Public Nuisances

Discrimination, Good and Bad

August 04, 2011

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Discrimination, Good and Bad

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines the word “discriminate” as a transitive verb meaning “to mark or perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of…to make a distinction…to use good judgment.” It lists synonyms such as “discern,” “distinguish,” and “differentiate.”

The word’s first known English usage was in 1628, derived from the Latin discriminatus, meaning “to distinguish between” things. To “discriminate” is the simple act of telling the difference between items. Within that framework, good discrimination would be to choose what one deems to be the best thing—as in having “discriminating” tastes—while bad discrimination would be to favor something inferior.

That was how the term was popularly understood in the Anglosphere up until the mid-20th century. Afterward, “to discriminate” took on a far more sinister tinge. It meant to favor a white heterosexual male over anyone who wasn’t all three of these things—especially if they were none of them. And in a Kulturkampf that ultimately recast the white heterosexual male as the Progenitor of All Known Human Suffering, it was implied that one could not possibly favor such a person due to them being better at anything, whether the task was lifting rocks or solving quadratic equations—it was solely due to unfair bias in favor of their whiteness, their heterosexuality, and their maleness.

It generally became understood that only white heterosexual males could discriminate—and only for racist, homophobic, and sexist reasons. They had suddenly lost their ability to merely tell the difference between things and then to select the best one.

“Behold these startling instances of recent discrimination lawsuits, all of which were filed or settled over the past ten days.”

We feel that most civil law is an ultimately useless, parasitical industry that bleeds taxpayers and hobbles business owners while it enriches lawyers and crybabies. Unless someone’s actions directly disfigured you, permanently crippled you, or killed your family member, we believe that most lawsuits devised to avenge hurt feelings are a counterproductive drain on the economy that only benefit the greedy and the infantile. If an employer chooses a white heterosexual male over a better-qualified candidate, such shortsighted business practices will ultimately catch up with them. But neither should employers feel compelled to select an inferior candidate for fear of being financially eviscerated due to largely unprovable charges of inner wickedness.

It’s a legitimate fear, and current cultural prejudices lean so strongly toward a presumption of guilt, accusers will often receive hefty cash payouts without ever having to prove anything. As Shakespeare would have said, this is totally fucked-up. In many cases, it has left employers with no other choice but to practice bad discrimination—to choose someone inferior merely to avoid litigation.

Behold these startling instances of recent discrimination lawsuits, all of which were filed or settled over the past ten days.


THE PIGFORD CASE OINKS ONWARD
Originally called Pigford v. Glickman and decided in 1999 as “the largest civil rights settlement in history,” the still-developing case gained exposure again last year when professional race-litigant Shirley Sherrod was revealed as a beneficiary. Several aspects of the case seem dubious, especially when an additional 80,000 alleged black “farmers”—who never farmed a single bean sprout, only to have claimed federal discrimination without having to prove they’d ever actually filed for a farm loan—piled on the money train. Well, more black farmers—both real and imagined—gathered in South Carolina last Saturday to ululate about prejudice and demand their $50K payout.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN GIRL SUES HIGH SCHOOL OVER “WIGGER DAY”
The word “wigger” is a portmanteau of the term “white nigger” (or, if you prefer, “white n****r”) and is almost always used pejoratively to describe a Caucasian who fumblingly adopts black American gangsta styles and street slang. Black comedian David Alan Grier mocked them on his show Chocolate News. Since 2007, Red Wing High School near Minneapolis has hosted an annual “Wednesday Wigger Day” as part of their homecoming celebration. According to the utterly unbiased Black Entertainment Television website, a black female named Quera Pruitt who’d attended the school in 2008 and 2009 claims that exposure to the annual event caused her to suffer “extreme emotional distress including depression, loss of sleep, stress, crying, humiliation, anxiety and shame” for which she’s seeking a minimum of $75,000. Pruitt’s lawyer Joshua Williams told CNN that “Wigger Day” is essentially “the same thing as ‘Nigger Day.’…It’s blackface for the 21st century.” No, you greedy asshole, it’s an event that makes fun exclusively of white people.


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