Lancaster County Considers Ending HRC — Lancaster County is pondering making a leap for progress by getting rid of its human relations commission. The county is proposing rescinding a 1991 law giving its HRC enforcement powers. This would eliminate the nine-member commission and save the taxpayer about $470,000 per year.
The dino media is predictably outraged. LancasterOnline.Com, the website for Lancaster Newspapers Inc., carries a hand-wringing article about how eliminating it would’ve kept a teacher from getting back a security deposit because she hadn’t realized before she signed the lease that a relative of the previous tenant had smoked.
Oh, the humanity.
Human relations commissions were born in the era of civil rights with the honorable goal of helping blacks overcome commercial discrimination. Now, as earlier noted the real problems facing blacks were not bigoted shopkeepers but government — laws, or their non-enforcement — that prevented blacks from competing with whites or white-owned business from pursing blacks as employees or customers; along with strange and pervasive concepts held as scientific facts and taught in our leading academic institutions that blacks were genetically inferior and must be subject to segregation and, well, even elimination.
Still, those first human relations commissions had a noble goal. The problem came when those who live to rule others realized that expanding the definition of those needing protection was a great way of expanding their own power and acquiring wealth. Disability laws were passed and life got harder for the small business-owner as the bureaucrats found new excuses to harass them. Circa 1993, for instance, every newspaper in the state received a notice from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission warning them that accepting classified real estate ads containing phrases such as “walk-in closet” or “spectacular view” would subject them to investigation and possible penalties. Why? The former phrase discriminated against the crippled while the latter discriminated against the blind.
Most of that silliness has been shaken out but the mind-set remains of those who man these bodies and the fewer mandarins with which we must deal the happier almost all of us will be.
Even if it means having to open a window to air out the apartment.
So may Lancaster County succeed in its quest to progress to greater freedom and commonsense.