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The Right to Discriminate in the Private Sector

Updated on August 6, 2012
Gender, Race and Religion should have no bearing on Hiring, Firing or Service Given in the Private Sector of Business or Non-Profit
Gender, Race and Religion should have no bearing on Hiring, Firing or Service Given in the Private Sector of Business or Non-Profit

A brief warning...

This hub, on the rights of private companies to hire and serve who they choose, will annoy some and even anger others. Not because of it's content, but because many will disengage logic and look solely from a "feel good/bad" perspective. I ask that readers do a few important things as they read this hub. One, consider the facts and logical aspects of the hub. It will not be, as you will see, a question of whether it is nice or "good", but rather is it logical and fair as seen through the lens of freedom, private capital and a truly free-market entrepreneurially based economy. Secondly, remember to take things in context. Do not take one sentence and base your opinion on it alone, but in the context it is placed. Thirdly, I anticipate and encourage feedback. I would prefer it be limited to those making a logic based argument and not simply an emotional attack. Enjoy and I look forward to the ensuing conversation.

The premise of freedom in the marketplace...

It is my contention that a private entity, whether an individual, a small business, a privately held corporation or a private organization, has the right to hire and serve who ever they choose. While I personally find it repugnant to discriminate based on race, religion, faith or disability, I do not believe that a privately entity, who is utilizing their own capital, should be told who to hire or serve. If a company chooses to hire and serve only one-legged bald asian midgets, that should be their right. While it would be a stupid, and ultimately failing business plan, it is their capital to waste. We are not discussing the moral aspect, but only whether there should be laws regarding a private entities business actions and the free market applications of such a plan/law.


All privately held organizations and businesses should be allowed to conduct their business as they see fit when it concerns who they hire, serve and allow to join their respective organizations. Organizations such as the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, National Association of Women Business Owners, the American Tract Society, the World Jewish Congress and any other private organization should have the right to allow membership to only those people who fit the dynamic of the organization as determined by the organization itself. The government should not determine the make up of a private organization. Any group, whether based on ethnicity or gender, should be able to regulate it's membership. This should hold true whether the group is White, Black, Asian, Spanish, male, female or any physical, social or economic group. These entities should not be on the receiving end of any taxpayer funding. As a matter of fact, no private organization should be funded in anyway other than through member dues, fundraising, commerce or donations. No private organization should rely, in part or in total, on any public funding.


A person provides capital, in the way of savings, investor money or by taking out a loan, and opens a business. This business is owned and operated by the person(s) who funded it and developed it's individual business plan. This person should have the right to hire and serve whoever they choose. If they want to limit their ability to earn money and grow their business based on any number or racial or gender discrimination, they should be allowed to do so. Again, this is not a commentary on the moral issues associated with racism or sexism, but on the private freedoms involved. If a business decided to only hire and serve a specific segment of the population, that should be their right in a free market economy. This would be a bad business model, especially if the business decided to limit their market too narrowly. A business owner, investing their own capital, could decide to hire and service only one very narrow customer base. While this would be, potentially, a financially devastating business model, it would be their right to decide this as their course of action.

John opens a restaurant. John decides to only hire Jewish midgets of African decent that are confined to wheelchairs. He decides that, with his investment of capital, he only wants to serve Spanish women with bleached hair and White men with blue eyes and one arm. This would be no different than the previously mentioned private organization deciding their membership criteria. These business should also not be funded by any taxpayer dollars. But, when a private citizen(s) invests their own capital, including time, talent and treasure, they need to be able decide how that capital is spent.

In closing...

The details of the moral component to this discussion will be left to another Hub. I will say that racism and sexism are reprehensible, but not something that should play into the private sector. If we do not have the freedom to decide the use of our individual time, treasures and talents as we see fit, then are we truly free. This is not an argument about using those things to actively harm a certain person, but allowing people to exclude a certain person(s) from their privately owned and funded organization or business. If this person/entity cannot make this determination themselves, then THEY are the one(s) being discriminated against. It has to be all or nothing in order to maintain true freedom.

Your Thoughts

Do you agree that you, as an individual, should be able to determine how you run your own business or organization OR that the government should determine how you run it?

See results

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