Scott Tibbs

You cannot include by excluding

By Scott Tibbs, January 7, 2020

Beware those who talk of inclusion and tolerance, because these are often buzzwords that used to justify exclusion and intolerance. We see this no more clearly than with "social justice warriors" and political correctness.

A letter to the editor in the Herald-Times recently warned that the Bloomington Farmer's Market "was not inclusive" and that there are "barriers to access." What exactly is the source of this? Are blacks or Hispanics not being allowed to shop at the market? Are vendors refusing to sell to people of color? Are black shoppers and vendors assigned to "colored" sections of the market, like would have been done in the 1950's in the Deep South?

Nope. None of this is happening, and none of this happened. What happened is that a vendor who has peacefully sold vegetables in past years was revealed to have posted some objectionable things on the Internet. Schooner Creek Farms has not discriminated against or refused to serve anyone. They have not threatened or harassed anyone at the market. They have not done one single thing to prevent anyone from shopping or selling at the market. If any of this was attempted, the Bloomington Police Department would quickly shut it down. What happened is that the SCF owners anonymously posted things online, and then were "doxxed" by busybody social justice warriors.

The only people who have attempted to exclude anyone or put up "barriers to access" are "no space for hate" and Antifa. They are the ones who have harassed, screamed at, and encouraged boycotts of SCF while demanding the city illegally ban them from the city-run market due to First Amendment protected speech that occurred online. Antifa extremists have vandalized SCF property. The very people who demand inclusion and decry barriers are the only ones doing the exclusion.

One does not have to agree with SCF owners' self-described "identitarianism" to support their right to participate in the Farmer's Market, provided they follow the market's rules for vendors. I do not agree with them. I also recognize that Schooner Creek Farm is the low-hanging fruit, and that is the precedent that will be expanded later. Do not be fooled into thinking that this will stop with so-called "white supremacists." (SCF owners have denied being white supremacists.) This will be expanded into anyone that Antifa does not like, including people who hold orthodox Christian views on sexual morality or anyone who supports President Trump.

We have to learn to live with people who have views we dislike or even abominate. I patronize businesses all the time despite disagreement with the political or cultural views of the business. I am sure I have purchased many things from Farmer's Market vendors despite profound disagreements. This is not because I am endorsing their views, but because I simply do not care about that difference of opinion. Are you providing a good product at a reasonable price, and do you treat me with respect as a customer? Then you have my business. I am not interested in ruining the lives and closing the businesses of people simply because I disagree with them. If only Antifa could embrace a tiny sliver of that tolerance.

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