What better time than the annual commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. to discuss these issues.
A good working definition of “discrimination” in this context would be:
the according of differential treatment to persons of a particular race or religion (as by formal or informal restrictions imposed in regard to housing, employment, or use of public community facilities)
Students of American history are well aware that such discrimination against Blacks and other minorities was a common occurrence in our country. However, this phenomenon was never confined to the South, as it was endlessly and falsely portrayed by northeastern liberal media in the 1960’s. Indeed, the so-called de facto segregation of the North was every bit as virulent as the de jure variety practiced in the South, by governments that were 100% Democratic Party, I might add.
While the speeches and demonstrations organized by King and others helped bring the human cost of racist policies to the fore, three major factors drove a stake through the heart of American racial discrimination—the federal Civil Rights Acts, simple economic realities, and the unremittingly ugly visage of racism.
Few who saw the news footage at the time will forget the brutal counter-protestor tactics ordered during the Birmingham, Alabama demonstrations of May, 1963. Ironically, those orders soon became a parody of themselves as police and fire officials simply refused to follow them, and the city’s downtown merchants realized that doing business with all races meant doing more business! Perhaps the single most significant event, tragic as it was, that helped turn the tide, also occurred in Birmingham. On Sunday, September 15, 1963, a dynamite bomb exploded just outside the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four young Black girls, and injuring 20 other people.
Some will argue that government-mandated civil rights enforcement is too Draconian, and in an ideal world they would be right. Lest we forget, it was government-mandated discrimination that created the problem in the first place.
Government, as is its wont, soon upped the ante with Affirmative Action. Originally meant as a mechanism whereby businesses and institutions would take special effort to attract qualified minorities, it soon morphed into a crude quota system in many instances, spawning hundreds of anti-discrimination lawsuits of its own. Because of political correctness, and the leftist bent of the Federal courts, large municipal governments and academia, current case law on this subject is predictably ridiculous holding that quotas based “preeminently” on race are proscribed, but are otherwise allowed.
In practice, then, absent a published point system awarding a number of points to an applicant of a favored race, quotas and racial discrimination (for that is what it surely is) can continue unabated.
“Tolerance” can be defined as
a permissive or liberal attitude toward beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.
The implication here is that the majority will not prevent such beliefs or practices, so long as they are not deemed harmful, nor will they discriminate against the people involved—often of an ethnic group other than their own.
Thus, allowing the Amish to live as they did in the 18th century, modifying dress codes to allow Muslim women to wear extensive coverings, and permitting Sikhs to wear a dagger would qualify as tolerance. But, eviscerating one’s own dominant culture, in a misguided attempt to avoid giving offense, such as removing a Ten Commandments monument, or forbidding virtually any demonstration of Christianity in the public square is not tolerance.
Rather, it is the purposeful destruction of traditional America by forces that are anything but tolerant. I very seriously doubt that Dr. King would approve.