By Jon Dougherty @JonDougherty10
(TNS) More than a few pundits have noted over the past few years that as the Democrat Left increasing sees “racism” under every rock, they are essentially creating a meaningless term.
For if everything is ‘racism,’ then nothing is.
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But of course, real racism does exist. And it’s not limited to supporters of President Donald Trump, Republican voters, or conservatives. It’s not limited to white people. It’s not limited to the Deep South or any other Democrat-manufactured stereotype.
And along those lines, lo and behold — as the country remains consumed with COVID-19 and where the next jumbo pack of toilet paper will come from — the U.S. Supreme Court came to a remarkable and unanimous decision this week: Namely, that anyone who brings a charge of “racism” against, say, a company, actually has to prove that racism occurred.
Seems logical, doesn’t it? But we don’t live in a logical world anymore and that’s largely thanks to Left-wing Democrat and media overselling of ‘racism’ and ‘bigotry’ when policies they don’t like are passed by a political party they despise.
As Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner notes:
Those looking for good news these days can find it in a March 23 Supreme Court decision recognizing that sometimes people really do take actions based on factors other than race.
Even better, the court decision was unanimous. Great racial comity may result.
In Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, all nine justices agreed that in a tort lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, the plaintiff must prove that the business decision in question was indeed motivated by — get this — actual racial discrimination. Amazingly, common sense prevails.
Of course, for years, at least in contexts other than tort law, the Supreme Court has been narrowly and often bitterly divided about whether mere racial disparities, even without proof of racial intent, serve as grounds enough to penalize a defendant for racial discrimination. Sometimes the court’s race-related reasoning has been so convoluted that it invites more controversy into more cases, rather than giving a clear, easily applied answer.
That’s what makes the March 23 ruling so significant, along with the fact that all nine justices agreed.
“To see all nine justices agree on a bright-line test for what does and doesn’t amount to unlawful discrimination is to believe legal sanity can return,” Hillyer noted, adding: “What’s especially encouraging is that the justices got it right.”
The case originally was filed by Byron Allen, a black entrepreneur who owns the Entertainment Studios Network. ESN wanted Comcast to carry its various channels, which include Comedy.TV and Pets.TV. But, as the court explained, “Comcast refused, citing lack of demand for ESN’s programming, bandwidth constraints, and its preference for news and sports programming that ESN didn’t offer. … ESN didn’t dispute that, during negotiations, Comcast had offered legitimate business reasons for refusing to carry its channels.”
In sum, the market supported other channels more than it supported ESN. Nonetheless, ESN sued, alleging that Comcast’s refusal to carry its channels unfairly disfavored African American-owned media companies.
A district court sided with Comcast, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in favor of ESN. The Supreme Court, though, said the district court, not the Ninth Circuit, was correct and ruled in favor of Comcast.
The court’s reasoning was simple and clear. It said that for a plaintiff to win a tort due to racial discrimination, it must show it probably would have received the contract or benefit, or not suffered the alleged injury, “but for” (meaning “except for”) the defendant’s allegedly unlawful conduct.
In short, if the plaintiff’s race led to an adverse decision against him, then yeah, he’s got a case. But if legitimate, non-racial factors actually led to the decision, then no, there is no ‘racism’ case.
In other words, simply screaming “racism!” at the top of your lungs every time something doesn’t go your way doesn’t not a racism case make; the high court ruled without question that no, not everything is racism and that yes, sometimes racism does occur.
It was a rational decision at time when rationality so often abandons our dissent and dialogue.
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