Much of the problem in our politics today is there is no room for nuance, and no ability to understand that there are legitimate competing interests in a hotly contested issue. We see this in the Indiana Daily Student column accusing the city of Bloomington of choosing to “protect white supremacy.”
(Necessary Disclaimer: The owners of Schooner Creek Farm deny being white supremacists.)
First, think about this for a minute: Bloomington is by far the most “progressive” city in Indiana, commonly referred to as “The Berkeley of the Midwest.” The city is dominated by Democrats: The last time a Republican was elected to the city council was 2007, by a margin of just a few votes. That Republican served with eight Democrats, a Democratic mayor and a Democratic city clerk. Do you really think this hotbed of “progressive” activism is really interested in protecting white supremacists?
Come on, folks, this makes no sense at all. There is no question that the city wants to be rid of Schooner Creek Farms, and if they could legally exclude them they would.
But that is the problem. As long as SCF is abiding by the rules of the market, the city cannot legally exclude them for opinions expressed in private shat logs that were hacked and then released by Leftist activists. The city knows that if they do that, they will be sued and they will lose. They may be forced to pay both damages and attorney’s fees in a fight they know they cannot win.
SCF has been peacefully selling vegetables for years at the Farmer’s Market, and no one knew what the owners’ private opinions were. No one felt “unsafe” because no one was unsafe. But radical Leftists and ANTIFA activists would rather destroy the market for everyone than allow someone to peacefully sell vegetables if she has expressed an objectionable opinion in a private chat.
Finally, no one’s civil rights were violated. The Supreme Court has consistently allowed “time place and manner” regulations on speech, and people are free to protest SCF and encourage others to boycott them. Free speech is not and has never been unlimited.