Williams on Forced Association

Monday, September 09, 2013

Walter Williams writes an interesting column in defense of freedom of association, comparing it with freedom of speech and taking the Supreme Court's 1967 Loving vs. Virginia decision as his first example. After pointing out that forcing people to enter interracial marriages would be just as wrong as preventing such marriages (and for the same reason), Williams similarly considers a Jim Crow-era ban on whites and blacks playing tennis in public.

And then he goes for the kill:

[W]hat about freedom of association as a general principle? Suppose white men formed a club, a professional association or any other private association and blacks and women wanted to be members. Is there any case for forcing them to admit blacks and women? What if it were women or blacks who formed an association? Should they be forced to admit men or whites? Wouldn't forced membership in either case violate freedom of association?
His point is well taken: We have to accept the fact that, if we wish to have our own freedom protected under the law, some will exercise their own freedom in ways we will find objectionable.

-- CAV

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