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Friday, October 28, 2005

Government Ran Jim Crow

While Rosa Parks' refusal to sit in the segregated section for blacks helped to touch off or at least publicize the need to abolish Jim Crow laws, Thomas Sowell advises us the segregated seating was not a result of rules promulgated by bus companies. No, these were rules created and enforced by the state. As a matter of fact, Sowell explains,

Private owners of streetcar, bus, and railroad companies in the South lobbied against the Jim Crow laws while these laws were being written, challenged them in the courts after the laws were passed, and then dragged their feet in enforcing those laws after they were upheld by the courts.

These tactics delayed the enforcement of Jim Crow seating laws for years in some places. Then company employees began to be arrested for not enforcing such laws and at least one president of a streetcar company was threatened with jail if he didn't comply.

None of this resistance was based on a desire for civil rights for blacks. It was based on a fear of losing money if racial segregation caused black customers to use public transportation less often than they would have in the absence of this affront.

So, we need more government for what reason, again? And the profit motive is a cause for evil exactly why?

As Sowell states:

People who decry the fact that businesses are in business "just to make money" seldom understand the implications of what they are saying. You make money by doing what other people want, not what you want. Black people's money was just as good as white people's money...

Viva la capitalism!

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