Friday, September 27, 2013

Human Rights Hypocrisy

I REALLY wasn't planning on ranting about the 21 Bar vote two days in a row. But sometimes they put the football on the tee for you, and you just have to kick.

Three years after passing the ordinance, the city finally figures out:
Because the 21-ordinance prevents people under the age of 21 from being in a bar after 10 p.m., the ordinance is in violation of the current Human Rights Ordinance. 

“For the 21-ordinance, no one changed or dealt with the Human Rights code,” said Sue Dulek, an assistant city attorney.
But instead of addressing the violation of rights by repealing the ordinance that violates the rights… the city instead wants to redefine rights.
The Iowa City Human Rights Commission proposed an ordinance that will exempt age restrictions based on health, safety, or developmental differences from the Human Rights Ordinance.

"Reflecting the fact, it’s OK to limit age when dealing with alcohol,” said Dulek.

The first consideration for the proposed ordinance will be voted on at the Oct. 1 City Council meeting.

City Councilor Rick Dobyns declined to comment. 
Of COURSE Doctor Do-gooder refused comment. Because this undercuts the 21 side's entire premise of defining the bar age ordinance as a public health issue when it's really a rights issue. It cuts to the core contradiction that 18 year olds are adults for virtually all rights except alcohol. (Condescendingly, the city human rights coordinator likens the 21 bar ordinance to protecting 8 year olds from dangerous equipment.)

I'm not as mad at the University administration-city establishment alliance that's on the 21 side, because their Love The Hawkeyes Hate The Students contempt for young people is plain enough. To them, the ends of cracking down on Number One Party School justify the means of denying people rights.

In rights fights, you have to defend unsympathetic characters. Freedom of speech? Illinois Nazis. So I'm more upset with the "progressives" who are first in line to fight for rights if the issue is, say driving while black or housing discrimination. Just because the victims of a rights violation are Freddie Fratboy and Vodka Samm, and just because Fight For The Right To Party is a less sympathetic right, it doesn't mean the rights violation is unimportant.

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