Thursday, August 1, 2013

San Antonio's Discriminatory Anti-Discrimination Bill

The city council of San Antonio is considering, and will likely pass, a new city ordinance that revises the city's policies in regards to discrimination and "affirmative action".

City Council adopts a consolidated Non-Discrimination Policy, which expands protections and revises outdated terminology, to be included in Chapter 2, Administration, and establishes Article X which shall be entitled Non-Discrimination Policies as follows:

Discrimination should be avoided, discouraged, and thwarted. As a general rule, discrimination based upon certain demographic descriptors can curb or hinder prosperity. They keep the best people from doing the jobs that need to be done. They are, in short, counter-productive.

Discriminatory demographic descriptor and their use to categorize and limit people serves as an unnecessary, unethical, and immoral obstacle. The fact we need anti-discrimination laws in the first place is a poor commentary on US culture. These policies infringe upon the individual natural rights we, as Americans, hold sacred (and "self-evident").

However, the proposed ordinance is self-contradictory. First, it seeks to ascribe labels onto individuals, lumping them into collectives. The collectivist nature of the ordinance seems to indicate that special collectives require special protections and special rights. It is a form of stereotyping, which is a form of discrimination. However, the propensity for further segmentation and discrimination doesn't end with that.

While the language appears innocuous at first, an examination finds it may be anything but.

For example, Section 2-550(b):

A religious corporation, association, society or educational institution or an educational organization operated, supervised or controlled in whole or in substantial part by a religious corporation, association or society do es not violate the non-discrimination policy by limiting  employment or giving a preference in employment to members of the same religion.

At first glance, it seems to make sense. It would make it illegal for a parochial school to not hire a teacher just because he or she is of a different religious sect. However, Texas's "Right to Work" and "At Will" laws preempt this wording. Say a Christian parochial school hires a Jewish teacher. Say that Jewish teacher regularly speaks against the Christian belief that Yeshua was the messiah. Should the school rightfully dismiss the teacher as "not a good ideological fit to the team", under this ordinance, the school could be charged.

Of course, the smart thing would be for the teacher to not discuss personal religious views in the first place.

Another portion of the proposed ordinance gives pause to scrutiny. Section 2-552(b) itself allows the City Council to use discrimination in order to disapprove nominees or fire appointees.

Prior Discriminatory Acts.
No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability

First, "veteran status" falls under federal jurisdiction. By federal law, hiring preference can be given against anybody with a less than honorable discharge from the military. That is a "veteran status". The wording may appear, to the uninformed, to keep businesses from discriminating against veterans, particularly veterans of wars with which the prospective employer may disagree.The definitions section specifies only "dishonorable" as not protected. an employer, especially one who served in the military, should be allowed to not hire those with "Bad Conduct Discharges", which are above "dishonorable" in the hierarchy.

Beyond the "veteran status" issue is a larger one. This gives the City Council too much power to discriminate against members of religious groups. Though the wording claims it outlaws religious discrimination, it does not. If an Evangelical Christian were to be nominated for appointment, the city council could block that appointment because of his or her religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and transgender/transsexual operations. The "deed" would be regularly showing up to Sunday services.

Senator Ted Cruz had this remark regarding San Antonio's proposed new ordinance:

"Any attempt to bar an individual from public service based on a personal religious conviction is contrary to the liberties guaranteed us under our constitution and should be emphatically opposed. It is encouraging to see so many Texans standing up to defend their religious freedoms in light of the misguided proposal put forth by the local city council." - Sen. Ted Cruz

The irony is that this very clause could be used against Julian Castro. Castro has a strong affiliation with the racist organization "La Raza" ("the race"). His prior affiliations and reverence of his racist mother (a high ranking activist member of La Raza) demonstrate racial preference and bias.

The proposed ordinance also mandates continuing use of "Affirmative Action". Affirmative action has proven to reduce prosperity and increase discriminatory practices. Because of demographic make-up, better qualified people will not be hired because "we have too many" of their particular demographic. The same will happen with promotions. It has been happening all across the country for decades already.

The proposed ordinance judiciously uses the term "national origin". It fails to include the meaning in its definitions section. What the term should mean is that there should be no discrimination based upon where the person was born, as long as they are a US Citizen. It would mean a family owned ethnic restaurant could not prefer people of that ethnicity over another. It also would mean that refusing to hire a US Citizen because that person was naturalized instead of native born is discriminatory. That would mirror federal laws. A US Citizen is a US Citizen.

But the legal definition is left vague in the ordinance. This is most likely to support La Raza and other organizations that promote illegal immigration. The verbiage could be construed to make it illegal to refuse to hire illegals. State and federal laws already preempt this portion of the ordinance on that basis.

Further scrutiny could lead to more and more questions concerning the ordinance. It leaves itself too vague and too restrictive. It needs better detail to some portions while others need to be struck completely.