Recently by Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers: Used by the State, Even in Death
“It’s easy to be conspicuously compassionate if others are being forced to pay the cost”
~ Murray Rothbard
I admit it. I discriminate. I am kind and respectful to the elderly; I am helpful to the handicapped and I open doors for women.
When I go into a Japanese restaurant, I am a racist. I don't want to see a white guy or a black guy or a Latino guy, or even a Korean guy making my sushi. Funny that. When I go into a Korean restaurant I certainly don't want to see a Japanese making the food either (ask any Koreans you know if they agree with me).
And speaking of Seoul food, ditto goes for, say a German or Italian, or down-south real Soul food restaurant; and nope, I don't want to see a guy named Yamazaki making the pork chops and gravy with collard greens.
I guess that makes me a sexist and a racist and all sorts of naughty things and, in some people's eyes, an all-around scum of the earth.
I am proud to say I discriminate.
People who claim that sexism or racism should be outlawed by the nation will say, “I dream of a world where people can be judged not by their skin color or sex, but by their merits." They claim that want everyone treated equally.
Then they go on, in the next breath, and say, "But special considerations for some people!"
That's very subjective and hypocritical.
One great example we often hear in Japan is how women are treated like "Second-class citizens." This seems a curious notion in a country where women hold the pursestrings in over 80% of all Japanese households.
So many will say, “Women in Japan are discriminated against and should have equal rights and equal pay at the workplace!" Yet we have "Women’s Only” cars on trains and subways that operate during morning rush hours to work… Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with “Women’s Only” cars… But I practice discrimination so it doesn’t bother me. I don’t claim that “everyone is the same and we are all equal.”
The ones who claim to want everyone treated equally are far too often subjective about what that means. They claim to want to use morality as a guide, but fail to see how that, too, is totally subjective.
I have a handicapped daughter and don’t want people to be treated equal. I want special considerations for some. I love how Disneyland allows handicapped people to go directly to the front of the line and ride the rides. Is this discrimination? Yes! And I thank Disneyland for it.
My daughter is handicapped. I call her "perfect!"
Also, I want to decide, for myself, how and to who those "special" considerations should be applied. For example, I like having elevators and facilities for the handicapped; I think it is good there are men’s and women’s restrooms; I think pregnant women, old people and the handicapped should be treated with deference, kindness and respect and be given seats on the trains and buses, (I’m old fashioned) etc.
Even though we should give up our seats to handicapped, old or pregnant (and others) do we need laws to force kindness or morality? No. And, by the way, just how does a law that forces us to, say, give up our seats to old people promote equality? I think that is forced age discrimination, isn’t it?
I also think forced equality is bad for business…
Let’s be ridiculous for a moment and look at what anti-discrimination laws that force equality in employment would do to professional sports! Take the NBA (please!) Can you imagine having your favorite basketball team staffed with people that represent the cultural make-up of their “home” market? Imagine the new and improved Los Angeles Lakers; two white guys, one black guy, and one each of a Hispanic, short-legged Japanese who can't jump, a great Jewish athlete (good luck finding one of those), two women, one gay and one lesbian, a transexual, a transvestite, a Democrat, and a hairdresser (I can’t specify sex of hair dresser as that would be discriminatory!).
It would be wonderful. Probably would draw in as large the crowds the freak shows do at Ringling Brothers Circus!
Nope. I guess that won’t do.
The only way to handle this discrimination “problem” is the private property vs. public property philosophy of Libertarianism. Libertarianism stands up for the free rights of all people.
“…Libertarianism champions equal rights. It champions the person and the potential of every person to use liberty to the fullest. Libertarians would NEVER have authored Jim Crow laws or denied the vote on the grounds of race or denied equal access to public facilities depending on one’s race. Libertarians have for decades preached against the drug war, which severely discriminates against blacks and browns. The prisons are filled disproportionately with people of color. Libertarians have stood staunchly against wars initiated by the U.S. against people of color and fought to a large extent by American soldiers of color…”
In this Libertarian philosophy, private property is respected. You can do what you want with your private property as long as you do not commit aggression against me. Not allowing people in your private business, for whatever reason, is your choice. That you do not allow some people onto your premises is not, in any sense of the word, aggression against anyone.
In fact, if you stop and think about it, people who want to use government power to force their morality onto others are the ones committing aggression.
I don’t have any right to order you to associate with people you don’t want to on your private property. Nor do you have the right to tell me how to run my business or who I should allow as my customers.
We don't need laws against stupidity or bad business decisions. You can’t outlaw stupidity. It won’t work.
A public property (paid for by taxes) is a different story. Those places must be open to everyone regardless of race, creed or color.(But we all know the public government discriminates all the time).
If a restaurant policy of, say, “No dark skinned people,” was so odious that it scared away (or pissed off) all their customers (even ones without dark skin) what would happen to that restaurant? It would probably go bankrupt very quickly, right? The free market would handle the issue.
I don’t have dark skin and if I saw a sign that said, ”No dark skinned people,” I wouldn’t patronize the place at all (I’ve been discriminated against many times in my life and I have friends who are gay, lesbians, women, men, whites, transvestites, transexuals, Indians (from India), Indians (from America), Bangladeshis, Germans, Kiwis, Aussies, blacks, etc. etc….) and I don't particularly care for it, but I will not ask that government force people to do something they don't want to do.
If I saw a sign that said, “No darkies!” I certainly wouldn’t want my friends to go in there and would seriously wonder if they weren't nuts if they insisted upon doing so…. But! I don’t think that the government can pass laws on who you associate with or laws against stupidity….
The more laws we have, the worse things are getting (current situation should be proof enough of that fact!)
And this brings me to an absurd real-life example of how confused people are when they base their ideas of how we should deal with discrimination on a "moral level" instead of considering private property rights first:
Now, in Japan, some people who scream “Discrimination” are in a huff because the Japanese women’s team had to fly to the Olympics in economy class while the men's teams flew business… Well, that is terrible sexism! By the folks screaming, "Discrimination!" A second ago, these same people were spouting the virtues of "treating people equally" but now they want special consideration because these athletes are women!?
Why the sudden contradiction whereby suddenly now they think the women should be treated differently because they are women? Uh, don’t look now, but they are now contradicting themselves!
Why did the women fly economy class while the men flew business class?
Simple: they were treated equally and on their merits and their company is trying to cut costs. Makes sense to me.
Let me explain: The Olympics are a for profit organization (in spite of the nationalist brainwashing you receive about this event every few years). In just about every country, there is a privately run organization, that runs their own “Olympics” (kind of like a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise). The owners of the Olympic games know from advice given by their Madison Avenue Marketing agencies that to make money, they need to promote statism and nationalism.
It’s an old, tried and true formula.
In the Japanese case, the men’s Olympic soccer team has a professional soccer league, the Japan Soccer Association (JSA) involved in the money making. That men’s league get’s 15,000 ~ 35,000 people paying to come and see their games. The games are televised. Some players play in European leagues. They have big name sponsors, money and all players are professionals.
The women’s league? Well, now, they lose money every year. They almost went bankrupt in 2000 and are now subsidized by the JSA. The women’s games have a hard time with attendance. They might have a few hundred fans in attendance (nonpaying mostly), no TV, few sponsors and no professionals…
Now, in a privately run for profit organization, why should the women be treated differently from the men? If the owner wants to do so, then that is their choice. If we want them treated differently then that is acknowledgement of their differences… Hence sexism (polite booing here, please!)
The Olympic committee is not run by taxes (thank God for that!) If it were, then I could see people complaining. (And they'd better be complaining about spending their tax money on Olympic crap otherwise I'd backhand them!)
See what I mean? Here, let me explain it for your Liberal friends:
Team A makes lots of money. They fly 1st class. Team B loses lots of money and is subsidized by an organization that lives off the profits of Team A. Team B flies economy class. What’s the problem with that?
To claim, in this case, that Team B should fly business class, the same as Team A, is not fair and is discrimination.
I can’t see how these people complain about “discrimination” but then, a second later, say that women should be treated differently.
If this Olympic committee were a government run organization, paid for by our taxes, they probably legally can't do that. But, they are a private organization paid for by private investments and sponsors: they can do what they want with their money and their property and their employees…. The same as a privately run restaurant can. No?
After all, exercising freedom of choice is exercising discrimination.
Like I said, I exercise discrimination constantly: I help the handicapped, I am kind to old people and to pregnant women and give my seat to them on the train; I like to go to Sushi restaurants and see a Japanese sushi chef. I like to go to Italian restaurants and see an Italian cooking (trust I will ask where the chef is from or will have checked before I arrived)… on and on… I don’t mind it if people want to enjoy their space and I don’t think we should force people to associate with those they do not wish to.
I certainly don’t really care if someone is gay, lesbian, transsexual, Indian, black, Hispanic (though I am quite partial to Japanese women!) Oops! There I go discriminating again….
Many of these people who scream "discrimination!" are not consistent in their thoughts because they are confused on private property. How you run your place of business is up to you and no one has the right to tell you how to act or what you can and cannot do inside of your own house or in your place of business.
So, well, until the Japanese women's team wins gold in soccer at the London Olympics, or they become a profitable private business, I guess they'll be relegated to economy class… If were up to me, I wish they could ride business class… But it is not…. And, I'm certainly not volunteering to pay for them to ride business class when their employer is not… Are you?
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He is the president of an Internet & Cross Media advertising/marketing agency and a media production company named Universal Vision. He writes about marketing, the Internet and Social Media at the Modern Marketing Japan blog. His book, Schizophrenic in Japan, went on sale in 2005.