Saturday, April 9, 2016

Logical Consequences

Reaching outside the Bubble today. The issue of so-called "Bathroom Bills" in places like North Carolina targeting transgender citizens and denying equal protection under the law to LGTBQ persons is not something I can ignore.

Apparently Bruce Springsteen feels the same way, having canceled his concert in North Carolina in response to the passing of House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.
"As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."

As an early childhood educator, one of the first things I learned about was the concept of logical consequences. Rather than "punishing" a child for being "bad", one allows them to experience the consequences of their own actions. "Effective consequences will tend to be ones that naturally follow from the misbehavior, or which are logically related to the misbehavior. Naturally or logically connected consequences mimic the way consequences actually work in the real world, and therefore make intuitive sense [to children.]"
A boycott of a state that enacts laws which violate the civil rights of its citizens is, quite simply, the logical consequence of the state's own actions. Think of this in a small way. If a local business provide poor service, or a bad product, customers may very well chose to take their business elsewhere. Now think of this in terms of the Civil Rights struggle in the 1960's. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a direct consequence of the outrageous treatment of African American citizens by the bus company.
Acts such as sending blacks to the back of the bus or refusing to serve them at lunch counters or making it almost impossible for them to vote were all entirely legal. But they were wrong. They were a violation of what our country was created to stand for. When citizens responded by refusing to ride the bus or staging sit-ins at lunch counters the powers that be were quick to point out the financial losses and inconvenience their actions were incurring. They used multiple methods both legal and illegal, honest and dishonest, to disable the resistance.
When politicians write bad laws that consolidate power for the privileged and oppress the civil rights of others, no one should remain silent. Speaking out lets LGTBQ citizens know they are not alone. In addition, acting on our beliefs to "take our business elsewhere" is not some vindictive or mean-spirited "punishment". It is simply the natural consequence of these law-makers' bad actions.
It's the free market at work: I'm not buying what you are selling. If you want my business, you're going to have to up your game. Specifically, that would mean "liberty and justice for all."


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