Sunday, July 31, 2005

No Billboards For You!

David Schraub at The Moderate Voice has a good piece on a Georgia company's decision to reject gay rights awareness billboards. It's worth a read in its entirety (be sure to check his links out, too), but here's a highlight with what I feel is the salient point:

What this shows is how the existence of overwhelming "private" discriminatory viewpoints can reify discrimination as a whole, even in public spaces. That is, racism (and heterosexism) act as market distortions which make the "rational" choice adherence to the racist (heterosexist) norm. It cuts the heart out of positions which assume that the "free market" will solve the problem. When the rational choice is to adhere to (or at least ally with) homophobia, then the free market acts as a barrier to, not a facilitator of, positive change.

There's a lot of talk among conservatives about the corrective nature of the "free market", but this case shows how it is a long way from the panacea it's oft reported to be.

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