By and large, Better Half and I do not make it into downtown Knoxville very often; neither of us are overly fond of cities, I do not like driving on confined streets, and the parking situation down there… well, it is a topic for another post, especially since I just had to send the Knoxville Police Department $16 for not parking aft-in when the need to do so was not posted anywhere Better Half or I could see. Anywise, what I am trying to say is that we do not go downtown terribly often, so this post, in general, probably will not matter.
Why is downtown even coming up? Because the next time we are down there in search of food, I know where I will not be eating – The Bistro at the Bijou. Why? Because I generally do not patronize businesses / establishments that demonstrate rank intolerance, regardless of whether we are talking about skin tone, firearms, or political viewpoints.
Before we go any further, if you want a recap/synopsis of what transpired, Rich has an outstanding one, so if you are not local, go read the backstory and then come on back here.
All done? Great. So, first, I do not agree with… well, the overwhelming majority of the things State Senator Stacey Campfield says/does. I appreciate his willingness to go to bat for my right to self-defense, and I definitely appreciate his fiscal conservative bent (though I wish it were stronger, as I do with all politicians), but I firmly believe that much of his time could be spent on significantly more useful and productive pursuits than he choses to expend it upon. However, I absolutely love how he seems innately capable of driving the liberals / progressives / left-wingers in Tennessee into a knee-jerk, deranged, frothing-at-the-mouth tizzy simply by existing; he almost seems like Tennessee’s own Sarah Palin, considering the extents those lefties go to to smear him, attack him, and otherwise hate him.
Second, I believe that corporations / companies / businesses / etc. should be able to do, and not do, business with whomever and whatever they so choose. Yes, that means I would be comfortable with businesses discriminating against blacks, homosexuals, Irish, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, open carriers, etc. etc. etc. And? We, as individual people, discriminate for or against other people all the time, and not only would it be unconstitutional for someone to force us to do otherwise (can anyone say “freedom of association”?), but it would simply be wrong. As such, there is simply no reason why an owner of a business should be forced to associate with, or not associate with, people against his will by way of his business.
Yes, I know there was a time in history when such force was necessary to move things along, and, yes, I know that the government does not readily give up power it has claimed for itself, but time has moved on.
Third and finally, I firmly believe in voting with my dollar – by and large, I do my best to not encourage/support companies whose policies/behaviors I do not agree with.
So why am I not going to eat at The Bistro in the future, apart from simply not being in that geographical area very much? Just because I am comfortable with someone doing something does not mean I necessarily endorse it or want to support it, and, personally, I do not want to encourage corporate discrimination on the basis of political/social beliefs. I am fine with another person doing so if they want to, but I am not going to help them along their way or force them to modify their behavior according to my beliefs (a statement which, in my humble opinion, could serve well as an attempt at reclaiming the concept of “tolerance”); I am simply going to do my business elsewhere.
… And this is all without even touching on the inanity of combating discrimination with… wait for it… more discrimination. The non-stop stream of “It’s not [X] when WE do it!”, rationalizations, appeals to political correctness, and so forth have been rather disheartening, but even worse are those morons claiming, “You sure taught him!”
Uhm, no you did not.
What you did do, however, is teach the world that you are more than willing to employ discrimination, intolerance, and hate when you think it is appropriate to do so. If you take exception to that observation and support The Bistro refusing service to Senator Campfield, let me ask you this: would you support a business owner kicking out a pro-LGBT politician on the basis of disagreeing with that person’s political/social views? If your answer is “no”, as I expect it would be, then you are logically inconsistent, internally inconsistent, a hypocrite to boot, and in absolutely no place to lecture anyone on anything even remotely related to “tolerance” or “acceptance”.
I credit Martha Boggs, the proprietor of The Bistro at the Bijou, for taking a stand for her beliefs, but if you think she “won” anything, you are a damned fool.
(Oh, and on a mostly unrelated note, being let go cannot keep a good man down – Michael Silence is back to webloging, in much the same pattern as before, just at a different address.)