Conservative pundit and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan suggests in his column today that the U.S. repeal all civil rights laws.
“A radical idea: Suppose we repealed the civil rights laws and fired all the bureaucrats enforcing these laws,” Buchanan writes. “Does anyone think hotels, motels and restaurants across Dixie, from D.C. to Texas, would stop serving black customers? Does anyone think there would again be signs sprouting up reading 'whites' and 'colored' on drinking foundations and restrooms?”
Buchanan is particularly upset by laws that prevent discrimination against LGBT people, but also claims that laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity are no longer needed. The work of civil rights laws “is done,” he writes, and enforcement mechanisms “exist to validate the slander that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobic country which would revert to massive discrimination were it not for heroic progressives standing guard.”
We’ll just note that Pat Buchanan might not be the most convincing person to put forward the argument that institutionalized racism no longer exists in the United States.
Consider how far we have come.
Virtually all decisions to hire, fire, promote or punish employees, to oversee the sale and rental of housing, to ensure that all minorities have access to all restaurants, hotels and motels, are under the jurisdiction of these minions who are right out of Orwell's "1984."
Scores of thousands of bureaucrats -- academic, corporate, government -- are on watch, overseeing our economy, patrolling our society, monitoring our behavior.
A radical idea: Suppose we repealed the civil rights laws and fired all the bureaucrats enforcing these laws.
Does anyone think hotels, motels and restaurants across Dixie, from D.C. to Texas, would stop serving black customers? Does anyone think there would again be signs sprouting up reading "whites" and "colored" on drinking foundations and restrooms?
Does anyone think restrictive covenants against Jews would be rewritten into contracts on houses? Does anything think that bars and hotels would stop serving blacks and Hispanics?
In his indictment of George III, Jefferson wrote of the king: "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."
Is that not what we have today in spades?
Why do we need this vast army of bureaucrats?
They exist to validate the slander that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic country which would revert to massive discrimination were it not for heroic progressives standing guard.
And, indeed, some bigots might revert to type. But so what?
Cannot a free people deal with social misconduct with social sanctions?
And isn't this what freedom is all about? The freedom of others to say things we disagree with, to publish ideas we disbelieve in, even to engage in behavior we dislike?
As for the Christians of Arizona and same-sex unions in Arizona, if they don't like each other, can they not just avoid each other? After all, it's a big state.
Why will we not see the lapsing or repeal of civil rights laws whose work is done? That would mean cracking the rice bowls of hundreds of thousands of diversicrats who would then have to apply for jobs from folks they have spent their lives harassing.
Last year, the Supreme Court struck down the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet, somehow, Mississippi still has more black elected officials than any other state.
If the conditions that called for the laws of the 1960s have ceased to exist, why do those laws still exist?