1997-12-27 - Re: Freedom Forum report on the State of the First Amendment

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From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 15c2407bd7b507beec3866cecc2e698512f9385b133f435e2470ae389328de1e
Message ID: <yBgcie2w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
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UTC Datetime: 1997-12-27 00:53:59 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 08:53:59 +0800

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From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 08:53:59 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Freedom Forum report on the State of the First Amendment
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <yBgcie2w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Bill Stewart <bill.stewart@pobox.com> writes:

> I don't see freedom of association listed anywhere there;
> you might construe it as a "taking" or something, but it'd be a stretch.
> Also, there was a really appalling court case in the 1890s
> (Plessey vs. Ferguson), in which the Supremes ruled that states
> could require segregation with separate but equal accommodations;
> it was somewhat overturned by Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954,
> but the idea that the government can tell you how to run your business
> is long established (after all, we'd need much smaller governments
> if they couldn't be interfering in business.)

When the southern states passes laws in late 19th/early 20th century
mandating separate accommodations for blacks (the infamous back of the
bus), the businesses running the buses, streetcars, et al were extremely
opposed to this segregation, and were extremely happy to get rid of it
with the feds' help in 1960s. (I can dig up some citations if pressed.)

It's a pity there was no good constitutional challenge at the time -
given the climate, the SC would have probably said that a state can't
order a private business to discriminate or not to discriminate.

> A Denny's restaurant in Maryland had two groups of customers
> show up one day, one group black, one group white, both about 6-8 people,
> both arriving at the same time, both groups out-of-uniform cops.
> The white people got served promptly, the blacks got served
> extremely late and rudely.  And sued, and won.

My recollection was that the folks accusing Denney's of "discrimination"
never won in court and shut up after Denney's made a large "donation" to
Jesse jackson's organization. I could be wrong. Still a "victory" in
court doesn't mean that the incident like the one you described is
statistically significant.

> (I was mainly surprised that the white cops got served fast;
> my experience in Denny's has almost always been slow bad service,
> except for one restaurant in Pennsylvania that hasn't learned
> how to act like a real Denny's :-)

At about that time I was doing a project in Kentucky, and went to
Denny's with a very black friend, and had decent food and service. So?


Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps