December 29, 2006

When divas attack, Part 2.

Virginia Postrel seems to approve of her colleague's attack on me. It's just a short post. I can't tell how she feels about government being so bold as to ban racial discrimination in hotels and restaurants. She seems to think it was amusingly ridiculous of me to object to ideologues who took umbrage at such laws.

ADDED: I'm just remembering that I tangled with Postrel over this before Bailey wrote his post. I suspect that lit a fire under Bailey somehow. Maybe it was this line: "What is shocking is to encounter walking relics who are in love with the ideas that were used back in the 1960s to fight off the Civil Rights movement... and who aren't ashamed to declare their love publicly."

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Didn't you ever hear the old joke about Libertarians before going to this shindig? You can't go to a Libertarian party meeting without someone at some point cornering you for 40 minutes to talk about his plan to privatize sidewalks.

At times I've kinda felt like calling myself a libertarian, but then I remember that approximately 40% of them are just plain crazy.

Rick Lee said...

Hehe... I remember Michael Kinsley making a very strong argument against libertarianism... he said (paraphrasing) "Frankly, I don't WANT to shop for my fire deparment and I don't think many other people do either."

Ann Althouse said...

The libertarian ideology is a magnet for crazies. The non-crazy ones ought to try harder to demonstrate their sanity. If they can!

Anonymous said...

How odd. I must have missed the part in Postrel's book "The Future and Its Enemies" where she inverted her thesis and decided that a static approach to ideology was superior to exploration of ideas in the pursuit of progress.

Anonymous said...

A Quixotic effort if ever there was one. A subsequent loss in income is another possible explanation. (As in "Know your readers," and all that.

Anonymous said...

Why the rush to assume the worst about the other person?

The attendees at the conference had contrary views about the role of government in ending social injustices. You assumed they were racists, they assumed you were an intellectual lightweight.

This is not a good trend to set. These issues are not simple cut and dried cases, and people have thought through them in good faith and wound up on different sides of the divide. That doesn't mean there's no right answer, but don't assume someone has the 'wrong answer' out of sheer pig-headedness or stupidity.

Also, I like how Ron Bailey's account is the real eyewitness account. What, wasn't Ann there too? What is her version of events then?

Anonymous said...

There is something superficially attractive about libertarian ideas, but this shows why they can't get many people on board their (private) train. It seems the crucial problem at the conference was that the libertarians seemed to think race relations may have been an unfortunate quirk in the way modern federalism played out and perhaps even that race relations has long since resolved itself as an issue, whereas you recognize race as the central issue in American history. It like saying Marxism is great and any effect it may have on the economies where it has been tried is irrelevant because its great in the abstract.

What's with the comment moderation?

Mortimer Brezny said...

This blog is getting so much more combative.

Brendan said...

Ann, be honest: Were you a tad out of your depth? Were you well acquainted with the works of Bailey, and not just the most controversial aspects of his biography? And since the Left routinely attacks you as being less than an "authentic" woman, was it really necessary to invoke gender when you slapped that girl down? And what on Earth would prompt actual tears from a seasoned law prof who trades punches (i.e. Sullivan) with the best of them?

By all accounts, this was a high-brow academic symposium. Considering all the mixed company, I sincerely doubt they felt this was a "safe place" to let their racist hair down. But you were there an I wasn't, so I'll honor your feelings.

Art said...

Did you hear about Libertarian "musical chairs?"

They sit around whining until someone slips up and says, "Yeah, there ought to be a law."

Meade said...

I don't think diagnosing them as crazy or non-crazy is helpful. Those who are behaving like assholes need to be called on it. Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

You know, what this is convincing me of is that anti-government conservatives are back in the minority for reasons besides Iraq.

If anyone was just about ready to jump in and join the conservative movement, I'd have guessed it might be Ann. But it turns out that the 'big tent' ideology that was espoused by Ronald Reagan has become remarkably small. Contrast that to people like James Webb and other former Republicans who have now found a home in the Democratic party.

If conservatives don't want to be governed by a center-left coalition for a long, long time they had better learn to tolerate dissent better than they do now.

nunzio said...

What is their position on putting fluoride in the water supply?

Gerry said...

I think that you crossed from "object[ing] to ideologues" into a very different area when you demanded people prove to you that they were not racists, and when you blogged in a way that made it clear that you think they very well may be just that.

Not that my take on the matter means much, but that's how it looks to me.

Gerry said...

Eli,

Although Ann's original point did not make it clear, her objection was mainly with the libertarians, not with the conservatives.

FWIW

Todd said...

"The libertarian ideology is a magnet for crazies. The non-crazy ones ought to try harder to demonstrate their sanity. If they can!"

Allow me to give it a shot. Bear with me, I'm shooting from the hip here and it may take a couple tries to get it right.

Short version: your co-colloquium-izers (?) seem to hold the concept of federalism as trumping all else. [I think I left an earlier comment about this, here goes again.] But if the federal gov't should leave private-business discrimination to the judgment of individual states, should it also have allowed individual states to secede? To continue the practice of slavery under the ideal of federalism? I wish you'd asked them that.
I'm a libertarian and a strong believer in federalism, but there are limits. Here's a case where that principle butts up against the principle of racial justice.

When I lived in Madison I worked at Espresso Royale on State Street for several years. One time I was cleaning up some tables and chatting with a couple sitting nearby. They were black, and the woman actually said to me (paraphrase) how nice it was that they could come in and be treated so nicely, given that they were 'people of color.' Honest.

I thought about that for a long time. I concluded that, economically speaking, racism is stupid. It robs businesses of paying customers, and cuts employers off from a portion of the workforce. Therefore discriminating against a particular group is just a bad business practice. Stupid.

Would that have been true in 1960? I don't know. Maybe catering to minority groups back then would have alienated white clientele and cost me business, unless all my competitors did it too. So whether I want to or no, I'm economically forced to practice discrimination if I want to stay in business. Unless someone intervenes, and the states clearly weren't going to.

It can be hard to define what federal actions are appropriate and what aren't, but let's start by saying that there are actions that are appropriate. Your sparring partners (qua representatives for libertarianism) might seem a little saner if they started there.

Whew. More later?

Tim said...

"If anyone was just about ready to jump in and join the conservative movement, I'd have guessed it might be Ann. But it turns out that the 'big tent' ideology that was espoused by Ronald Reagan has become remarkably small."

This is wrong on at least two points, as there is a not small difference between small government, "Reagan" conservatives and small government Libertarians, and the "big tent" applies more directly to coalitions of Republicans rather than Republicans and Libertarians (although there is room for both Libertarians and Democrats within the Republican Party than there is in any other Party for Republicans).

JohnK said...

Look Ann, you are the one who started balling and calling people racists and a "disgrace to their gender" and then now have turned your moderator on when the hordes from Reason show up to call you to account. Isn't it a bit rich for you to accuse Bailey of attacking you? Further, are you really so incapable of understanding Bailey's position that you think it is simply a matter of who is in favor of discrimination and who is not? This whole thing reflects very badly on you.

Gerry said...

"Look Ann, you are the one who started balling"

You mean like Michael Strahan? Or like the Texas slang for 'the deed'?

Or did you use the wrong word?

Palladian said...

"Look Ann, you are the one who started balling and calling people racists and a "disgrace to their gender" and then now have turned your moderator on when the hordes from Reason show up to call you to account"

Hilarious, the idea that people who read something called "Reason" come in "hordes". And since when do Libertarians believe in collectivist things like "hordes" anyway? Oh, since this is not about liberty at all, but about just another little pack of primates (albeit intellectual, Reasonable primates) thundering around looking for heretics. The Libertarians have defiled the word "Liberty" as much as modern liberals have.

Revenant said...

Much as I like Ann's blog, it certainly sounds like she embarassed herself at the conference. Too many witnesses have confirmed Ron's version of events (and, to be honest, Ann's comments on this blog indirectly confirm them as well -- she's been extremely impolite and anti-intellectual in her comments).

Ron Bailey and Virginia Postrel are emminently reasonable and intelligent people, and not "ideologues" or "crazies" by any stretch of the imagination. I've seen them politely debate libertarian ideas with extremely hostile people from the right and left -- if one of them was unable to do so with Ann, well, Occam's razor tells us who was mostly likely to be at fault.

Anonymous said...

Are these the kind of hordes that horde?

Anonymous said...

Ann, a short post explaining that posts are now being moderated because of one individual (who caused a similar problem before), and not any recent subject, will go far in stopping the latest meme from gathering steam:

then now have turned your moderator on when the hordes from Reason show up to call you to account...

As everyone does not read every post or every comment section, so many missed the reason. Turning on comments without some sort of explanation allows all sorts of interpretations. (FWIW, even though I am here often, and I missed the reason for quite some time after comments were enabled.)

As you know, an explanation need not give further attention to that one individual.

Zeb Quinn said...

What it comes down to Althouse is their perception that you were trying to posture as superior to them when it comes to race, and they weren't accepting that.

Mortimer Brezny said...

No, Gerry. I mean, who does Ann think she be? A baller? Shot-caller? Whut?!!!

Mortimer Brezny said...

Much as I like Ann's blog, it certainly sounds like she embarassed herself at the conference. Too many witnesses have confirmed Ron's version of events (and, to be honest, Ann's comments on this blog indirectly confirm them as well -- she's been extremely impolite and anti-intellectual in her comments).

I was inclined to believe that after reading Ron Bailey's version of events, especially given that he claimed Ann cried. But then I read Ann's post.

1. Ann is nowhere near approaching stupid and to claim she's ignorant of federalism's consequences just doesn't fly. I might buy that she'd fly off the handle, but I don't buy that she's such a weak little girl that she'd burst into tears because she's dumb and was rattled by her intellectual superiors. That's a joke. That said, I found her explanation of why she cried a bit weak and won't offer my own speculation. But it's more plausible than Bailey's claim, especially after he tarnished his credibility by trying to make it seem that Ann was trashed when the incident occurred. He also did a good job of distancing himself from the conversation by noting that he "pieced together" what had happened. Thanks for the hearsay, Mr. Bailey the gossipmonger. Oh, but Ann's account has him right in the mix, shouting and defending his smirking lady friend. So either his account is based on hearsay or he's lying.

2. All the persons who participated in the conversation at that table have reason to shade events if Ann's account is true, because either they look like actual racists or the kind of people who would tolerate one in their midst. I don't know who the smirking woman was, but we know she was young and that Bailey verified the essentials: she was young, she was white, she was female, she was his colleague, she was libertarian, and she was at the table at that conference repeatedly proposing KKK hypotheticals.

3. Bailey's piece actually does exclusively refer to state-sponsored discrimination, which supports Ann's version of what the beef was about: the fact that none of the discussants at her table seemed to care about private racial discrimination against blacks even when confronted with the fact that market forces would not cure it and in fact would perpetuate it; they only cared about the free market in the abstract and limiting state power in the abstract. That's what Ann has been saying all along.

Anonymous said...

Actually, "hordes" may be correct. I seem to remember Reason winning an award as one of the best blogs last year.
And quit using "attack" and "crazies" - Have the discussion or move on.

Ann Althouse said...

Revenant: "Ron Bailey and Virginia Postrel are emminently reasonable and intelligent people..."

Postrel was not there. She is backing up her colleague... at my expense. Do you respect her more or less because she did that?

Gahrie said...

Wow.

A bunch writers and intellectuals sitting around and talking about ideas in the abstract?

Who'd of thunk it?

The nerve of them!

Ann Althouse said...

laSo the Reason Magazine folk back each other up. Why are you impressed?

Ed Brown said...

Long time reader, first time commenter.

I have a question, Ann, if I may.

Is it possible to hold the belief that private business owners can refuse service to any customer for any reason (including race) without being a racist yourself?

Anonymous said...

Why are so many of the people heavily associated with this "movement" relying so heavily on the public dole for their livelihood? Most of the names I run across are of those employed at public, not private, institutions. And more than a few who aren't directly employed by the state derive significant amounts of their family income from the state employment of their spouse.

When these people start practicing what they preach, stop availing themselves of all the government services and programs they denounce when given to others, and get employment in the private world, and not some university or taxpayer-supported "non-profit foundation," then they might be believable.

Until then, although talk is supposed to be cheap, theirs comes at great cost to the taxpayers and the reputation of the detested state so graciously feathering their private nests.

It seems to me that either you believe in your principles or you don't. If you do, you don't sacrifice them first thing every day as you pursue them. That just is not rational behavior. Then again, something akin to "Nothing grates like gratitude" might be appropriate here.)

As none of the participants could summon the strength, in a social setting, to politely agree that racism was bad, or perhaps "might be bad," should any of them be surprised when others reasonably conclude that they do not.

Were they all so cowed by one lonely individual present that they were incapable of expressing such a simple thought, given that they are now broadcasting their opposition to racism to all in sundry, in print and on the internet, lest their reputations be damaged by their own prior actions.

I have long believed that character is revealed by what someone does when they think no one is looking. In this case, a small conference, when no one was looking, the true character of some was revealed. And it was reported.

When private character is revealed to be at significant odds with public persona, the personal attacks begin. As we have already seen.

Ann Althouse said...

Ed Brown: "Is it possible to hold the belief that private business owners can refuse service to any customer for any reason (including race) without being a racist yourself?"

Yes, but if you do, you need to be aware of the harm you are condoning and feel a very strong obligation to explain what you are doing and to assure people that you have a deep regret about it, especially when confronted with someone who is upset about your decision.

Revenant said...

Ann is nowhere near approaching stupid and to claim she's ignorant of federalism's consequences just doesn't fly.

She was ignorant of the fact that many libertarians truly do believe it is morally wrong to make racism illegal. Her own remarks make it obviously she isn't interested in considering whether a reintroduction of a federalist approach to civil rights would be good or bad -- the subject's closed, in her mind, and anyone interested in discussing it is "an ideologue" and dangerous. So why is it so shocking to think that she might be ignorant of how libertarians and conservatives think about federalism and civil rights? She obviously *was*.

Thanks for the hearsay, Mr. Bailey the gossipmonger. Oh, but Ann's account has him right in the mix, shouting and defending his smirking lady friend. So either his account is based on hearsay or he's lying.

Bailey's account is that he joined the conversation halfway through, after Ann started loudly accusing people of racism. That is entirely consistent with both Ann's claim that he yelled at her and his claim that he had to piece together what set off the whole argument in the first place.

All the persons who participated in the conversation at that table have reason to shade events if Ann's account is true, because either they look like actual racists or the kind of people who would tolerate one in their midst

Oh, please. Nobody who isn't a complete ignoramus is going to accuse Ron Bailey of being a racist or being tolerant of racism. He has no reason to color events in order to defend himself against an accusation that is obviously untrue.

Now, what he IS tolerant of, like all libertarians, is people's right to their own beliefs, which naturally includes the right to racist beliefs. People who believe that thoughtcrime should be punishable -- a group which, surprisingly, includes Ann -- often confuse "tolerance of the right to be racist" with "tolerance of racism", but people like Bailey have been dealing with that misconception for years by explaining the difference -- not by lying to "cover their tracks".

So far, everyone *except* Ann who attended the discussion and has commented on it has found her reaction and behavior to be strange. Yes, it is possible to construct a scenario in which a bunch of libertarians and conservatives conspired in a cover-up in order to make Ann look bad, but is that really the most rational explanation?

Ann Althouse said...

But I should add, Ed, that I'm being fairly lenient here. Many people would define racism more broadly, to include condoning private discrimination. You will not satisfy these people by asserting that you believe in private liberty. I am willing to say that such a position is misguided but not necessarily racist. But if you act callous about racism on top of that, then I'm inclined to see you as racist and I'm not going to just sit there and put up with it. I'm still willing to refrain from actually calling the people I was sitting with racists, not that they noticed my generosity.

Revenant said...

Postrel was not there. She is backing up her colleague... at my expense. Do you respect her more or less because she did that?

First of all, Postrel and Bailey are not "colleagues" unless you assume all libertarians are each others' colleagues. Secondly, I respect Postrel neithr more nor less; defending libertarians against unfair attacks is exactly what I'd expect of her. I find Bailey's description of events much more credible than yours.

Yes, but if you do, you need to be aware of the harm you are condoning and feel a very strong obligation to explain what you are doing and to assure people that you have a deep regret about it, especially when confronted with someone who is upset about your decision

Why? After all, you don't seem to have any awareness of the harm you are condoning by giving governments the right to dictate how people must live their lives, and certainly aren't expressing any deep regret about it, even when confronted by people -- libertarians -- who are upset about it.

There's also the fact that you've failed to show that there would BE any significant harm done if businesses were allowed to be racist. This is not 1962 anymore. A whites-only restaurant would be driven out of business, even in the deep south. Why should libertarians apologize for a harm you refuse to show would actually occur?

tcd said...

Revenent said:
"There's also the fact that you've failed to show that there would BE any significant harm done if businesses were allowed to be racist. This is not 1962 anymore. A whites-only restaurant would be driven out of business, even in the deep south."
It's not 1962 anymore because people like Ann were and still are brave and conscientious enough to stand up for civil rights as oppose to adhering to strict Federalism principals held by true-believers like the libertarians at the conference, who would allow businesses to practice discrimination.

"Why should libertarians apologize for a harm you refuse to show would actually occur?"
Because it did occur or would you rather forget the Jim Crow-era South?

Anonymous said...

Revenant:

Of course they are "colleagues!" Both are journalists, after all.

As I think you know, both were also colleagues at Reason. Postrel was editor when Bailey was hired.

(Apologies if someone already mentioned this)

Anonymous said...

Yes, but if you do, you need to be aware of the harm you are condoning and feel a very strong obligation to explain what you are doing and to assure people that you have a deep regret about it, especially when confronted with someone who is upset about your decision.

Heck, I'm not even a libertarian and I think this is silly.

First of all, suggesting that something should not be enjoined by law is not the same as condoning it. There are all sorts of offensive and even potentially harmful things that are entirely legal, and should be.

Furthermore, your suggestion that they should somehow assure you that they have regret about the harm caused fails to grant your opponent any sort of respect. Why don't you humble yourself to consider that libertarians might actually believe, rightly or wrongly, that less harm is caused by society when the government butts out of private matters like this?

For example, there is no doubt that some of the children who were subjected to forced busing and integration were harmed considerably by the actions of their government. Certainly, the prevailing wisdom is that this was a necessary cost for a greater good, and I agree with that wisdom overall.

But harm is harm. Are you similarly obligated to show "deep regret" over that consequence, and to be prepared to fully explain your position even if they come up to you and say, "I wish you and your kind had let me stay in my own damn school! At least there I wasn't taunted, threatened, beaten up, and otherwise scared out of my wits. I was doing just fine before all that. Why did you make me bear the burden of the societal change you decided had to happen RIGHT NOW?"

Revenant said...

Of course they are "colleagues!" Both are journalists, after all.

Virginia Postrel is a columnist and author, not a journalist. She *used* to be a journalist, but that was quite a while ago now. She and Bailey aren't colleagues any more than she and Ann are.

And yes, I know they both worked at Reason magazine. But Ann didn't say "former colleague", now, did she.

Revenant said...

It's not 1962 anymore because people like Ann were and still are brave and conscientious enough to stand up for civil rights as oppose to adhering to strict Federalism principals held by true-believers like the libertarians at the conference, who would allow businesses to practice discrimination.

Oh, get over yourself. First of all, Ann was a child during the civil rights struggle and had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Secondly, the federalism/anti-federalism debate had nothing whatsoever to do with the dramatic shift in American attitudes towards race that have been taking place over the last century and a half, and reached a paradigm shift in the 60s and 70s. Thirdly, the success of the civil rights movement was the effect, not the cause, of the shift in American racial attitudes. The Civil Rights act passed because most Americans thought racial discrimination was wrong, not because Brave People Stood Up To Be Counted.

Finally, it doesn't take bravery to sit safely in the majority and demand that the government impose its will on an unpopular minority -- which, whatever your delusions to the contrary, is all Ann's doing today.

Anonymous said...

Revenant: If you want to pick nits, be my guest!

Your feeble attempt to argue the contrary notwithstanding, the fact remains that they are colleagues engaged in the profession of writing for profit. You don't want to call it journalism? Fine. They are writers. As professional writers, they are professional colleagues.

What do you think a columnist is, if not some engaging in the practice of journalism, in this case the expression of opinion?

Elizabeth said...

The Civil Rights act passed because most Americans thought racial discrimination was wrong, not because Brave People Stood Up To Be Counted.

The racial attitudes changed because "brave people stood up to be counted." And were blasted with water cannons, chased with dogs, shot and buried in a rural dam, had eggs and rocks thrown at them. I'm amazed at the revisionist history this topic brings out.

My mother had her "aha!" moment watching television in her Arkansas home, as a small black girl walking into her newly desegregated school was surrounded by screaming white adult women. My mother had been surrounded by the racial realities of the South all her life, but she never saw it for what it was until those ugly faces of women just like herself jerked her out of her complacence. That didn't happen because of a magical zeitgeist of change in her attitude, it happened because that child and her parents stood up.

hdhouse said...

Remnant: since it was william of ockham's "razor" don't you think that Occam would be second preferred?

And while we are on the subject, the definition of the Ockham's Razor isn't what Jody Foster said in Contact. You might want to look it up but generally it mean's don't multiply unnecessarily.

The oxymoron here is you can read the entire thread and have no idea what the commotion is about. Ann cried? Reduced to tears by intellectually superior libertarians...?

Ann seems at times a pretty smart cookie. Libertarians generally seem like low watt lightbulbs looking for an Uncle Fester socket.

And to these strawdog arguments about civil rights and business - can it be that a white business owner in the 60s who would not service blacks did so because he/she didn't like blacks and not because of any libertarian/federalism conflict?

Can it be that libertarians and for that matter federalists simply adopt sides in an ongoing social conflict and call the positions their own?

Now that would make me cry.

Anonymous said...

Quoting Ann: Yes, but if you do, you need to be aware of the harm you are condoning and feel a very strong obligation to explain what you are doing and to assure people that you have a deep regret about it, especially when confronted with someone who is upset about your decision.

I do not accept that this position amounts to a harm nor do I regret it. There is a tradeoff here: the principal of free association vs. the desires and feelings of those discriminated against. The calculus of the postion you are criticizing is that giving government the (coercive) power to say with whom some individuals must do business destroys free association at its base and therefore causes more harm than do the bigotted business owners. (I do assume that one's business is private property).

Some consequences of the destruction of freedom of association have already been mentioned: Clearly, a restaurant owner would have no cause to exclude Neo-Nazis from her establishment, even as they express their opinions on their clothing. Private universities would be on shaky ground in forbidding supporters of the Iranian Mullahs from preaching the destruction of worldwide Jewry on campus. A private women's social club could lose the right to exclude misogynistic men from their publicly announced colloquia.

Indeed, variants of all of these have taken place during the last 40 years, though perhaps with more popular viewpoints or minorities forced into the private settings. I will admit that in each of these cases, it is the viewpoint , not the race, of the invading party that is obnoxious. But, my position is that restricting the power of the government to enforce any particular association is the only guarantee that the positive effects of shunning of particular groups or ideologies can protected in a principled manner. That free association and free speech are linked in the first ammendment is no accident. The founders recognized that association is a form of speech. The argument is that the net effect of protecting free association is positive for society, and overcomes the short-term harm caused by the bigotted business owner.

Ed Brown said...

Ann said:

"you need to be aware of the harm you are condoning"

I think a libertarian would say that there's also harm in the State forcing a business owner to do something he/she doesn't want to do.

And since the choice is between:

a) use force to create the outcome you want, or

b) allow (not approve of) behavior that doesn't involve the use of force,

I think most libertarians are going to opt for a).

Mortimer Brezny said...

Revenant: And yes, I know they both worked at Reason magazine. But Ann didn't say "former colleague", now, did she.

This kind of game playing with words is exactly why your defense of Ron Bailey makes no sense. It is common sense and basic psychology that people who associate with each other tend to stick up for each other, even if that means shading the truth or passing judgment without sufficient knowledge to speak credibly on the matter.

I said Bailey's either a liar or relying on hearsay and you picked hearsay. His reliance on hearsay does not make him more credible than Ann, who has given a wholly first-hand account of events. You also ignored that Bailey did in fact lie by omission about how much Ann drank and how civil he was. He further mischaracterized his position when he commented on a thread here (as another commenter pointed out). I do not see how lying by omission, relying on hearsay, lying by implication, and backpedaling amounts to credible testimony. Your assessment that Bailey is credible is not "most rational" -- it is irrational, incoherent, and nonsensical.

I said it's silly to claim Ann has an unsophisticated understanding of federalism's consequences and you say Ann was ignorant of exactly what the persons at her table were going to say before they said it. Yes, Ann is not a telepath. That great insight of yours does not negate Ann's scholarship on federalism or her understanding of Heart of Atlanta, a case which she teaches. Nor does it account for the fact that Ann's arguments were directly related to issues and facts contained in the reading materials provided to attendees of the conference.

The only point of Bailey's assault, it seems, was to attempt to humiliate Ann by mentioning that she cried. Perhaps Ron Bailey is not a racist (I wouldn't be so generous to his apparently KKK-loving lady friend) but he surely isn't a noble man.

CharlesWT said...

Mortimer Brezny: "...the fact that none of the discussants at her table seemed to care about private racial discrimination against blacks even when confronted with the fact that market forces would not cure it and in fact would perpetuate it; they only cared about the free market in the abstract and limiting state power in the abstract."

Facts not in evidence unless you consider opinions as facts.

Mortimer Brezny said...

the fact that market forces would not cure it and in fact would perpetuate it

I repeated the word fact on purpose; it was not an accident. I believe Ann already stated that the factual record in Heart of Atlanta included the finding that restaurants made more profit by seating whites and confining blacks to take-out. That is a fact contradicting the opinion that the workings of the market would lead to a prevalence of restaurants seating blacks. If you would like to argue that numbers are not facts, be my guest, but you're off in the world of Platonic abstraction, don't you think?

CharlesWT said...

Oops! Sorry! I misunderstood! I thought you were making a sweeping assertion covering all space and time. Instead, you are asserting antidotal facts of a particular business model, in a particular place, at a particular time. Your facts are a bit dated.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Instead, you are asserting antidotal facts of a particular business model, in a particular place, at a particular time. Your facts are a bit dated.

I don't know what "antidotal" facts are, but a factual record in a court is more systematic than an anecdote. It is also the case that the definition of "commerce" in the interstate commerce clause jurisprudence of the Supreme Court is capacious enough to include a variety of business models over the history and future of this country. Your argument boils down to the assertion that segregation can be good: Heart of Atlanta, then, must be dated because it insists that the timeless ironclad constitutional rule is that segregation is bad even when it is profitable. I suppose that could be considered antidotal to the disease of racism.

CharlesWT said...

"Your argument boils down to the assertion that segregation can be good: Heart of Atlanta, then, must be dated because it insists that the timeless ironclad constitutional rule is that segregation is bad even when it is profitable."

Hmmm...I've hardly made an argument at all. Much less, that "segregation can be good".

The white majority in the South knew all too well that, left alone, market forces would work. White workers didn't want to compete with black workers for wages. White owned business didn't want to compete with black owned business or with any of their fellows willing to hire black workers and cater to black customers. That and racism was the reason for the Jim Crow laws and fueled the acts of intimidation and terrorism.

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