Well folks, I have finally (more or less) completed my travel blog. At least the international part of it. I’ve changed the theme so that it’s much easier to navigate.
Two recent incidents reminded me of the importance of careful analysis, and of not jumping to conclusions.
The first one involved a jury decision that Muslim truck drivers deserve $240,000 for being required to deliver beer as part of their jobs. This case was reported on Amren as well. Commenters, on both the Washington Post and Amren, were quick to point to another case: The case of Masterpiece Cake Shop and its refusal to provide a “same-sex cake” for a homosexual couple. This was also reported on Amren.
Here are some typical comments:
So bakeries that don’t want to bake a cakes because of their Christian and Jewish religious beliefs shouldn’t have to, right Obama? as he praised this decision that Muslims shouldn’t have to transport alcohol because of their religious beliefs.
Lets see, Muslim truck drivers are excused for not transporting alcohol, but Christian bakers are penalized for not baking cakes for “weddings” between homosexuals. We appear to have fallen down the rabbit hole.
Though I don’t agree with the case against the Christian bakery, there is an important distinction between the two cases. I’ll quote myself from Amren:
… the two cases are different. This company could have accommodated the two Muslim employees without compromising its livelihood; the Muslims could have been allowed to swap loads with other drivers, and all would have been fine. Had these Muslims worked for a liquor store, the case would have truly been similar to that of the bakery; we would have been dealing with absolutes: The job requires handling alcohol. If you don’t handle alcohol, then you can’t do your job at all. Similarly, once a customer requests a particular cake, then this becomes your job. Just as a Muslim could not (in theory) sue for having to handle alcohol at a liquor store, so too can the bakery not exempt itself from serving a “gay cake” for religious reasons. This being said, I do disagree with the judgment against the bakery owners. they should have the right to serve, or not serve, whomsoever they please.
A commenter, called “MarkinTex,” perhaps makes the point more succinctly. He commented on the Washington Post article:
Public accommodation laws (a business refusing to serve black people, or gay people, etc) are completely different from employment laws (an employee asking his employer to make a reasonable accommodation that the employer admitted in court it could have easily made).
By failing to make such distinctions, when we comment on public forums, we weaken our own overall position. We give the impression that we’re intellectually weak.
But we needn’t look far for real cases of mediagov bias. Here’s a good example from just a few days ago. A black high school student attacked the white principal during a brawl. Here’s how Yahoo reported it:
Three teenage California boys were arrested after a high school brawl caught on video during which the school’s principal was flipped to the ground by one of the youths, authorities said on Wednesday.
The 40-second clip, apparently shot on a student’s mobile phone on Monday, shows pupils at Florin High School in Sacramento screaming as a melee breaks out in the cafeteria…
The student wrestles with Ross and tosses him to the ground before returning to the fracas. The white-haired principal can be seen scrambling to his feet and grabbing the boy again. Seconds later, a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school intervenes and the clip ends.
School officials said three students, aged between 13 and 15 years old, were arrested. Two were charged with battery on school staff causing injury, and the third was charged with threatening students and law enforcement, Sacramento County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Turnbull said…
The brawl took place on the same day a white sheriff’s deputy was caught on video violently arresting a black 16-year-old student in her classroom in Columbia, South Carolina, after she refused to give her mobile phone to her teacher. The deputy was fired on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Mohammad Zargham)
Nowhere, in the article, does it point out that the perpetrator is black, while the victim is white. Instead, it brings up a completely unrelated story where the assailant was white, and the “victim” was black. But even in that unrelated story, there’s no evidence that race had anything to do with it. This is a clear case of media bias.