Analysis (Services and Self)

Koan Bremner's view on life as a database and data warehouse professional / addict and non-genetic woman

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

As succinctly as I can put it... in my opinion...

1) Discrimination sucks... period.

2) Anti-discrimination legislation will not stop discrimination... sadly.

3) Supporting anti-discrimination legislation about X does *not* mean that you actively support X; it means that you oppose discrimination... there *is* a difference.

4) Opposing anti-discrimination legislation is effectively the same as supporting discrimination... if you believe in discrimination, admit it.

5) Taking a neutral / non-committal stance on anti-discrimination legislation shows, at best, apathy; at worst, cowardice... which are you?

6) If you oppose X, then campaign against it based on reasoned judgment, rather than trying to legislate prejudice towards X; if you are so afraid of the seductive power of X, that the slightest exposure to X will convert people wholesale and permanently to the cause of X, then a) why is your alternative so relevant; b) assuming that you believe your alternative is better, come up with a better sales pitch... wage a positive campaign.

Bottom line: I can think of pros and cons for just about any issue; but I just cannot see any rational argument against anti-discrimination legislation. I would vote in favour of anti-discrimination legislation on *any* issue, regardless of whether I believe in the issue or not. Because that way, *every* cause, *every* viewpoint, *every* perspective has a chance to be heard, tested and decided on, equally and fairly, on its own merits. And this is an issue where, I believe, if you don't actually *support* anti-discrimination legislation, then you support discrimination; I'm sorry, but I don't think you can abstain on this issue. You are best disingenuous, at least a coward, and at worst a liar (and, arguably, all three) if you abstain.

But this point was made, much more eloquently than I'll ever be capable of, by a priest in the final days of World War Two.

First They Came For The Communists (1945)
by Martin Niemoller (1892 - 1984)

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

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  • At 7:20 pm, Anonymous Mel said…

    I love that poem. It's great. Very meaningful. And a great post as well!


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