And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. –Galadriel, in “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
This declaration, posted in windows or on walls of many businesses was common a generation ago, and rarely challenged. In it resides one of the foundations on which our Constitution bases our inalienable rights – private property. My place of business, my home, my car, my laptop, my children’s clothes – these are all a result of my physical and intellectual labor. In other words, they are my property. And you do not have a right to my property any more than I have a right to yours. Sadly, seeing this sign posted on a business in the year 2019 would most certainly invoke a lawsuit, and most likely the plaintiff would win.
So over the weekend I was disheartened to see people on the right cheer when a man wearing a Trump shirt and MAGA hat demanded a vape shop employee, clearly not a Trump fan, sell him a flavored vaping oil (emphasis mine).
The situation escalated, and Ferguson yelled for the employee to sell him the “f*****g product” that he wanted for his wife so he could leave the store. Finally, the employee relented and appeared to be willing to sell him the product.
“God bless America,” Ferguson said as the employee stood at the register. “Capitalism wins again.”
However, Ferguson’s taunting reignited the employee’s fury and the screaming match that occurred in the store in front of another customer.
“F**k your capitalism. F**k your f*****g president,” the employee screamed. “He’s a racist, stupid piece of s**t, you’re a racist, stupid piece of s**t.”
While announcing the employee’s termination, Xhale City said that the company values its clients and treats them with respect and dignity regardless of their political opinions.
In a subsequent video posted on Xhale City’s Facebook page on Saturday, Ferguson was back in the store with employees from corporate. He said people “swarmed” the store with criticism over what happened but said employee, not the store, was responsible.
“My wife comes here, I come here, no problems,” he said. “You can’t boycott this place. It’s not their fault, they didn’t do it. All these people have bills and family, just like I do.”
Here’s the dichotomy: Yes, this is capitalism in that goods were exchanged. And if this were my store, I would have fired the employee as well. But it was also a form of fascism. The government didn’t get involved here but Ian Ferguson forced a private enterprise to do business with him. In a free society, you don’t get to do that.
How is this different than the Masterpiece Cakeshop refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding or, more recently, a gender transition? We on the right defend owner Jack Phillips. Why are we not defending Xhale City?
Let’s hear from Walter Williams:
Should people have the right to discriminate by race, sex, religion and other attributes? In a free society, I say yes. Let’s look at it. When I was selecting a marriage partner, I systematically discriminated against white women, Asian women and women of other ethnicities that I found less preferable. The Nation of Islam discriminates against white members. The Aryan Brotherhood discriminates against having black members. The Ku Klux Klan discriminates against having Catholic and Jewish members. The NFL discriminates against hiring female quarterbacks. The NAACP National Board of Directors, at least according to the photo on their Web page, has no white members.
You say, Williams, that’s different. It’s not like public transportation, restaurants and hotel service in which Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment.” While there are many places that serve the public, it doesn’t change the fact that they are privately owned, and who is admitted, under what conditions, should be up to the owner.
If places of public accommodation were free to racially discriminate, how much racial discrimination would there be? In answering that question, we should acknowledge that just because a person is free to do something, it doesn’t follow that he will find it in his interest to do so.
If a sign or visage of a politician (or anyone for that matter) forces you to scream obscenities and assault another human being, you have a mental illness that requires counseling and a good religion to square you away. But if management at this vape shop were to declare, “We will not serve anyone who we deem is a Trump supporter” it may be a bad business decision, but is their right.
“If we are not allowed to do with our property as we wish, we are not free.”
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.