EEOC considering banning the Gadsen flag from federal workplaces
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is considering banning the "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsen flag from federal workplaces becuase of a complaint filed by a worker who believes the flag is "racist."
According to Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who runs the “Volokh Conspiracy” blog at The Washington Post, the EEOC ruled two months ago that it will need to collect more evidence in a case filed in Jan. 2014 by an African American federal employee who complained about his coworker wearing a hat with the Gadsden flag printed on it.
The complainant said that the Gadsden flag, which was designed during the Revolutionary War in 1775 and has become popular with the Tea Party movement, is racist because its designer, Christopher Gadsden, was “a slave trader & owner of slaves.”
And though the complainant made no claim that his coworker made any racist remarks while wearing the hat, he said that the Gadsden flag — the iconic yellow banner, which shows a coiled rattlesnake above the words “Don’t Tread on Me” — is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”
According to the EEOC ruling, which Volokh reports is not publicly available because the proceedings are done in secret, the complainant said that he complained to his bosses about his coworker wearing the hat and that they said they asked him to stop wearing it. The coworker continued wearing the attire, however.
The EEOC has not issued a final ruling on the case, and the employment discrimination agency stated in its preliminary ruling that the Gadsden flag is not inherently racist. But it says it needs to collect more evidence about the context in which the hat was worn in order to make a final determination in the case.
“In light of the ambiguity in the current meaning of this symbol, we find that Complainant’s claim must be investigated to determine the specific context in which [the coworker] displayed the symbol in the workplace,” the preliminary ruling reads.
“It is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context,” it continues. “Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, guns rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.”
“However,” the EEOC added, “whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”
Who has "interpreted" the Gadsen flag to "convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts"? First I've heard of it, but then, my mind isn't besotted with racialism. You could probably make a ham sandwich "convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts" if you were of a mind to do so. Perhaps the bureaucrats should ban that, too.
The EEOC has set up a gigantic straw man that they will now courageously knock down by banning the Gadsen flag. Apparently, the EEOC believes that the First Amendment stops at the door to a federal workplace.
We now await with great anticipation the EEOC banning "Black Lives Matter" clothing for its barely concealed advocacy for violence against police and because it "conveys racially-tinged messages in some contexts."