Now, it’s the right’s turn
THOSE of us with views differing from the middle- to hard-left’s are rarely represented in education or mainstream media in America today. Why? Because people who make hiring decisions in those fields are themselves, generally speaking, left-wing Democrats, who, consciously or not, hire like-minded people. Under the law, they have no obligation to do otherwise. And why is that? Because an American is not protected by federal equal employment opportunity laws for their political affiliation, philosophy or party membership. But, for race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, we are protected, in almost every case, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and others.
Obviously, a Republican can be fired just for being a Republican, expressing G.O.P. views, or even donating to a conservative cause. In America, anything short of advocating political violence cannot be proscribed by law, so no government in this country can arrest, try or punish an American for “wearing a MAGA hat”, or a Che Guevara t-shirt. But your employer can terminate you, a company can refuse to hire you, and a college can decline to grant you ‘tenure’ if your political views differ with the prevailing ‘group-think ‘at your work place, or somebody there thinks your views may be ‘awkward’ for other employees or customers.
For practical purposes, this means that since the professional, ideological left controls most of the traditional media (print, film, news, books & broadcast) and is dominant in the major technology and social media (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple) firms, the conservative message can be, and has been, silenced, suppressed and forced out, routinely and nearly universally, for decades. That, in turn, means that large segments of the American population may never be exposed to conservative ideas, to certain facts of our history, or to concepts and theories that are at variance with those held in newsrooms and faculty lounges across the country. If they do hear, for example, advocacy for the Second Amendment, many will already be indoctrinated against the idea of private firearms ownership and will not understand the history of abusive, tryannical governments. They will have heard, in school and on the news, only one point of view and one set of supporting material, with contrary outlooks and even facts pre-labeled as “extremist”, “insane” or worse.
Generally intended to protect immutable personal characteristics, The Equal Employment Opportunity act establishes “protected classes”, but never specifies a particular race, disability or anything else that is protected…it’s just that there can’t be a virtual ‘sign’ that says, “Yer kind ain’t welcome here, so git.” It doesn’t matter who ‘yer kind’ is, either. A Korean-owned restaurant at West 8th St. and South Ardmore Avenue in L.A. cannot refuse to hire a Japanese waiter just because he’s, well, you know, Japanese; likewise, that Japanese guy’s parents’ tax preparation office can’t refuse to hire a new CPA who lives at Irolo St. and James M. Wood Blvd., because that’s in…ewwww! Korea town. Reasonable exceptions exist though. An airline cannot be forced to hire a blind pilot and a yoga studio doesn’t have to hire somebody who’s simply too old to hold the one-legged side plank for 20 seconds.
But a restaurateur (a public accommodation) in Lexington, VA shooed Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of her joint just because Mrs. Sanders is a Republican, and she works for President Trump. WJLA-TV 7, Washington, DC, fired Doug McKelway because he reported corporate campaign contribution facts that weren’t flattering to then-President Obama. (Was that “editorial” or “political” judgment? Or both? But…I digress.) Because nothing, and virtually nobody, protects conservatives in the workplace, a math department at a university can hire only vocally left-wing professors (despite the fact that the calculus or trigonometry have no political context or application) and the physics department can do the same thing and break no law. A state school may have a more elaborate process for suppressing (read: eliminating) the “disruptive”, but they don’t run afoul of the G-men, either.
I know an historian who, for over 25 years has been a “visiting” professor* at a major, internationally-known American university. His doctoral dissertation wasn’t sufficiently focused on America’s racial sins, and he didn’t go along with a highly controversial, racially-motivated, political stunt there over a decade ago that chewed up and spat out the defining American concept of the presumption of innocence. Although a highly popular Civil War expert, he was punished by having his class load reduced, (a major financial penalty) and never getting tenure. Never mind fair; is it right?
We’re Americans, so fairness flows through our veins and seems to define our nature. Clearly, the left’s and right’s definition of ‘fair’ is diverging lately, but it was our American sense of fair play that inspired and established the Civil Rights Act and other legislation establishing the rights of Americans to live, learn, work and trade based only on the merits in the first place. Which is why I believe it’s time to add an additional category of protected class to those which already provide Americans protection against unreasonable discrimination in hiring, housing, public accommodation and education: Political ideology, opinion and party affiliation.
More on this coming soon.
*That’s one heck of a visit, isn’t it?