The Bigotry Tax

September 26, 2007

In the quaint little Jersey burg of Riverside, they’re learning that bigotry can carry a pretty hefty price tag in this day and age.

Within a few months of passing an ordinance that penalized anyone who hired or rented living space to illegal aliens, Riverside is seeing stores close down and its business district revert to dustbowl status as immigrants from Brazil and Latin America decide to find a more welcoming environment. Yes, folks, it turns out that those immigrants who were supposedly sucking the country dry and taking away jobs were actually the economic mainstay of this little Podunk-By-The-Delaware. How nice to see the consequences of bigotry landing squarely on the heads of the racists themselves. Call it the bigotry tax. Maybe Lou Dobbs and Michele Malkin can host a telethon to keep the town from vanishing into its own big mouth.

(By the way, note the presence of a Confederate banner in the newspaper’s picture of that Riverside anti-immigrant mob, right next to a “God Bless America” sign. That’s rich. The owner of that banner reveres the memory of a 19th century rogue state that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and nearly destroyed the country in order to preserve its tradition of buying and selling human beings. And he calls himself a patriot. That’s a riot.)

Unfortunately, the anti-gay bigots who run Ocean Grove, N.J., aren’t getting nearly as much of an economic drop-kick as punishment for refusing to treat gays as actual human beings. The state has removed the tax-exempt status of the boardwalk pavilion in response to the Bible-bangers’s decision to bar gay couples from celebrating civil unions there. That’s only the pavilion, not the entire boardwalk or the beach, so the fiscal impact is rather small. Garden State Equality plans to appeal the ruling, which is all to the good. They should petition for permission to hold their civil union ceremonies on every square inch of the boardwalk, and then we’ll see where the chips fall.  


One Response to “The Bigotry Tax”

  1. Mark Says:

    As someone originally from Riverside (and as a cartographer), I must correct you. Riverside is not a “little Podunk-By-The-Delaware” since Riverside doesn’t actually touch the Delaware River. It’s a Podunk-by-the-(Rancocas)-Creek, but would you want to live in Creekside?

    As for that flag-waver, every town has it’s share of jackasses. The important thing is to make sure you don’t elect them to town council.

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