Local Restauranteur Stands up to Local Idiot Politician Stacey Campfield

Two days ago a local restaurant, the Bistro at the Bijou, manager Martha Boggs denied service to Stacey Campfield, Knox County’s representative to the state senate. Boggs was disgusted over Campfield’s homophobic behavior.

What kind of behavior? He’s trying to pass “Don’t Say Gay legislation” that would prevent schools from discussing homosexuality in the classroom. He’s also vocal in the media advocating the discredited theory that AIDS started when a gay man had sex with a monkey in Africa. He also tries to makes light of bullying of gay children in schools. This a few weeks after a gay kid who was bullied committed suicide in Campfield’s home state of Tennessee.

Some local bloggers that I’m often in agreement with – Linoge and Rich Hailey – have a difference of opinion with Boggs. Basically, they feel that intolerance is intolerance and Boggs is no better than Campfield. I disagree.

Campfield’s intolerance is towards an entire group of people – homosexuals. There’s a word for that kind of intolerance. It’s called prejudice or bigotry.

Boggs wasn’t intolerant of Campfield because he just happened to belong to a group she was bigoted against. She was intolerant of the individual behavior of state legislator Stacey Campfield himself because of his bigoted, intolerant, ignorant behavior.

Since there seems to be some confusion, here’s how it breaks down:

  • It would have been wrong (and illegal) for the Bistro to put up a sign that said “No Blacks Allowed.”
  • If Campfield had been black it would have been wrong (and illegal) for Boggs to throw him out for having black skin.
  • If Campfield had been black it would still have been A-OK for Boggs to throw him out for being a bigoted idiot. She’s free to refuse service to anyone. She just can’t do it on the basis of race, religion, or nationality. Thankfully, bigoted morons aren’t a protected class.

Campfield is a bigot and a national embarrassment to the people of Knox County. Boggs stood up to a bigot. Good for her. Bigots should be shunned. I liked her restaurant on Facebook. I plan on eating there the next time I’m downtown.

Others of course may feel otherwise and choose not to eat there. (In which case, they’re discriminating against the restaurant. See what I did there? Discriminating is not the nuclear bomb dirty word Rich and Linoge make it out to be. What matters is the reason for the discrimination.)

So far people seem to be supporting Boggs and the Bistro. Their Facebook likes have jumped from 600 to over 8000 in just two days.

18 Responses to Local Restauranteur Stands up to Local Idiot Politician Stacey Campfield

  1. Pingback: Blogger Les Jones: ‘Local Restauranteur Stands up to Local Idiot Politician Stacey Campfield’ | No Silence Here

  2. Rich Hailey says:

    Les, I’m still waiting for you to address my point, that the whole notion of a “protected class” violates the principle of “equal treatment under the law.”

    If an action, bullying, discrimination, assault, whatever, is wrong, then it is wrong regardless of the target.

    Do you disagree?

  3. Les Jones says:

    In the case of anti-discrimination laws protecting people on the basis of race, religion, and nationality, I disagree. Historically, there was discrimination based on those factors.

    More to the point, the law itself itself institutionalized discrimination based on things like race. Jim Crow laws were real. Anti-discrimination laws were necessary to make undo the damage done by many decades of bad law.

    You haven’t addressed my point. Campfield wasn’t thrown out because of a group he belonged to. He was thrown out because Boggs didn’t like him personally. What part of refusing service to individuals a business owner don’t personally like do you think should be made illegal?

  4. Rich Hailey says:

    So, you agree that some groups do deserve more protection under the law then others, which means that you must agree that other groups deserve less protection under the law. Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and nationality are bad, but based on gender, age, political affiliation, these are all okay because they aren’t specifically protected.

    That’s not the rule of law; that’s institutionalized prejudice. We protect the groups we like and to hell with the groups we don’t like.

    And I have addressed your point. If Boggs disliked Campfield personally, and threw him out based solely on that, then her screaming at him for being a “f&^*ing homophobe, and saying that “they” weren’t welcome in her business wouldn’t have happened. Additionally, I pointed out that the legislation she specifically objected to was not written, sponsored or cosponsored by Campfield, indicating that her objection was based not on his actions, but his beliefs as shared by other conservative legislators who acted on similar beliefs. I also pointed out that Campfield is Catholic, and as such, his opinions on homosexuality are formed by and conform to Catholicism, giving his beliefs the “protection” of religious freedom. Lissa pointed out exactly where his opinions are rooted in the Bible. As you said, the country is not run by a religion, but as you also pointed out, discrimination based on religion is illegal.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    So yes, I did answer your point, and you are mistaken. Despite Boggs’ protests this morning on the radio, she threw Campfield out because of a body of beliefs shared by him and others of his religious denomination, not because she didn’t like him personally.

    And that means your question is based on a false premise.

    However, in a more general sense, I agree with Linoge. A business owner should have the right to refuse service to any customer for any reason.

    Period.

    Or they should not be allowed to refuse service to anybody unless the customer is breaking some law.

    Just so long as all people, regardless of group or special interest, are treated equally under the law.

  5. Les Jones says:

    “So, you agree that some groups do deserve more protection under the law then others, which means that you must agree that other groups deserve less protection under the law. Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and nationality are bad, but based on gender, age, political affiliation, these are all okay because they aren’t specifically protected.”

    Straw man argument. I never said that.

    Though I would say that one of those things – political affiliation – is not like the other.

    “Despite Boggs’ protests this morning on the radio, she threw Campfield out because of a body of beliefs shared by him and others of his religious denomination, not because she didn’t like him personally.”

    No on gets a pass by saying “that’s my religion.” He wasn’t thrown out for being Catholic. He was thrown out for being an ignorant, bigoted hatemonger. Also, I’m pretty sure Campfield’s belief that AIDS was caused by a guy screwing a monkey isn’t something he read in the Bible.

    Likewise, if his beliefs are religiously based, I don’t want him pushing them in the public schools the way he is with my tax dollars. Separation of church and state and all.

  6. Linoge says:

    Discriminating is not the nuclear bomb dirty word Rich and Linoge make it out to be.

    Not to be too snarky, but you obviously did not read my post in its entirety, given I explicitly stated: “Second, I believe that corporations / companies / businesses / etc. should be able to do, and not do, business with whomever and whatever they so choose. Yes, that means I would be comfortable with businesses discriminating against blacks, homosexuals, Irish, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, open carriers, etc. etc. etc. And? We, as individual people, discriminate for or against other people all the time, and not only would it be unconstitutional for someone to force us to do otherwise (can anyone say “freedom of association”?), but it would simply be wrong.”

    Personally, I find the entire notion of a “protected class” to be disgusting on the level of “some animals are more equal than others”, and to be disdained for the same reason. Moving farther afield, if one cannot stand up for the individual, one can never honestly claim to stand up for a “class”, “group”, or “conglomeration”, and, as such, discrimination against an individual is no better or worse than discrimination against a group, aside from a matter of scale.

    Just to reiterate, since I did not seem to harp on the point enough in my post, I have no problems with what Boggs did – I simply refuse to condone or support it… coincidentally, I also refuse to condone or support most of Campfield’s actions, for rather the same reason. Is that discrimination? You betcha. And? It is also tolerance, given that I am not trying to force anyone to change their minds or actions according to my will, which is more than can be said for either of them.

    Whoops! But “discrimination” and “tolerance” cannot peaceably co-exist! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!

    *sigh*

  7. Les Jones says:

    The protected classes didn’t get that way be accident. Historically they suffered from discrimination that was a wee bit more serious than not getting to eat in their favorite restaurant.

    * During WWII Japanese-Americans were interned. They lost their possessions, their freedoms, and in some cases their lives because of their nationalities.
    * Blacks were denied the right to vote throughout the South and suffered other forms of legally-institutionalized discrimination and segregation until the Voting Rights Act of 1964.
    * In many areas of the North leases and deeds came with covenants specifying that property wouldn’t be leased or deeded to Jews.

    The protected classes were created to remedy those kinds of discrimination. Discrimination which didn’t just exist, but which was institutionally created by the law itself.

  8. Linoge says:

    I am a bit disappointed in you, Les,

    You have two sets of people. A – the set of people who were specifically victimized by the state or by individuals operating under the color of discriminatory laws. B – the set of people who currently enjoy “protected class” status.

    Are the sets A and B exactly identical?

    Why not?

    And, if not, how is that not a “some animals are more equal than others” situation?

  9. Les Jones says:

    Linoge: You and I are protected by a Bill of Rights. Those rights were enumerated by the Founders based on examples of individuals whose rights were violated by government. Even though you and I weren’t one of the people whose rights were originally violated, we’re protected against future violations. Do you think that’s wrong.

    Do you think it’s OK for people to be discriminated against based solely on their race, religion, or national origin? And note that discrimination against those things includes discrimination against white anglo-saxon protestant dudes like you and me, so don’t feel left out.

    Based on your blog post you do. Tell that to the Jews in Arab countries in the Middle East. It won’t take you long. It most cases the Jewish population that remains is in the double digits or even single digits. How does your system protect against extreme, eliminationist prejudice against an ethnic minority?

    You could take the high road and argue for expanded protection. In some cases I might agree with you. (Though not for political affiliation, I’m afraid. I want the option to discriminate against Nazis, to name an obvious example.) I can certainly agree that the quota systems we see in place in hiring and college admissions is wrong-headed and amounts to reverse discrimination.

    But laws against outright discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin? Sorry, but you’ve failed to make a case against them.

  10. Rich Hailey says:

    Les, you may not have said it as baldly as I did, but it is inherent in your argument. If a protected group has more rights under the law than another group, then that other groups by definition, have fewer rights under the law. And since you support special rights for special groups, no matter how noble the justification, you accept that other groups will have lesser rights.

    It is impossible to support one without supporting the other.

  11. Les Jones says:

    Rich, you’re wrong. The law you says you can’t discriminate on the basis of race (for example). It doesn’t say you can’t discriminate against minorities. Discrimination against white-skinned people is also discrimination.

    Therefore a quota system that says “we must hire X many people of color regardless of qualifications” that unfairly discriminates against white applicants is discriminatory and therefore wrong.

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  13. My reasons for siding with Linoge here are put best by Billy Beck here,discussing Rand Paul’s comments during the 2010 election season.

    The constitution is targeted to restrict government, full stop.

    Campfield made some idiotic statements. But even the word “homophobic” is constructed to marginalize those who simply believe certain behavior is wrong. Doesn’t seem to matter to those who use the label whether or not their targets want to lynch, jail, or bar from the armed services anyone who wears the homosexual label. Just believe certain behavior, and you get verbally excoriated for being politically incorrect. Even in community that prides itself on being politically incorrect. Go figure.

    Hell, I’m sure some of my behavior is at times called wrong by many people. I’m not going to call them bigots for simply disagreeing with me. It’s when they use force — and legislation is force — to make me behave or not behave a certain way (in a Malum Prohibitum sort of way) that I object.

    Rand Paul and Billy Beck are correct. Get the government out of this. The government can regulate itself in regards to discrimination, but I’m surprised to see people I thought were for limited government believe that the government is a force for good. It will not eliminate racism or any other -ism. My right to refuse to hire or otherwise associate with folks of a certain creed trumps any legitimate power of government to force me to do so.

  14. Les Jones says:

    “The constitution is targeted to restrict government, full stop.”

    And other parts of our legal system are targeted at individuals. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about murder, so are you saying there shouldn’t be laws against murder?

    “Just believe certain behavior, and you get verbally excoriated for being politically incorrect.”

    Did you read the blog post above? Campfield didn’t just have some beliefs. As a state legislator he was attempting to make his opinions have the force of law. As a public figure he was actively expressing some pretty hateful beliefs. Hey, if he can’t take the heat he should stay out of the kitchen. Or the restaurant, in this case.

    “It’s when they use force — and legislation is force — to make me behave or not behave a certain way (in a Malum Prohibitum sort of way) that I object.”

    So I guess outlawing murder really is right out in your opinion, huh?

    “My right to refuse to hire or otherwise associate with folks of a certain creed trumps any legitimate power of government to force me to do so.”

    If you don’t want to carpool or split a condo in Destin with Jews on spring break, that’s cool. It’s your vacation.

    On the other hand, if you hang a sign on your restaurant that says “No Jews Allowed” that isn’t cool. Not just because it’s illegal, but because it’s wrong to discriminate against an entire group of people and you can’t have a functioning civil society where wholesale discrimination is allowed. Sort of like you can’t have a functioning civil society where murder is allowed.

    And like I said above, there’s a reason government needed to be part of the solution in the case of things like race discrimination. The reason is they were part of the problem. The government’s law institutionalized racial disparity with things like poll taxes, segregation, and Jim Crow laws. They broke it, they had to fix it.

  15. I don’t think you’ll find any disagreement that murder is Malum in se.

    And I never defended Campfield. Just a kneejerk digression whenever I see “homophobia” as it implies fear or hatred, when outside of the Westboro Baptist nutcases, I really don’t see much of it.

    And, yeah, the gov. was pretty egregious with poll taxes, forced segregation, and Jim Crow laws. But when the pendulum swung, it took a seriously blow against freedom of association (or non-association) among NON-government entities.

    I find racism as disgusting as any ’60s civil rights worker would. But legislating away private freedom of association is no better and doesn’t solve the problem.

  16. Les Jones says:

    I agree that homophobe isn’t a very accurate word.

    The thing about freedom of association is that for something like a restaurant you don’t have the same freedom from regulation you do in your home kitchen. You’re opening your doors to the public and letting anyone walk in the front door.

    When you do that you’re serving the public and opening the doors to some regulation. The government can’t inspect your home kitchen, but once you start operating a restaurant kitchen that serves the public the rules change.

    Look, I’m not welcoming in a bunch of government regulation. But I also don’t want to live in a country where people hang signs on their businesses that say “No Blacks Allowed.”

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