Amidst all the brouhaha, folderol, bewailing, and Tier 3+ spinning in regard to the Masterpiece Bake Shop Supreme Court ruling (my take on it is here), we find two words that provide total clarity into the deep rift that exists between today’s Left and the rest of us. Those two words, repeated nine times in the Court’s ruling:

Protected Class

That legal construct is why the Left believes government is justified… nay… obligated to force a baker to decorate a cake for a gay wedding, but is justified… nay… obligated to deny such coercion when requested by someone seeking a swastika cake. It’s why it’s OK to disinvite campus speakers who won’t say the correct things. It’s why it’s OK to defend NFL anthem kneelers’ free speech rights while telling wavers of the Confederate Flag to fuck off. It’s why transgender people can choose the bathroom they’re most comfortable using, but cisgender people cannot voice discomfort about that choice. It’s why the ACLU won’t stand up for gun rights. It’s why a judge says a bar can refuse service to someone wearing a MAGA hat. It’s why Linda Sarsour, not Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a darling of the Left. It’s why members of “oppressed” identity groups who think wrong are treated with especial scorn.

You see, it’s not enough to be “of” a protected class. That’s mere identity politics, and it’s insufficient to explain why Clarence Thomas is so reviled. One has to be active in actually “protecting” those classes. That addresses speech and thought, not simply accident of birth.

The Court’s decision spoke of the nearly 60 year old doctrine of public accommodation, which Title II of the Civil Rights Act imposed on private businesses. A naif who thinks that real liberty actually exists in this country may believe that a private business has the right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason, because freedom of association is a fundamental and inalienable right, but all three branches of the government have decided otherwise (the Court affirmed the principle promptly after the Act’s passage). As a remedial measure to a worse systemic infringement of rights (Jim Crow was the law, and “white” businesses weren’t allowed to serve minorities even if they wanted to), the public accommodation mandate, which prohibits any business that serves the public to refuse service to a member of a “protected class,” served a good and noble purpose. As I noted yesterday, I think its purpose has been fulfilled, and that lesser infringement that is still an infringement should be undone.

But, the concept of “protected classes” has gained strength and breadth, instead of ebbing as society’s racism and bigotries softened. The grievance structures carry on, undeterred by their successes, and reinforce this idea that some people should be protected, and others should not.

The pigs of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in the early days of their liberation, established seven Commandments of Animalism, the seventh of which was:

All Animals Are Equal.

Thus they established the same “equal treatment under the law” that is (supposedly) a cornerstone of our society and our government. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson reminded us that “all men are created equal.” He and many of his era didn’t fully practice what they preached, but the principle was unassailably valid and remains so today.

By the end of Animal Farm, however, the pigs had become fat, wealthy overlords of the other animals, the principles of Animalism had been cast aside, and the seven commandments, which had been painted onto the side of a barn for all to see, had been painted over and replaced with a single one:

All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.

Yes, indeed. We are now deep into the last chapter of Orwell’s prophetic book (it’s supposed to be a warning, not a fucking instruction manual!!), where some members of our society are “more equal” than others. This has been perpetrated (mostly) with noble intent, to countervail the past bigotries and injustices imposed upon them, but, to quote Chief Justice John Roberts:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

And yet, we discriminate more than we ever have before. Just like non-bigoted shop keepers of the Deep South, we find ourselves in a situation where we must recognize identity groups and modify our behavior accordingly, even if we wish to be truly identity-blind. Indeed, asserting that you don’t see race is now considered a racist dog whistle.

How does a society move toward true equality, if it becomes more focused on identity differences and on the notion that some must be protected, everywhere and in perpetuity?

Understanding your ideological counterparts is usually a good idea. So, take a moment and process all that’s implied by those two words “Protected Class.” It explains just about everything.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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