But What if the Customers Are Bigots Too?

And a man’s enemies shall be those of his own household…

The disappointment in my old man’s voice was hard to endure.

“After all so many people went through…for you to go along with people like Rand Paul…

“I can’t even talk to you right now.”

The subject had turned to politics again, good patrons. It often did on the drive to the airport. We got on the topic of liberty and government. When it comes down to it, I can’t ever think it’s OK to use force to get others to see or do things my way…even when it hurts my feelings.

Dad was thinking of commerce. Of countertop dining and windows with “No Colored” signs. He hadn’t seen them himself. We didn’t come to this country till the late ‘70s, when he’d been in his 20s and I under three. Back home in our tiny Caribbean nation, black was pretty much all there was.

I’d had more direct experience with that sort of thing, however. I’d spent a couple formative summers in the South. Not the Deep South — rural central Florida — but not quite shallow, either. There were Confederate flags on the road signs announcing the town’s name and on many of the license plates of the local vehicles. There still are.

Once when I was 17, my two good buddies and I spent the day with a couple of local girls at a stream and then drove around for hours with them. It had grown dark and the pretty blonde suggested we all head back to her house to hang out a bit more. All except for me, that is…

“My parents don’t allow black people in the house. I’m sorry.” It was 1994.

And so that was it. My friends were more concerned about hanging out with pretty girls than they were in showing solidarity. Seventeen is apparently not the time to be making a stand.

That experience stayed with me as I learned more about liberty and individual rights from the perspective of a foreign “darkie.” Was my experience with that sort of discrimination fundamentally different from similar discrimination in commerce? A home, a business…they were both someone’s personal property. Either a man owned himself and his property…or the collective — the community, the state — did.

If he really did own his property, then whatever his reasons, he could exclude any person from entering it if he so chose.

At least he ought to be able to.

If we can argue that an unwilling bigot has to sell to me, then why don’t we force him to entertain me at his home too?

The home is still off-limits from forced integration…for now. In this degenerate age, businesses generally require license. They exist at the mercy of the state. Our businesses are no more ours than are our earnings. At least not in the eyes of the state.

Gary Gibson
Whiskey & Gunpowder

December 22, 2010