I am privileged, but not in the way you happen to be thinking right now. I am privileged because of my chosen vocation. My industry is the ONLY one mentioned in the US Constitution. My business is the ONLY one afforded protections under the Constitution. My chosen way of making a living has stood up more times than I can count to legal challenges from every direction.
Yes. I am privileged. As a professional wordsmith (or as Rebel calls it, a language prostitute. I write you long time), I am privileged. I can write what I want. No one can legally force me to write anything. You come to me and want me to write vows for your marriage? I can tell you to get stuffed, if I want to. You have to accept that. Have to. Want me to write anything for you? I can tell you to fold your writing request and insert it in my choice of your body orifice. You must accept this. Must.
I can refuse to write for any reason at all. There are only a very few other professions that have similar guarantees, but none are ensconced in the Constitution.
This makes me sad.
As a professional writer, I have protections so many other people in business do not have. I think these rights and privileges I enjoy should be greatly extended to bakers, shoemakers, computer repair shops, furniture stores, grocery stores, day care centers, roof contractors and so forth.
Ok, THAT outta the way, here's the grindstone and ax du jour.
THIS AIN'T NO DAMNED CAKE
Redlining as an official government policy is now illegal. As it should be. Government should be equal access to everybody. Government is not private business.
However, redlining still exists. Traditionally it is applied to mortgages. In the Detroit area, it still applies to home loans. It's just not government policy. It is a business decision.
Redlining in a broader sense is, well, broader.
As this story notes, redlining even extends to WHERE people will set up a business.
Whacha gonna do? Gonna sue the mortgage companies? Gonna sue the business owner for NOT putting his operation in a certain neighborhood? Hello?
RALLY THE MOB BOYS! WE RIOT!
Gonna sharpen the torches and light the pitchforks 'cause a baker says no! When the business owner won't even open a business... When a mortgage company redlines a neighborhood...
"Well, that's a business decision," you say.
So is baking or not baking a cake.
"But being gay is not a choice," you say.
Who said anything about being gay or not? We're talking business decisions.
Lemme juuuuuust point out mortgage lenders have reams of regulations they must follow. Bakers have a notebook.
HATERS GONNA CHOOSE
But to the point, is it ok to hate because of choice?
"People should be held accountable for the choices they make," you say.
HUZZAH! Now, we agree.
Is it OK to force someone to do something they are opposed to?
"Yes, if they refuse–"
Careful there! Loose your grip, Damocles, and your head comes off. And, uh, don't bring up "gay" again, m'Kay, 'cause that's a dead issue for me. Peoples is peoples and what two (or more) consenting adults do to and with each other ain't none yo bidnez and ain't none my bidnez.
"Well if you'd let me finish. Yes, if they refuse to serve someone because of their race or religion or gender, that's wrong. They need to serve everyone."
Everyone? Nah. Will let you slide on that one.
But am pointing out your body parts you just lopped off. When will you be storming the mortgage broker offices and demand they start making loans in neighborhoods populated by ethnic minorities? When will you be beating down a businessman's doors because he refused to open shop on "that" side of the tracks?
When will YOU stop discriminating and spread the hate evenly? Or will you keep discriminating and be like the people you claim to despise?
You got time for that?
DE FACTO MEANS THAT'S THE WAY IT IS
This is discrimination, as repeatedly proven. It's de facto discrimination based on non-choice matters of enthicity and country of recent ancestry and discrimination based on choice of where someone lives.
Hate is easy when you have a well-defined target. Ain't so easy when your own views create a smoke screen to hide the other stuff that is far more egregious.
Let's pick on Detroit s'more. Here's the story that sparked me.
“Independents like ourselves have to make a business decision as to whether or not we choose to make that investment in certain communities,” he said. He pointed to a combination of the costs of regulatory compliance, and disinterest from brokers in marketing to areas where the homes are super cheap. “It’s difficult to make a loan of that size and earn an appropriate amount of income.”
In other words "I don't wanna" is the only reason. "I don't wanna" was enough to make so many of you rise in righteous anger to shut down bakeries. But when a person can't get a home...
Ain't nobody got time for that!
I may be wrong – correction, based on what so many of you show by your actions, I am wrong – but I happen to think that a home to live in is more important on the order of galactic magnitudes than any cake. Yet this story about the mortgage business and redlining has been knocking around the news for longer than any freekin' cake. Outrage much?
Nah. Because it has to be hate on your terms. Hate the baker, stage protetsts, shut 'em down and make their lives hell. But take on the mortgage companies?
"Ummm, we've gotta go over here and whine about Middle Eastern refugee rights. Can't be concerned with folks who can't get a mortgage," you say.
HATERS GONNA HYPOCRITE
Hate, but on your terms. Hate those who are different with different opinions and a different belief structure. Hate those who do things that really don't matter. Hate over a cake? But you can't be bothered when someone can't get a mortgage to buy a house BECAUSE OF WHERE THEY LIVE?
(insert your choice of string of profanities here)
PAGING MR. SWIFT, PAGING MR. JONATHAN SWIFT
Yassee, as with most things, there is a simple solution here.
YOU open a bakery.
YOU open a mortgage company.
YOU offer the services and goods you keep whining about.
YOU be the difference you want to see in the world.
Rather than demand someone else do it, YOU do it.
Money talks. Bullshit walks.
Keyboard warriors? What ya gonna do?
Hate on your terms? Or say "Ain't got time for hate, gotta make a positive difference in this world" and then GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!
Y'ain't gonna do it staring at a screen.
Next time you decide to rip someone a new one because of their discrimination, ask yourself "who am I discriminating against?" Hate is hate, no matter who spews it or in what direction.
Me? I am officially discriminating against people who rise in ire over the idiotic cause du jour while completely ignoring the real issues. Conduct yourself accordingly and go find someone else to write your stuff. I ain't got time for that.