The fearmongers who promote equality legislation and race-monitoring policies love to remind everyone constantly about Jim Crow. "We need this law otherwise the world will revert to Jim Crow!" they cry.
No, it will not.
In England, the best example that may be, and often is, cited is "no blacks, no dogs, no Irish". It is said that if we don't have strict equality legislation we should expect to see these signs going up all across the land. They tell us that without the Equality Act 2010 we would revert to a world in which black people, dogs, and the Irish would not be permitted in pubs, because all the publicans would at once rise en masse to bar them.
No, they would not.
In any case, anyone who understands the landscape of pubs knows that no signs are necessary to bar unwelcome punters, as it's pretty easy to know whether one is welcome in an establishment or not without the need for a sign - and who wants to force their way into an establishment where they are not wanted, when they could simply jog on to the next pub for a warm welcome? In a free country, there is no human right to fit right in to every single existing establishment, and long live liberty.
The good people of Devon understand well the principles of "live, and let live" and "tis what tis".
With that in mind, consider this tale from Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, 1943.
Forget the war, and the great battle that took place at Bamber Bridge, and consider for a moment the pubs.
People did still go to the pub during the war (I know, shocking). This caused a few problems because the US troops were segregated and the Lancashire pubs were not. So the US military police thought: simples, we'll just ask the pubs to segregate. They obviously did not wish to suffer the embarrassment of going down the pub after a hard day's fighting, only to find black troops in there toasting the end of another day.
This illustrates a very important aspect of human nature, in a land where people are free. People simply do not desire to live at the direction of others, and will welcome to their establishment whom they please. There will always be a pub, somewhere, that will buck the trend, and this is a good thing.
"But we can't allow freedom, because what if a publican is racist?" the fearful cry.
Well, it's upsetting to think that somewhere in the kingdom a racist publican might be lurking, waiting to bar people from his pub on grounds of their race, but luckily there are other pubs. There will always be other pubs. Find one near you, and get on with your life.
This is a very important point because those who are determined to expunge racists from society are not the good people they claim to be. They may succeed in purging society of racists, but their definition of a "racist" is amorphous and ever-expanding, and they will take down all our liberties in the process. That would not be a good result.
We cannot have both private property and absolute equality, because common law "castle rights" include the right to exclude. So in the quest for total equality, castle rights would have to go. We would be back to the Military Police telling publicans whom they can or cannot have in their pub, telling homeowners whom they can or cannot welcome to their home. Examine the extension of hate speech legislation in Scotland to private homes, to see how this would work.
Our freedoms will be dismantled in the endless quest for equality, unless we defend them. If we would learn to live with the variety and imperfections of life, we would all live freer and more prosperous and happy lives. Cheers.
Scholar, Writer, Friend