The Narrowing of Language: 'Discrimination'
We live in a world Orwell described so well in 1984. Language, as it has been mutilated and twisted, is the enemy of truth. The compression of language so that a single catch-all term is used to describe a variety of discordant and even contradictory ideas does precisely what Orwell wrote about, so that the only moral terms in 1984 are "good" and "ungood." Once we accept and adopt the language of totalitarians, we are in a prison with no hope of escape.
Consider words like "homophobe," which is intended to describe myriad different and essentially inconsistent values. Jews and Christians, those following what historically these faith have believed, see homosexuality as a sin. Mental health professionals fifty years ago considered homosexuality a mental disorder. Darwinists, who see procreation as the linchpin of evolution by natural selection, would judge homosexuality as a condition that would automatically die out. Lumping all these diverse opinions together is a way of limiting human thought and imprisoning the human mind.
"Fascist" is another term that means nothing in modern politically correct language except "bad." So Nazis, who despised fascists, are considered the same as fascists. The Marxist regime of North Korea has been called "fascist," as have myriad strongman regimes in Latin America. In fact, even the fascists by the early 1930s said "fascism" was a term largely devoid of meaning, which is the precise reason why it became the catch-all term used by totalitarians in free and unfree nations to describe all of their rivals.
The same warped thinking has led us to believe that "discrimination" is bad. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, discrimination is the heart of all virtuous systems of belief. So when religiously serious Christian bakers refuse to prepare cakes for same-sex couples, that is good and not bad. Individuals are exercising their independent moral values even at the cost of business. Statist compulsion to act against what these folks believe is God's will is the same as forcing devout Jews to be baptized because the state believes that Christianity is needed to save their souls.
We all, in fact, discriminate because that is the essence of freedom and conscience. If we simply believe what the state dictates, then we are drones without any spark of life or reason. When people worry about "discrimination," what they really mean is the unequal treatment of blacks and, to a lesser extent, women and Jews. But when the state extends "protection" to groups who no longer need protection, that creates simmering anger at those who are the notional "discriminators."
Black discrimination against whites is absurd. Whites, after all, gave blacks equal rights, created affirmative action programs, and voted to fund all sorts of programs to help blacks who are a distinct minority in America. As for women and Jews, both groups did well long before any federal laws against discrimination were enacted. The state is not required to punish foolish discrimination. The marketplace does that quite well.
Consider what would happen if tomorrow, all federal laws banning private discrimination against blacks or women or Jews were repealed. All large corporations would go out of their way to ensure potential customers that no discrimination against any of these three groups would be tolerated. No state sanctions would be required at all to protect these groups.
On the other hand, small businesses that catered to a small number of customers with specific values would suffer no loss of business at all. So the delicatessen run by Orthodox Jews that closes on Shabbat and the High Holy Days or the Christian bakery that closes on Sundays, both of which have certain religious values within their products and operations, would inconvenience only a few, who could easily find comparable products or services through larger competitors.
Targeting that sort of businesses is itself a variety of malicious discrimination, so a Satanic group that wants a Christian bakery to produce a cake that celebrates their "values" or a neo-Nazi groups that demand that a Jewish deli cater their celebration of Hitler's birthday are both demanding that those businesses "accept" their lifestyle and values.
Invidious discrimination, then, is in the eye of the beholder. When individuals and private businesses can pick and choose whom they serve, then big businesses will be driven by market forces to discriminate against no one, and small businesses can exercise their consciences and do what the owners think best, losing market share if they wish. The state, as always, simply makes things worse and creates solutions for which there are no problem.