Tag: equality

The LGBT Community Deserves Anti-Discrimation Laws

Ellie McFarland | @el_farawayland

Soon, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not gay/bi and transgender/transexual individuals will receive the same protections as everyone else covered under anti-discrimination law. LGBT status would function just like race, sex, religion, and national origin already do. If this decision passes, housing, employment, and service discrimination would become illegal nationwide. Sexuality, like race and gender, is an immutable aspect of a person’s character and ought to, therefore, have the same protections.

Ideal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Firstly, it is worth noting that these anti-discrimination laws should not exist in the first place. They are a hindrance to nearly every part of the First Amendment, specifically desecrating freedom of association. In a perfect world, no group, no characteristic would have any legal protection from the threat of a private business kicking them out.

However, we don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, the U.S. government is quite broken in this respect. There exists in the first place piles of anti-discrimination legislation which only hurts the rights of private business owners. But this legislation’s existence is hardly even secondary when considering the issue of LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

A Temporary Means of Equality

Unless the conversation is about anti-discrimination laws in general, it has to operate in the sphere of precedent and intention. Race, ability, sex, religion, and national origin all receive protection from anti-discrimination laws. This is because these are all inherent and unchangeable aspects of a person that others still discriminate against them for.

The reason there are no provisions for behavior is that we can choose whether or not we are disruptive or cruel. Uncontroversially, business owners can kick people out if they are loud or rude to staff. There also exist no provisions for things like hair color, eye color, or fashion sense because people do not commonly receive hate on those grounds.

The criteria for a characteristic to merit anti-discrimination legislation are clear. It must be both an uncontrollable aspect and a characteristic for which people actually discriminate against others. Given these grounds, there is absolutely no reason to hold the LGBT community exempt from anti-discrimination laws. It has been proven time and time again that being gay and trans are both genetic, or at the very least, are not choices. Further, it is undeniable that gay, bisexual, and trans people face some discrimination, even in the West.  

LGBT Discrimination

In 2017 in America alone, individuals committed 1338 hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation or status as a trans person. On top of that, there are cases that make the news on a fairly regular basis about gay or trans people being denied service. Because of the anti-discrimination laws for other characteristics, we see very few examples of restaurants or hair salons denying black people, baptists, or women. The world generally feels like a safer place when there is no fear of persecution or petty denial based on fixed characteristics.

If we are to afford these comforts on the basis of sex, race, creed, or anything else, it is unfair to deny these same things to the LGBT community. Gay marriage became legal in 2015, nearly four years ago. It was legalized on the basis of its equality to heterosexual marriage. This is the same way interracial marriage was legitimized. Again, in the same way, the legalization of interracial marriage did not suddenly bring about the equality of black and white people. It took nearly two decades of legislation and lobbying to achieve the type of legal protection people desired.

End the Double Standard

Although these laws are needless and counterproductive in the first place, they do in fact exist. They exist to protect people from unreasonable discrimination and to allow communities to prosper. Because of this, it is nothing but irresponsible to ignore groups at the same risk. To fight the inclusion of the LGBT community into anti-discrimination legislation to maintain any principle is to ignore the practicality of such a move.

The fight to repeal all anti-discrimination legislation is not popular, but at least it is a fight with sound logic. At least it doesn’t dismiss the struggle of an entire group and the intention of an entire branch of laws. Simply put, if the Supreme Court excludes the LGBT community, it will address no real problem. Instead, it will only further illustrate the community’s alienation within the legal system.

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Science Proves That Gender Differences Exist Before Birth

Romy Haber | @romyjournalist

“One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.” This is perhaps one of the most quoted lines from Simone de Beauvoir’s work; she is one of the first feminists to claim that gender is a social construct. Since then, the popularization of the “social construction of gender” has mushroomed.  Denying that gender is a product of culture can get you branded as “sexist” or “misogynistic.”

Continue reading “Science Proves That Gender Differences Exist Before Birth”

The Distortion of Liberalism

Joshua D. Glawson | United States

 ‘Liberalism’ originally meant a system that recognizes the freedom of the individual while ‘liberating’ them from the chains that bind them. Modern liberalism has gone far past this idea of freeing the individual from systematic oppression to what we see as the tyranny of the majority found in democracy. Modern liberalism suggests that whatever the newest idea of oppression is, it should be fought against at all costs, even when the data and evidence does not hold up, such as “women make less than men,” “ban straws,” “force businesses to trade,” and almost every other idea that constantly changes on an almost monthly basis. This does not mean their intentions are bad, or that everyone who is a modern liberal is ignorant. Rather, it is of the Kantian philosophy that suggests a government should pursue what is deemed noble, no matter if the outcomes are constantly terrible and oppressive in their own right. Modern liberals are willing to advocate the oppression of one group in order to suffice the needs and wants of another group. This perpetuates votes and a false sense of confidence in order to gain votes.

Simple Libertarian Concepts:

  • If your friend needs money to survive, is it moral for you to coerce others with the threat of violence and death in order to pay for your friend’s needs?
  • If theft is immoral for one person, it is just as wrong for a thousand people, a million people, or a billion people, etc. to steal from one person as it was for the one person to steal.

These Aristotelian principles, along with the Non-Aggression Principle (or the Randian ‘Non-Initiation of Force’), and several other principles are what is core to libertarian values, and the principles of the Libertarian Party.

Libertarians recognize that every law established by a government is backed by the threat of force, while understanding non-compliance can escalate the violence up to the point of death.

E.g. Eric Garner was killed by police because he was supposedly selling cigarettes on the streets of NYC, and he denied the allegations and was trying to talk to the police as they began arresting him. The officer was not charged, although choke-holds were also deemed ‘illegal’ for police officers to use on people.

Libertarians also realize that the freer people are, the more economic prosperity there is for the vast majority of people as opposed to other systems of governments and economics.

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Obama, Freedom and Identity Politics

By K. Tymon Zhou | South Africa

As identity politics grow more popular to the american left, an unlikely individual may be able to help our racial divisions.

How can societies reconcile multicultural harmony with unity? At times, it seems impossible to achieve both of these noble aims.  The progressive left seeks to prioritize “inclusion” and “diversity”, but creates only a restless frenzy. This frenzy takes the form of identity politics, a corrosive influence in American life.  Recently, an unlikely source challenged this scourge: former president Barrack Obama. On Tuesday, President Obama delivered a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Nelson Mandela Lecture. This speech expressed a fundamental optimism that diversity can exist with unity. Conservatives and libertarians should adopt this approach as they seek to restrain identity politics.

Firstly, Obama acknowledged historic injustices describing the colonialism that was prevalent in Mandela’s youth :

such a view of the world – that certain races, certain nations, certain groups were inherently superior, and that violence and coercion is the primary basis for governance, that the strong necessarily exploit the weak, that wealth is determined primarily by conquest – that view of the world was hardly confined to relations between Europe and Africa, or relations between whites and blacks. Whites were happy to exploit other whites when they could. And by the way, blacks were often willing to exploit other blacks.

It is surprising that Obama refers to oppression within the same racial groups. In the particular narrative, imperialism and oppression are not exclusively European sins. Instead, they are presented as universal. This runs to contrary to liberal identity politics which states that to be an oppressor, all one must do is to simply belong to an “advantaged” group.  Thus, liberal identity politics ignores the oppression that can occur within minority groups ( i.e blacks exploiting other blacks). Such a view is a horrific over-simplification. Moreover, it ignores the situational diversity within “advantaged” groups. This only fuels animosity between groups. Instead of seeing oppression in terms of identity, one must see it in terms of action. Obama’s more nuanced perspective recognizes this.

Secondly, Obama argues that democracy can resolve such injustices:

I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy, built on the premise that all people are created equal, and they’re endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation in pursuit of a common good.

Despite its liberal source, libertarians and conservatives have readily embraced this message. Their primary focus is securing greater freedom and to protect inalienable rights. Such a goal inherently works towards a common good. In a magnificently miraculous manner, freedom created unity.  The same protection that grants Sikhs a right to self-expression grants Christian bakers that same right. In democracies, all groups can pursue these freedoms.

Ironically, Obama’s fellow liberals have forgotten this fundamental truth. They doubt that there is a common good. Consider the contemplation of two Harvard Crimson opinion writers,  Salma Abdelrahman and Nicholas P. Whittaker, devout progressive liberals:

My guiding light in the fight for justice is a vision for a world in which Black liberation does not have to ride on the coattails of white self-interest, a world in which the cries of Black and Brown folk are more than enough to change it…

If our battle against oppression must seek the permission of our masters, then are we not simply running in circles?

To these progressive liberals, the “common good” is a mere rhetorical device designed by the “oppressor”  to prevent progress. There is a certain demented logic to their reasoning. In their view, minorities are surrounded by oppressors. Consequently, there is no “we” between the oppressors and the oppressed. Therefore, the oppressed should not seek a compromise with their overlords, they should simply gain power for themselves.  At its core, this may sound appealing.  It offers an opportunity to create utopia without the hard work of building a democratic consensus.  Perhaps these bold visionaries should abandon the premise of believing in democracy.  There are alternative systems in which a minority can pursue its own goals without compromising with a majority: aristocracies, monarchies, and dictatorships of all stripes obey this principle. To avoid compromises, they brutally suppress freedom. Such is the dark road that toxic identity politics can lead.

Thankfully, such a road is not inevitable. As Obama recognized, there are brighter and more beautiful paths ahead if we embrace the unifying force of freedom. Through freedom, societies can reconcile multicultural harmony with unity.

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The Consequences of States Defining Nations

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Throughout history, human interaction has led to various cultures, states, and nations. These have brought with them both enrichment and destruction, bonding and division. Sometimes disputes arise over property rights. Other times it is by misunderstanding, negation of contract, or simple vanity of one’s culture or nationality which all can lead to total blindness and self-centeredness. Defining nationalities can benefit in the study of individuals within groups, help to better communication and understanding of others, but it can also have negative consequences of control and limitation. This is especially true when a State defines a nation.

It is imperative to first clarify commonly misused terminology. Many people, including myself, often mistakenly interchange the words ‘State,’ ‘state,’ and ‘nation’. A ‘State’ with an uppercase ‘S’ “is an independent, sovereign government exercising control over a certain spatially defined and bounded area, whose borders are usually clearly defined and internationally recognized by other states.” This includes State sponsored bureaucracy and the monopoly of the use of legitimate force and coercion with laws, regulations, and taxes, etc. One can interchange ‘State’ with ‘government’.

On the other hand, a ‘state’ with a lowercase ‘s’ is simply a part of a country, such as a state within the United States of America. A ‘nation’ is a group of people who have a shared culture, history, religion, language, etc. A ‘nation’ is not a ‘State,’ although there are some nations that have a State of their own. There are also some nations without a State, and still more that occupy part of a state or multiple states. Nations are fluid and socially constructed, and are thus not bound by borders. A ‘Nation-State’ is a State that has only one main nationality. Very few of these exist in the world.

Once people have come to define their State or nation, they tend towards doing whatever benefits it, rather than thinking logically through actions and consequences. They beget an air of superiority with their attachment to their fellow State-people and those of their particular nation. This is natural. As we humans tend towards empathy and sociability from our very nature, it is easier to survive and thrive within groups, and we find personal values that we put on hierarchical scales. If a person finds their State attacked they may be less concerned than if their nation is attacked, if they find stronger attachments to their nation, and of course vice versa.

Many States try to find a commonality within their citizenry in order to propagate a nationality. As a result, their government becomes stronger and more effective in carrying out their particular agendas. They may attempt to do so in many ways, including wording, such as adding a State religion. We see this within the U.S., which put “In God We Trust” on currency in 1956, or adding “One nation, under God,” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

States will use their arbitrary borders to determine who to support and oppose, as seen in war and immigration policies, rather than basing it off of the individuals within these borders. On the other hand, nations will collectively determine who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ based on their nationalistic customs and norms. Similarly to both nations and States, going to a team sporting event, one can easily witness the collectivist competitiveness of people solely based on their team’s geographic location, wanting only the best for theirs and condemning those that oppose them. This can sometimes lead to brawls and destruction, although on a much smaller scale than when actual States and nations go to war.

When colonialism was most prevalent in the world, many people found conflicts with the imposing State establishing and enforcing Western European nationalism of liberal and democratic ideals through creating or infiltrating markets. As seen in China, where various States were trading with the Chinese and others, it was expected that the Chinese people would not only trade but also partake in the national identity of the Europeans. “While bi-culturalism was essential at least on the part of the elite, the colonial system discouraged ambivalence and boundary crossing. Chinese should remain Chinese.” This is to say that only certain people could cross boundaries, but not the Chinese, which is evidence of control through nationalism.

Yet, equally, some believe people are incapable of reaching the same truths as they possess, such as the idea that “the assertion of difference by [his] predecessors put colonialism at odds with a society incapable of capitalism and modern government thus necessitating colonial intervention and education.” In the first quote, it is shown that providing the benefits of colonialism had exclusive extra rights for particular people, whereas the second quote is attempting to assert pompous superiority in determining who is capable and who is not. The second quote is thus evidence of a State imposing nationalistic ideals on another group.

When States are attempting to determine who is of what nationality, we need to ask ourselves what the purpose of such questioning would be. It is typical to hear government statistics which point to the numbers of certain groups of people, genders, sexes, ages, ethnicities, races, cultural norms, etc.

Most people have grown numb to this idea and think it is prudent to collect information on people as seen in this quote: “Ultimately, if we cannot identify any further properties that are unique to ethnic identity, we would be better off substituting the concept of ethnic identity in our theories with concepts such as descent-based identities or identities based on sticky or visible attributes… The negative claim, that ethnicity does not matter, is a discovery of great magnitude. It should have far-reaching consequences for research and data collection, suggesting that we should abandon the large number of theories and data-sets on ethnicity and start again on an entirely different foundation.”

This evidence suggests States use statistics of nations, markets, and the States themselves in order to control rather than simply study. This is to say that State statistics are typically a control mechanism, and States often choose to control nations via any means necessary. Equally so, “If it is true that governments make decisions based on how they believe ethnic groups will respond, then it must also be true that ethnic groups are equally strategic in their behavior toward their governments.” Many nations have also used the coercive force of the State to push out competitive nationalities and hold their particular nation as the highest among the State, even going as far as establishing a newly reformed State under the control of the nation.

Economist and political theorist, Dr. Murray Rothbard, stated, “Not only do statistics gathering and producing go beyond the governmental function of defense of persons and property; not only are economic resources wasted and misallocated, and the taxpayers, industry, small business, and the consumer burdened. But, furthermore, statistics are, in a crucial sense, critical to all interventionist and socialist activities of government (i.e. the State).” He went on to say, “…In order to get ‘into’ the situation that they are trying to plan and reform, they must obtain knowledge that is not personal, day-to-day experience; the only form that such knowledge can take is statistics. Statistics are the eyes and ears of the bureaucrat, the politician, the socialistic reformer. Only by statistics can they know, or at least have any idea about, what is going on…”

Indeed, as specified by one author in regards to the Indonesian State discouraging statistic control of nationalities within their borders, “Independence removed the status gap, and the colonial habit of classifying by race. Officially the new Indonesian Nation-State adopted a policy of assimilation, discouraging, and after 1966 prohibiting, public expressions of Chinese language or culture. The Indonesian censuses dropped colonial-style questions about ethnicity, and officially all citizens became equal.” On one hand, this shows a State using complete terrifying control of a nation by not allowing Chinese and other individuals of self-expression through Chinese language or culture. However, they simultaneously stopped inquiring into the statistics of individuals, thus making people more equal in a strange way.

It is not right or beneficial to everyone to prohibit such a thing as national norms that do not harm anyone else. However, States should not be inquiring about the nationality, ethnicity, gender, sex, race, etc. of people in order to gain statistics of control. These State-run statistics are often used to justify why certain groups or nations of people are not and should not be equal to that of another, such as who is smarter, wealthier, commits less crimes, who is more educated, etc.

The purpose of the U.S. government was supposed to be to protect Life, Liberty, and Property, not to find out how many people live, what they do with their own lives, and how much stuff they own. It is my position that the U.S. State should cease questioning and gathering of statistics of race, gender, sex, ethnicity, and nationalism in order to work towards making people actually more equal under the law. Statistics sway the perceptions and judgments of judges, juries, politicians, and others, rather than analyzing individuals on a case-by-case basis. We should be concerned more with the individual and not about the various nations collectively under the State. Justice is to be blind, and so should the State.

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