Blogs > Liberty and Power > Should Whites-Only Lunch Counters Be Allowed?

May 28, 2010 10:50 pm


Should Whites-Only Lunch Counters Be Allowed?



Okay, let's get right down to it. Our side is asked, incredulously, "Do you mean that someone should be allowed to have a whites-only lunch counter?"

The standard libertarian answer is, "Yes, although I don't approve of the racist policy."

I say, "No. He shouldn't be allowed."

What?! Heresy!

Chill out.

He shouldn't be allowed, but it's not the literal force of government or private parties that should disallow it. It's the metaphorical force of social pressure -- led by libertarians, of course -- that should disallow it.

There, that's cleared up. Next controversy.

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Allan Walstad - 6/1/2010

I agree that such pressures can be a negative incentive to private discrimination. "Disallow" is rather too strong. At some level, if there is a market for single-race (or single sex or...) lunch counters, someone is likely to step forward to serve that market. And frankly, it wouldn't be on my personal priority list to make trouble for them. They are entitled to their preferences.


Jule R. Herbert - 5/30/2010

Well, Sheldon, if you think it is a big deal, it is time to get started. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of white-only (and black-only) eating and drinking establishments all over the country, including, I'll bet, Arkansas. Seems like the owners and customers prefer it that way.


Sheldon Richman - 5/30/2010

Boycotts, picketing, sit-ins, publicity.


Allan Walstad - 5/30/2010

"It's the metaphorical force of social pressure -- led by libertarians, of course -- that should disallow it."

How would it do so?