February 28th, 2014

Jim Crow—not

The constant comparisons of Arizona’s now-defunct effort (SB 1062) to protect the religious rights of vendors to refuse to be part of gay marriage ceremonies to southern Jim Crow laws requiring de jure discrimination against blacks represent a tower of ignorance and exploitation.

Ignorance of history is always a good bet these days, and can be exploited by unscrupulous propagandists (is that an oxymoron?). Their goal is to equate the struggle for gay rights to the older struggle for equal rights for African-American people. Whether or not that parallel is correct, there is absolutely no parallel between the Arizona law and Jim Crow laws of the antebellum South.

Jonah Goldberg sums it up nicely:

The ridiculous invocations of Jim Crow are utterly ahistorical, by the way. Jim Crow was state-enforced, and businesses that wanted to serve blacks could be prosecuted. Let the market work and the same social forces that have made homosexuality mainstream will make refusing service to gays a horrible business decision — particularly in the wedding industry!

Throwing words like “Jim Crow” around with no knowledge of their meaning except that they mean BAD!!! would never be effective if people were not historically illiterate as well as lacking in the ability to think logically. But that’s what it’s come to, and that’s no accident either.

The use of the Jim Crow analogy has become so widespread that I was shocked to see it misused by conservative writer Ben Domenech in an article he wrote for The Federalist. Although it appears he’s mocking the exaggerations by the law’s critics, his article reads as though he also might not understand why the term is completely inappropriate in the first place:

Let’s get a few things straight. Jim Crow for gays was not prevented by Jan Brewer’s veto of their religious liberty bill last night. Indeed, most Arizona businesses – like most businesses across the country – are free under the law to discriminate according to sexual orientation or anything of the kind. …

The reality is that discrimination on the basis of sex in public accommodation and in numerous other ways is for the most part totally legal at the state level. Yes, this crazy Jim Crow reality that has been fearmongered to death is already the law in most states. Most people think it’s illegal, but it isn’t – last night I heard a sports radio host describing America as a place where “no one has any right to deny anyone any service any time for any reason”, which is pretty much the opposite of freedom of association. But while it is legal, it rarely comes up – because it is so infrequently an issue!

To clarify: “Jim Crow for gays” was never an issue in the Arizona law one way or the other, and not just because people are free to associate or disassociate with gay people even without it. “Jim Crow for gays” would be a law that ended freedom of association rather than protecting it, a law that mandated separation, a law that prevented heterosexuals from serving gay people (at weddings or otherwise) rather than protecting their right to decide not to if it violated their religious beliefs. The fact that many states allow certain kinds of “discrimination on the basis of sex” (or rather, on the basis of sexual orientation, which is what I believe Domenech actually means) is not a “crazy Jim Crow reality,” either, whether you agree with those laws or not. Prescribing disassociation would be.

Jim Crow laws did not protect freedom of association, nor did miscegenation laws in the states where they were passed. Au contraire.

18 Responses to “Jim Crow—not”

  1. T Says:

    and “Jim Crow” laws were the spawn of the Democrat legislatures of Southern states.

    This can not be repeated often enough.

  2. DNW Says:

    Freedom of, even private association, in the sense of the freedom to freely chose certain associates (the implication being that one may freely disassociate from others) is not a principle that the left ever has, or ever intended to tolerate. No more than the left has ever seen freedom of political speech as anything more than an instrument to be conveniently disposed of when it has served its purpose in undermining the very system that enshrined it as a principle.

    No one knowing anything about Marxist theory, the theory of human reality that forms at least the “intellectual basis” for the modern progressive movement, would come to any other conclusion.

    “Liberalism” as it currently exists, is clearly totalitarian; and I find that very few modern liberals even care to deny it. Since it has become obvious even to them, that that is the kind of system they actually prefer.

    Ask your “liberal” associates if there is any matter in the world – apart from non-reproductive sex – that they do not wish to regulate, have a directive say over, or command.

    How many can you think of?

  3. Ray Says:

    To me this is a matter of being forced to work for somebody. The Federal courts have usually ruled that you can’t be forced to work for somebody or penalized for not working for somebody. It is well established legal principle that laws may not coerce performance of service by penalizing non-performance.

  4. Charles Says:

    Far too often those who cry “Jim Crow” or “Civil Rights Struggle” or make “Slavery” analogies are, in my opinion, not much different from those who invoke Nazi analogies whenever they disagree with someone online.

    So we have the Godwin’s law for Nazi analogies, what should we call these other false analogies?

    It might be helpful to have a shorthand to save us all some time from swatting at these little gnats.

    Any suggestions?

  5. neo-neocon Says:


    Good point.

    Of course, those Democrats were really Republicans :-) .

  6. blert Says:

    Also forgotten:

    Woodrow Wilson brought Jim Crow to Washington DC!

    That’s something even Grover Cleveland didn’t do.

    And, he was quick about it. Colored fountains and rest rooms erupted all oven the Capital as fast as humanly possible.

    The Progressive Movement began inside the Republican Party — and Teddy Roosevelt was considered the first progressive president.

    Wilson, and his minority Democrat Party, came to power when the Republicans — by far the dominant party — massively split between Roosevelt and Taft — because of the former’s progressive politics.

    And, lest we forget, Teddy hailed from Massachusetts, Boston, in fact.

    Today that state is still a bastion of Progressives — who’ve moved wholesale into the Democrat Party. This shift occurred generations ago. It’s remarkable, none the less.

    It took further generations for Blacks to embrace the party of slavery. I have yet to find a SINGLE modern Black voter who associates the Confederacy, Jim Crow, or the KKK with the Democrat Party. Quite the reverse connection is made.

    This astounding inversion must give hope to Islamic propagandists that they can swap the victims with the tyrant. WWII entirely re-written to pervert truth and history.

    [ Look at the whoppers still radiating from Stalinist tales of the "Great Patriotic War." Itself total newspeak. Stalin fought it entirely for his own person. NPD blended with psycho.]

    Any attempt to explain the Democrat Party’s role and history is met by a fair amount of doublethink and stare. It just does not compute. It’s too far off their reality track.

    I run into the same staggered disbelief when I bring up the Republican birth of Progressivism – - circa 1890s. I usually get shouted down. Most modern voters assume that the movement was initiated by FDR.

    Essentially NO ONE knows that FDR ran against Hoover on the platform of NOT spending the nation into penury!

    No one remembers that FDR’s first hundred-days were a TOTAL reversal of his campaign pledges!

    Like Barry, he just ran over the Republicans with his majority. FDR assumed that the Democrat’s day in the sun could well be over by 1934′s election.

    Barry’s big pen and big phone should always be benchmarked against FDR’s antics. Certainly, that’s how he sees himself.

  7. T Says:


    Bu thank God for a 24/7 news sycle and the ‘Net. Barry can’t get away wiith it in precisely the same way as FDR because someon’e always watching. Yes we have a supine media, but we also have more factual sources (the Net) available to more people than ever before.

    That’s why it’s important to constantly call out the dis-loyal opposition. George Wallace, Democrat stood in a school door to bar admission to blacks; Sheriff Bull Connor, Democrat and member of the DNC turned firehoses and sicced dogs on civil rights marchers; Lester Maddox, Democrat and governor of Gerogia, refused to permit blacks to sit at his lunch counter, etc. Tell them not to take your word for it, the truth is only a few clicks away; they should look it up.

    Don’t ever let the public forget that while all Democrats weren’t pro-slavery, virtually all slavery and segregation proponents were Democrats.

    Likewise see Day By Day for 2/28/14:


  8. Ymarsakar Says:


    Look at the map below.

    Jim Crow was a Republican thing? You see those 90+% districts?

    The lesson from Jim Crow is that Democrats won’t give up their slaves. The lesson from feminism, homosexual pleasure cult, and other Leftist and Democrat operations is that they won’t give up their slaves until something forces them to.

    The Civil Rights of 1960s is a least favored resolution because the entire Southern Democrat fiefdom refused to compromise or enforce their own order. So it was enforced from outside. Those that don’t like that, should think about convincing the locals that their lords and masters are evil first. The locals won’t obey or enforce the good, until told to. And at the time, their Democrat slave plantation masters weren’t telling the KKK “be nice to blacks and Republicans”.

    Democrats refused to fix slavery or reform it. The chaos that resulted was used to blame scapegoats like Northerners, in order to implement Jim Crow. Jim Crow is then used as the reason why the Leftist alliance should be allowed to do what they want to patriots.

    The Northern Democrats were covering for their buddies. As usual.

    After having used KKK death squads to lynch blacks and recover their political power (see map above), they now blame Jim Crow’s penalties on us? You know what people call that.

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    Any Democrat that wanted to help the South recover from the ravages of white planter secession using Northern money, was destroyed the way they destroyed Sarah Palin and various IRS/DHS/SWAT targets. Destroyed.

    Any Democrat that talked about de segregation, allowing whites to treat blacks as equal in the SOuth, or promoted the concept that blacks weren’t DNA and Margaret Sanger wise inferior to the rest, were destroyed.

    That’s how they maintained the monopoly. Much as the Left hates Hitler because he betrayed their beloved Stalin, the Left hates All of You Southerners for how your ancestors betrayed the Democrat founding member of the LA.

  10. Cornhead Says:

    Libs just say it is and it becomes true.

  11. Doom Says:

    I am beginning to believe that segregation and Jim Crow laws are in order. The opposite has yielded only negative results, while JC laws seemed to keep a better balance with fewer rapes of justice, literally and figuratively. So… JC laws for homosexuality? All good, if I think that law failed to come anywhere close to that.

    Judges and politicians better start ignoring lying polls and listening to the people, but justice will not be ignored and if the state doesn’t fix it, people will.

  12. Beverly Says:

    Well, not gonna refight the War Between the States again. Wow.

    BUT: thanks, Neo, for bringing up Freedom of Association! I keep muttering that when I hear this stuff discussed: another freedom being bundled into the trash can. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Association….

    And as Rush and others have pointed out, the gay lobby is Bullying the Christians into enforced compliance.

    I think those who want homosexuals to be accepted into the mainstream should remember the old saw that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. But their goal isn’t to persuade, it’s to destroy. Yes, destroy.

    The Left is all about breaking your will to resist, breaking your spirit, breaking your heart.

  13. Doom Says:


    I don’t think a civil war is necessary, just a bit of civil action. There really aren’t many of them, if they happen to be in places of power, that power is given by consent and has been allowed, up to this point.

    It’s along the notion that, while they certainly can outlaw gravity, that doesn’t mean much in the real world.

  14. rickl Says:

    Doom Says:
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I am beginning to believe that segregation and Jim Crow laws are in order.

    I think you’re half right.

    In a representative republic, government is supposed to serve all of the people, not just a subset. We are all supposed to equal under the law. Therefore, the Jim Crow laws which mandated segregation were wrong, and deserved to be overturned.

    But the anti-discrimination laws in the Civil Rights era went too far when they banned private discrimination. A business is private property, after all. Shouldn’t the property owner have a say in what he permits on his property? The anti-discrimination laws were an assault on private property rights. There were some who pointed that out at the time, and they were tarred as racist by the media, lumped in with the ardent segregationists.

    Ayn Rand wrote, “Freedom of association includes the freedom not to associate.”

    She also wrote, “Racism is the lowest, most primitive form of collectivism.”

    Under Jim Crow, nobody was free to operate as they pleased. Those laws affected both whites and blacks. A white restaurant owner in 1930s Mississippi who chose to serve blacks would have been in a world of trouble. He’d be lucky if his business didn’t get torched.

    In a free society, the marketplace would decide. If I, a white man, opened a restaurant and announced that I would not serve black people, a competitor could open a restaurant down the street. He could announce that he was willing to serve everybody, and he would not only get the black customers that I spurned, he would likely get some white customers who disapproved of my bigotry. He could very well end up putting me out of business. In a competitive environment, it’s usually not a wise business decision to voluntarily forego sources of revenue.

    So, if my ideas were implemented, does this mean there would be resegregation? Yes it would. There would be neighborhoods, apartment buildings, and restaurants that would be white-only or black-only. But there would also be others that were mixed. Each individual, both owner and customer, would be free to choose with whom they wanted to associate and do business. No one would be coerced one way or the other, and that is a huge distinction.

    As I said earlier, the anti-discrimination laws as written were a violation of private property rights, and they opened a Pandora’s Box of further government infringement, such as laws banning smoking in bars and restaurants. Today there are no limits to what government can mandate or regulate.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    There were some who pointed that out at the time, and they were tarred as racist by the media, lumped in with the ardent segregationists.

    The media was on the side of the whites or at least not MLK or Malcom X.

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    Yes it would. There would be neighborhoods, apartment buildings, and restaurants that would be white-only or black-only.

    We already have those. We call them Democrat white communities like Marin or DC’s upper political offices.

  17. Doom Says:


    Fair enough. I’d abide that, save I think the thing has to burn back to the ground and be rebuilt, starting from the start, allowing for restructuring once, and only once, certain things have been clarified and set in stone.

    I don’t think a have measure would either be allowed, or would be of any use. Start from the start, on this. Sad though, blacks were making honest progress, in many ways, until “civil rights” movements destroyed the actual gains. Oh well.

    Back of the bus, bub.

  18. Zachriel Says:

    rickl: But the anti-discrimination laws in the Civil Rights era went too far when they banned private discrimination. A business is private property, after all.

    “Lassie can stay at the Waldorf but Negroes can’t.”

    The end of discrimination in public accommodation is considered one of the most important results of the civil rights movement.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge