BoA Deserves to be Sued
I applaud Selwyn Duke for publicly exposing one of the most bizarre banking practices that I've ever witnessed in his American Thinker blog titled "Bank of America Reportedly Freezing Gun Manufacturer's Accounts". As he said,
I support a company's right to refuse to do business with whomever it pleases (freedom of association); although rejecting firearms manufacturers would make a bank boycott-worthy. But to accept someone's business and then persecute him for political reasons - as appears the case here - is reprehensible. The funds will be released when the bank has a "chance to review and clear them"? As per my experience, your money is supposed to be cleared as soon as you inform the institution that anomalous charges aren't the result of criminal activity.
And this isn't the first time BoA has exhibited anti-Second Amendment tendencies. As CNSNews writes, "McMillan Group International was reportedly told that its business was no longer welcome after the company started manufacturing firearms -- even after 12 years of doing business with the bank."
What Bank of America did isn't just bizarre: it's mindboggling and stupid. It's as outrageous as the school administrators at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland who suspended a 6-year-old kid for allegedly pointing an "assault finger" at a fellow classmate. That story was also reported by Selwyn Duke.
That said, I take issue with one point that Duke made in today's blog. He wrote, "I support a company's right to refuse to do business with whomever it pleases (freedom of association)."
BoA doesn't have the right to deny services to anyone based on the whims and idiosyncrasies of its officers and employees. That's one of the important lessons we learned during the civil rights era, and it applies in this case. It's analogous to Woolworth refusing to serve blacks at its lunch counters.
This case is indeed "boycott-worthy", as Duke said, but I think it's also prosecution-worthy. I have a strong hunch that what BoA did is illegal. In the wake of the company's recent home mortgage fiasco, you would think that its employees would learn, but that's obviously just wishful thinking.
Taking the banking giant to court may be the only way to teach them a lesson. BoA officials may not have common sense, but they do know how to make a buck. The corollary is that they understand what it means to lose a buck needlessly. So by all means, boycott BoA, but also sue the company.
Neil Snyder is the Ralph A. Beeton Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.