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"But Without the Federal Gov't, We'd Still Have Segregation"

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Willy Truth Posted: Thu, Jan 10 2013 3:22 PM

My Constitutional Law professor used an example today about the case of Cooper v. Aaron (1958)--the infamous case in which Arkansas amended their constitution to oppose desegregation--and how we need the Supremacy clause and our wise and benevolent overlords in Washington to keep our country free from self-perpetuated injustice. This ties into the idea of nullification and why, in my professor's opinion, it is an evil proposition.  

This is a very difficult subject to tackle in a public realm without instantly alienating your average classroom of liberty-ignorant students for being racist or an out-of-touch idealist.

If you wanted to speak up in class--as succinctly and clearly as possible--about how the Supreme Court and all the various Federal Acts thrust upon the states were unnecessary and, in fact, inimical to the cause of race integration and rights-equality in America, how would you go about framing your argument?

 

 

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I'd start by asking which entity created and supported de jure segregation in the first place.

In other words, "Without Gov't, We'd Never Have Had Segregation."

...But that's assuming of course I'd want to start such a debate in a classroom...particularly one in which I was a student.  You really have to pick your battles, and this is not usually the situation in which you want to engage such a battle.  And if you ultimately decide it is, you had better be not only well-prepared, but also well-polished.

You're already at a disadvantage due to the authority differential.  He's at the front of the room.  You're in the audience.  Everyone can plainly see this.  You're an ignoramus, he's the master.  You're paying him to teach you...and you're going to try to argue he's wrong and you're right?  That's an uphill battle...particularly when your main goal is to appeal to an audience of your peers.  And ultimately, that would be only real benefit to engaging such an argument...to educate some of the other students.

What's more, odds are your professor is not only much more knowledgeable than you, but much more smooth in conversing on these topics, and much more comfortable in front of an audience...and not just any audience, an audience of his chronological juniors and academic subordinates that he stands in front of every day, and has been for likely more than a decade.  You on the other hand, are one of those junior subordinates.

These are all large handicaps on your end.  Even if you are right and he is wrong, it is quite likely he will be able to converse in such a way that he appears to have won the debate...and you end up looking the fool.  Noam Chomsky does this all the time.  Especially with college kids who's heads are in the right place, but they simply don't know what they're getting into.  Here's a great example.  The poor kid is on the right track, be he's just simply outgunned.  Lee Doran attempts a critique of the exchange here, but even he falls short.  I'm sure plenty in this forum could offer something much more substantial.  But you get the idea.

Tom Woods has commented on this topic a number of times.  I tend to agree with his sentiments:

Reader Asks: How to Challenge My Professor?

(and related: "I'm in a debate somewhere on the Internet and I need help")

 

As for info on segregation and nullification, obviously Tom is a pretty good authority on that as well:

State Nullification: What Is It?

Nullification: Answering the Objections

The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows

The Hysterics Meet Their Match

 

Videos:

Nullification: Interview with a Zombie

Nullification! | Thomas E. Woods , Jr.

 

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Thanks JJ and Ryan (it is Ryan, isn't it?). The Nullification FAQ page is quite helpful as a quick guide.

I think it's as simple as the fact that the market doesn't discriminate between potential sources of profit. Minorities that find themselves marginalized in a populist democracy will be sought out and accomodated in a freely competitive market. Self-interested businessmen could not prosper in the long run if they discriminated in a way that excluded a sizable portion of the population, both for financial and PR reasons. However, they should have every right to try to do so--otherwise there'd be no "ladies' night"!

But this point is void for purposes of in-class discussion simply because if you mention the word "market" within the same sentence as "self-regulate", professors will immediately recoil in disgust and brand you with a Scarlet Letter.

And don't worry, I'm not going to attempt to make my professor look foolish, that'd be like going into a foreign country and trying to get rid of the "insurgents"...

 

I'm very interested in reading about more of the market eradicating racism or reducing social strife, if you have any more suggestions. Thanks again guys, I've been so busy lately my education has taken a regrettable backseat to my schooling. 

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 10:40 PM

Who's Ryan?

As to markets and discrimination, these might be nice to look at:

http://candlemind.com/projects/progclub/file/michael/getEducated.php?listID=14

Especially

In Greed I Trust by Walter E. Williams

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cab21 replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 12:20 AM

but without world government...

but without solar government...

but without universe government...

on and on and on,

 

we do have private segregation, but the segregation is not by force

not having government is a surefire way to get rid of public segregation by force.

 

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John James replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 12:49 AM

Willy Truth:
However, they should have every right to try to do so--otherwise there'd be no "ladies' night"!

http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/state/man-sues-gun-range-over-ladies-night

http://consumerist.com/2012/08/22/man-sues-firing-range-over-ladies-day-promotion/

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/features/2011/should_ladies_nights_really_be_illegal

 

that'd be like going into a foreign country and trying to get rid of the "insurgents"...

Yeah.  Whoever heard of anything like that?

 

I'm very interested in reading about more of the market eradicating racism or reducing social strife, if you have any more suggestions.

Wasn't government action necessary to halt slavery and racial oppression?

Jim Crow: Government Against Market Forces

Government, slavery, Jim Crow, The New York Times

Fight Bigotry Without Government

Free market, profit incentive eliminate racism

How Market Forces Undermine Racism: Uber Cab Edition

Rosa Parks: Pursuit of Profit vs. Racism

Jim Crow vs. Economic Liberty

A.G. Gaston: From Log Cabin To Funeral Home Mogul

"He goes to the local bank and says, I'm going to take my millions of dollars out of your bank unless you get rid of those segregated water fountains in the lobby."

Jim Crow, Racism, and the Free Market

Milton Friedman on "Equal Pay for Equal Work"

End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (review)

Anti-Semitism and Racism

 

Of course, this is largely a property rights issue...

Whose Right is it, Anyway?

Freedom of Association

The Right to Refuse Service

Free Association Requires State Sanction?

Freedom of Association

 

Thanks again guys, I've been so busy lately my education has taken a regrettable backseat to my schooling.

 
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idol replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 2:06 PM

Willy Truth:

Thanks again guys, I've been so busy lately my education has taken a regrettable backseat to my schooling. 

Lol, I'm an Economics major and I'm looking at my classes like an opportunity to know the opposition arguments inside and out. I just finished Macro and basically the main thing we learned was that Keynesian models show that printing money causes economic booms. No wonder it's such a frequent policy suggestion...

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"If the founders had their way there would still be slaves in the field!"

Thank goodness the judiciary came to the rescue and allowed the government to expand to titanic proportions so that they could free blacks from slavery! Of course, now we're all just a different type of slave...

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