Personal Preference or Illegal Discrimination?

All people of conscience can agree that legally discriminating against someone based on their skin color is morally wrong — that’s why it’s against the law. But what about private discrimination? For example, does a 501(c)(3) have a right to distribute private donations based on race? Scott Ott has the details. 

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Paul Skidmore
May 4, 2024 4:15 PM

I definitely agree with Bill that affirmative action is wrong and people should be able to give private dollars to the United Negro College fund. But what about if someone started a United Caucasian college fund? How long do you think that would last? Or a United blond haired, blue eyed, left handed women’s college fund? Real freedom is a precious and scary thing to possess and be responsible with but I love the idea.

Susan Marcell
May 4, 2024 9:23 AM

Doesn’t Robert Heinlein have the greatest ideas that never grow stale after all thesr years?

May 3, 2024 6:56 PM

I’m of two minds on this one. I don’t want anyone to be discriminated against, we’re all God’s children and we all bleed red. I don’t like to be discriminated against so I don’t discriminate against others. I don’t do this because that makes me some sort of good person. I do it out of pure self interest. If I don’t give anyone reason to discriminate against me then they’re wrong if they do. I also don’t think anyone should be forced to associate with anyone else by the law. This is a good example for why a hard and… Read more »

David B
May 3, 2024 10:09 AM

Scott, don’t go over-burdening our Congress with too much stuff. They’re currently business establishing a “dog-lovers committee” to condemn Noam for shooting a dog that would’t hunt. Don’t have time for “equal treatment under the law.”
Also, I don’t take tax breaks for any charitable donation. That makes MY donation a public donation – by force, whether they like it or not.

Last edited 16 days ago by David Bushlow
Reply to  David B
May 3, 2024 6:58 PM

Good points.

Paul Drallos
May 3, 2024 9:29 AM

Scott misrepresents the legal aspects of the situation when he compares race-based programs to those that might support Italian-Americans or veterans because it is race-based discrimination that is specifically against the referenced law. Meanwhile, the argument that black females are getting a “tiny fraction of the startup money,” depends on the percentage of black females who are applying for startup money. For example, what is the fraction of startup money going to Greek women or female veterans or dwarf women? Any specified group is going to be a fraction of the whole, so that argument fails. And how long would a… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Paul Drallos
Reply to  Paul Drallos
May 3, 2024 7:03 PM

More good points. It might be more useful to look at the percentage of black females that apply for and are denied startup money than those who as a percentage of the population get it. Then compare that percentage of denials of funds to other groups to get a better picture of the actual situation. If black females are being denied startup money at the same rate and for the same reasons as Greek or Italian females then they have no complaint. That said, I have no problem if someone wants to invest his money in startup capital for black… Read more »

Sandra Van Heest
May 3, 2024 9:00 AM

A case could be made for redefining your criteria for donations. For example, instead of saying I want to support black women-owned businesses, define it as saying I want to help business start-ups for people who are underserved.

Karl Schweitzer
May 2, 2024 9:44 PM

I would guess the wording of the 1866 law is for commercial transactions and sales of goods and services. The motel (which now is more likely to be Blacks Only because they don’t want whites and not the whites wanting no blacks near them) , or as the cake shop tried to argue, the cupcake on the counter is sold to anyone, the custom cake artwork is not. I would consider grants, investments, and the like to be more like artwork or under the freedom of association more than speech.

Keith Jackson
May 2, 2024 9:10 PM

Agree with Milton Freeman to a large degree. Don’t agree that this lawsuit is beneficial to anyone.

Ron Swansons Alter Ego
May 2, 2024 5:20 PM

What a great topic. thanks, Scott.

Liberty should be universal. Free to put your private money wherever you want. that is the way it should be.

As always, appreciate the RH reference.