Why Racism Is No Big Deal

The Donald Sterling tape (SEE: Oh Boy, Los Angeles Clippers’ Owner Doesn’t Want His Hot GF to Bring Black Guys to Clipper Games), has once again caused mainstream media to go all out in its coverage of a “racism incident.”

From my perspective, I believe the coverage is distorted and that there is nothing on the tape that makes Sterling out to be a racist (SEE: What Donald Sterling Did Wrong). That said, let’s examine this entire coverage of racism.

First, it must be recognized that human beings always form into groups, some groups make a lot of sense logically, others don’t. But, people like to hang with those they feel they have some affinity with. There are thousands of people that fly into San Francisco every day, but I only get emails from visitors that want to meet with me, who are libertarians.

I have yet to receive an email from a neocon, a member of GLAD, or a member of the Federal Reserve. Most assuredly, people from these groups are visiting SF. Why aren’t they emailing me for a good chat? Are they discriminating against me? Of course, they are. That is the nature of the world. It is no big deal.

People discriminate for all kinds of reasons. I know men that will only date attractive women. I know one major league businessman who only hires ugly women on the theory that they will stay more loyal and have fewer outside opportunities to leave.

So what?

I know people that are prejudice against blacks, other that hate Czechs, yes Czechs!, and some that hate Jews. Again, so what? If someone spends most of their living breathing hours hating, blacks, Czechs or Jews, I am not going to spend much time with them, if any, because I would be bored to death, but why should I care about their views?

Because of some service or product they provide, I may interact with them, but I really don’t care what their views are on other subjects, as long as they are not advocating some kind of coercion against others, that is, advocating a violation of the non-aggression principle.

The world is about exchange, with a very few people I will have interaction on many levels. With many others, I will only have limited interaction. With most people on the planet, I will have no interaction. If these people are not violating the non-aggression principle, why should I have any obligation to change their views on anything?

Further, I seriously doubt that there are many Americans that are advocating the return of blacks to slavery   (an advocacy that alone, without actual coercion, is not a violation of NAP) and I am not aware of any groups actually putting blacks, or any other group, into slave camps.  It is a bogus issue.

The one group that I am aware of that does regularly violate the non-aggression principle is the government. There are compulsory school attendance laws, there are minimum wage laws, tax laws and there are anti-drug laws, to name a few. This is a serious problem. Further, the U.S. government is involved with empire building and wars around the planet. This is coercion on steroids, it is a real problem.

And yet, there is a brouhaha over Sterling’s alleged-racist remarks,when he pays millions to black players. The NBA is absurdly looking into the matter–while at the same time before NBA games they play the national anthem, which is nothing but a propagandist song for a government that violates the non-aggression principle on an daily basis, across the country and around the world.

The focus on racism is a scam. I do not see any good reason to shun, boycott or otherwise stop exchanging with people who hate, blacks, Jews or anyone else. It’s goofy prejudice to me, but I see no reason that I should go out of my way to change their views. They don’t come close to the coercion conducted by the state. In fact, they don’t coerce at all, while the very being of the state is coercion.

It’s time that, at least libertarians, get their focus straight. The state is the problem, you are being suckered off the track to think the problem is thoughts of others about different groups, whatever those thoughts might be about other groups.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.