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In Reply to: RE: On the other hand, posted by rbolaw on April 07, 2015 at 12:25:52
It's not censorship it's discrimination. That makes it wrong. And no, private entities do not have the right to discriminate.
Sure they do, and they do all the time. Have you asked to perform with the San Francisco Symphony? Would asking entitle you to perform with them or would they have the "right" to discriminate about who performs with them? Discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation etc. is just plain wrong, but expressing controversial views is not one of those.
Not hiring me to play with the SFSO isn't discrimination. That is about job qualification. Discrimination is, as you say, based on race, gender, sexual orientation etc. "Etc" includes....political affiliation and beliefs. A great example would be McCarthy and the un-American activities committee and the artists who were black listed for their political affiliations. I don't know about Canada but here in the USA we are actually protected by federal law against political discrimination.
" It also provides that certain personnel actions can not be based on attributes or conduct that do not adversely affect employee performance, such as marital status and political affiliation."
IMO discrimination based on political beliefs is wrong. and again I say shame on the Toronto Symphony for their act of discrimination against Valentina Lisitsa. If the L.A. Phil were to do that they would get quite an earful from me as a a three time subscriber.
Tell that to Lois Lerner and the IRS.
David Duke was a politician. He served as a state representative and ran for several other political offices including POTUS. He's also a white separatist/supremist and an anti-semite. Can a Jewish African-American business owner who discovers an employee is a follower of Duke and has been distributing anti-black/white separatist/anti-semitic pamphlets after work urging people to vote for David Duke fire him/her, or is the biz owner required to employ people who are working towards his societal demise? Would you mail a protest letter to the businessman if he fired that employee?
A Ukranian-American owns a grocery store whose clientele is predominantly fellow Ukranian-Americans who believe Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine amount to disgusting thuggery and a clear violation of international law and their homeland's sovereignty. He - as well as his clientele - discovers his capable night manager has been tweeting exactly what the pianist tweeted. The store's Ukranian-American former clientele now boycott the store and the grocery store is losing so much money it is on the verge of bankruptcy. You would say that grocery store owner is required to continue employing the night manager and if you shopped at that store you'd protest if the store owner fired him?
As you can no doubt surmise I could provide many more similar scenarios. Its yet to be determined if the so-called "religious freedom" acts a number of states have passed will stand.
Of course I realize this pianist doesn't inject her political views into her performances. But artists who have done that and/or expressed certain views outside of their gig paid a price for it. I believe the Smothers Brothers won their case against CBS in the end, but their show was cancelled, and IIRC CBS was not required to re-hire them (though strangely enough, they later did just that). Bill Maher was fired, and IIRC Dan Rather's exit from CBS was, ahh, "mutually agreed" - to mention a few.
It is a tricky issue and supporting the rights of people we don't agree with is, IMO, the true test of our support of civil rights.
" Would you mail a protest letter to the businessman if he fired that employee?"
Gosh I doubt I would mail a protest letter. I can'tr police the world. But I would consider it wrong of that business owner to fire his employee. I don't think civil rights are exclusive to the people that I personally think are "the good guys."
It reminds me of something my dad used to say. "There are two kinds of people in the world, good people and bad people. And the 'good' people decide who is who." I am sure the real meaning of that is not lost on you. Yeah it's complicated. But IMO we keep it simple when we make civil rights universal. If history has taught us anything it has taught us that many people fighting for very righteous causes have been looked at as villains and terrorists by their contemporaries at some point in time. Call me a bleeding heart liberal but I would rather er on the side of defending everyone's civil rights than er on the side of denying anyone their civil rights. I think this is especially true with artists who have often been beacons of light in the midst of civil unrest and political battles.
I think what the Toronto Symphony did was wrong.
Well said. And that's why only government employees are protected from discrimination based on their political beliefs.
Two problems with that, Scott, at least under US law: (1) Ms. Lisitsa is an independent contractor, and not an employee, and so the federal employment discrimination law you cite would not apply to her; (2) Only federal employees or employees of federally-assisted programs are protected from discrimination based on political affiliation.
New York State, and especially New York City, have their own more stringent anti-employment discrimination laws, but few other US jurisdictions do.
Sorry, but if you want private free enterprise with minimum government "interference", you'll have to accept the right of orchestras to refuse to hire Ms. Lisitsa due to her political views. They have that right.
I definitely don't want free enterprise with minimal government involvement. That is the sort of thing that would allow businesses to put back the signs that used to say no coloreds allowed. No thanks. We need government intervention unfortunately to protect civil rights. Shame on the Toronto Symphony.
but more people need to realize that the whole "private enterprise is good, government regulation is bad" crusade is an over-simplistic and even outright bad idea in many contexts, including the arts. And trust me, I have plenty of experience with the efficiency of private enterprise and the inefficiency of government.
I'm glad you haven't been taken in by the crusaders.
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