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Dec 24th
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Legitimizing Bigotry

The idea that private companies can exempt themselves from public policy is anathema to our way of living now. It is not only abhorrent to think that we would green light differential treatment of minorities, but think of how many of the rights of women would be affected if this idea catches fire…..I remember the bad old days when: o Private employers could refuse to hire, promote or train women, either because they thought them not as bright, or because they imagined that all women should be married and staying at home. o Women were fired by private employers when they became engaged or pregnant. o Private employers could ask about a woman's reproductive plans, child care arrangements and marital status. o There were few, if any female doctors, lawyers, engineers or accountants because most private educational institutions thought them to be mentally inferior and/or because women would be marrying and having children eventually, so a professional education was a waste of time. o Newspapers advertised for jobs under the titles "Wanted – White Man……" even in a northern town like Philadelphia. o It was perfectly legitimate for a private employer to hire a man as an accountant and a woman as a bookkeeper, have them do the identical job, and pay the woman half what you paid the man. Private employers are the majority of employers, so discrimination in the private sector seriously affects the opportunities of those discriminated against. If private entities are permitted to discriminate, the economic gains of women as well as minorities are in jeopardy. Right now, no one who does business in the US has the right to discriminate - period, let's keep it that way.

 

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