. A barrage of applications has been submitted. So far, only two applicants seem fit for the job, so he invites them in for an interview. One candidate is a white man and the other one is a black man. Because of certain skillsets, experience, and willingness to stay after work, the former can generate $3,000 worth of profit for the firm, while the latter can bring in $10,000. Would he be so prejudiced of blacks that he’s willing to dismiss $10,000? Hardly. But if he does, then the marketplace would punish him since a potential rival would certainly be willing to hire him and his profit-making human capital.
Now, what if customers are racist? The laws of the free market would still apply.
A popular coffee shop is inundated with patrons every single day. But the guests are displeased by the fact that the diner has recently hired a competent, experienced, and polite black waitress. They refuse to frequent the establishment until she has been terminated. Buckling under the weight of intolerance, the manager terminates her, pleasing his customers. Instead, he hires an incompetent, inexperienced, and uncouth white waitress. As time goes by, the service becomes shoddy and the server continually remarks “Cash me ousside. How bow dah?” to every customer’s request. An exodus occurs, sales tumble, and the business shuts down – or undergoes a major revamping, hopefully shunning its own predispositions.
Both the employer and the public pay a racist fee.
The Power of Social Media
Social media is a cesspool that constantly blows up over the smallest thing. The audiences on Facebook and Twitter are always griping about something.
That said, when it’s a reasonable arena, social media can also be a force for good in the absence of government.
As the world has witnessed in recent years, if some company employs deplorable behavior, that business will be called out for it. Sometimes it’s judicious, oftentimes it isn’t.
If anti-discrimination laws were abolished and more businesses tapped into racism by banning Hispanics from entering the premises or charging East Asians an extra three dollars, social media would explode. Some type of hashtag would trend, a boycott would commence, the mainstream media would be apoplectic, protests would ensue, and the owner would be tarred and feathered.
Ultimately, the company would be forced to shutter its doors. Meanwhile, if another entrepreneur had any inkling of adopting a similar business model, he would likely desert these plans.
Capitalism is Least Racist System
In October 2017, there was a movement at Tufts University to impose social justice into all economics courses. One of the “facts” several students wanted taught was that free-market capitalism is racist. This isn’t an isolated incident. All over the world, it is regularly espoused that capitalism is a system of racism, exploitation, and misery.
It is really the opposite: capitalism is the least racist system history has ever witnessed. It also defeats intolerance and improves race relations. There is only one color that capitalism cares about: green.
Yes, privately-owned businesses should have the right to be as bigoted as they want. The freedom of association applies to a private corporation, too. An entrepreneur can worship Adolf Hitler, partake in alt-right circles, and be nostalgic for the days of state-imposed segregation. But there is a price to pay for all that bigotry, whether he adopts racist tendencies or caves to the whims of racists. If he cares about staying open, he would serve everyone equally or hire based on merit.
Most people abhor the practice and they will penalize you if you start instituting measures that seem like they came from the basement of an odious David Duke-led Klan meeting. Freedom of exchange beats racism, not laws. It’s only fatuous to think regulation can eradicate iniquitous attitudes.
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