Who Wants to be a "Protected Class"?

Washington state is considering a bill to add bikers to its list of classes protected under civil rights law.
The Washington State Senate and House, at the request of the Washington State Council of Clubs and the Motorcycle Profiling Project, have both proposed identical legislation, SB 6624/ HB 2950, that would add individuals wearing motorcycle or motorcycle club related paraphernalia to the Washington State Civil Rights Act (RCW 49.60.030) as a protected class. Additionally, SB 6624/HB 2950 adds the right to be free from law enforcement profiling to the list of explicated civil rights protections for all protected classes.

The Washington State Council of Clubs, the Motorcycle Profiling Project, and BOLT of Washington drafted the language for the identical proposals. ABATE of Washington also supported the effort.

The addition of individuals wearing motorcycle or motorcycle club related paraphernalia would provide unprecedented protection against many forms of discrimination if these bills pass. It would be a violation of civil rights to deny an individual employment, public accommodations, or profile them based on their expression or associations with a motorcycle club.... Individuals in motorcycle clubs have a fundamental right of association that should not be infringed upon based on generalized suspicion. Absent proof of the intent to commit criminal activity an individual should not be subjected to government regulation or law enforcement actions.
I have two questions about this, understanding that ABATE is a good organization that normally means well.

1) Is it really necessary to seek protected status to obtain what sound like ordinary Constitutional rights -- free association, and the right to be free of unreasonable harassment by police?

2) Doesn't this bill protect free association in one case only by limiting it in another? Your freedom to associate with your club is protected, but at the cost of telling (say) employers that they can't choose whether or not to associate with you because of it. What makes it right to use the government to place our rights above the rights of others? It's the same right, and we are both of us citizens of the United States in the same way.

All in all, I don't think I want to be a member of a 'protected class' anyway. I'm one of the last Americans who isn't, and there's a certain glory to that.


MikeD said...

Protected class status flies in the face of one of the founding premises of our legal system "all are equal before the law". I understand that man is a fallen creation and that we constantly fail to live up to our ideals, but to say "this class of people are more equal than the rest of you schlubs" offends me at a very basic level.

raven said...

I am in concurrence with your thinking. ALL should be eligible for equal protection under the law, rather than parsing out selected groups for special protection,, based on some idea they have been "victimized" in the past.
This country was all about getting away from special "classes" of people-why are we so intent on reviving the aristocracy?

One of my pet peeves is the national law that gives Law enforcement and retired LEO's the "right" to carry a concealed weapon anywhere, thus creating another special class.

Some are more equal than others, eh?

Ymar Sakar said...

Once you become a subject and vassal of the federal gov or the state, don't expect the rest of us to treat you like a free citizen, biker clubs. Because you won't be one.

Just another goon squad, existing at the sufferance of the feudal lords.

Grim said...

If you have a chance to tell them in person, Ymar, you'd better have some deeds to go with those words.

E Hines said...

Americans are a protected class under our Constitution. Too many have forgotten that, or never learned it.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

I would have said that Americans protect the Constitution, rather than the other way around.

raven said...

The inevitable result of being in a "protected class" is the doors being shut- who is willing to take a chance on hiring, if they can't fire for cause? My father used to lament that between the union, and the "protected classes", it was more money and effort to fire someone, than to simply find a position where they could not damage anything. Of course, then that is an extra load on everyone who is pulling their own weight.
I ran into a guy who ran a welding shop, all his workers were ex-cons. He said about half of them lasted a month , and the other half were the best employees he ever had. If he had had to retain the ones he fired, his business would have gone under.

After the motorcycle only checkpoint scandals, and bikers generally being more subject to harassment than others, I can see the appeal- and really, they are just looking to be "treated like everybody else"- but the eventual outcome of this , is only minorities small enough to not have a special class, are going to be stomped on. Full circle, right back to where we started.
Everyone is special, but some are more special than others.

Ymar Sakar said...

If you have a chance to tell them in person, Ymar, you'd better have some deeds to go with those words.

If the SWAT team they call in for protection on the hills figures out who they were supposed to be shooting correctly, that might be a point in their favor.

Given the current balance of powers, biker clubs will need more than the feds as their allies if they want to be safe in their clubs.

If they want a reference for why I'm right, they can always go watch Waco 2 in action.

Ymar Sakar said...

What deeds am I going to pull in that is greater than the Reality and Truth in the rest of the world? It's meaningless. They want deeds, they can look at the dead bodies all they want for what's really going on.

Oh, but then some of them will say that this isn't malicious, that the Powers that Be are kind, they have good intentions, that this wasn't intentional even.

What deeds would I need to have vis a vis that, it's meaningless. It's the government's deeds that they should pay attention to. The least they could have done was setup smart phone backups so they could do an emergency upload of their videos and files, before the police unions reset the phones. Then the rest of us could have had some information and intel to use against the enemy, even if the SWAT teams wiped out every biker member in their targeting reticule.

Far from my deeds, they should have been paying attention to their own and how it interacted with this world. Honor isn't going to bring back dead bodies, Grim, no matter how much they believe in their Culture.

Grim said...

Honor is not meant to bring back the dead. "Cattle die, kin die, every man is mortal. But I know one thing that never dies: The glory of the great dead."

Great in deeds, not in words.

But take your argument to a motorcycle club, and tell them how you won't hold them to be worthy of your respect. Let us know how it goes if you're able.