Refusing service to the wrong people

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By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer

By Dominique Franklin / Staff Writer

In this great country of ours, we are given the privilege of being able to speak our minds freely. Businesses are allowed to refuse service to customers that are disrupting their place of work.

When the combination of those privileges, however, affect the rights of another individual, that’s when their action become an issue.

This is exactly the kind of situation that has happened in Mason, Texas when a handgun instructor advertised his business in a, for lack of a better work, unique way.

Crockett Keller, owner of Keller’s Riverside Store, calmly ended his 68-second commercial advertisement he had created for his business by admitting he’ll refuse to service Muslims, liberals whom voted for  President Barack Obama in the 2008 election.

“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You’ve already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision,” he said at the end of the commercial. “Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you this class.”

Needless to say, the sound clip went viral.

Thousands of people used Youtube to find the sound clip that originally aired on a country music station in Texas.

Arguments erupted over the legality of the discriminatory act. Within a week, the ad had been removed, but its memory has yet to fade in the background.

Government officials deemed Keller’s denial of instructing particular groups of people unlawful, threatening to revoke Keller’s certification as an instructor and remove his business altogether, thus completely disabling Keller’s ability to instruct people on the use of handguns.

Of course, after the controversy following the airing of his commercial, Keller obliged to the demands and agreed to instruct any student who intended to learn, regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion or political affiliations.

Changing his views was only a matter of retaining his business, though. Keller is still confident in his belief that he did no wrong and that, if anything, he was making an attempt to protect the country.

While he may know all Muslims are not terrorists and vice versa, Keller still believes they are a community that people should be most wary about.

“I don’t care what your religion, what your creed is,” Keller said in response to the controversy. “That makes no bearing. But when people consider themselves a particular religion that has proven itself to be anti-American, well, then, I’m anti-them.”

Despite the controversy, no apology was issued from Keller nor did he feel resentful toward how events unfolded, which he revealed in an interview conducted with David Beck on the radio.

If anything, Keller feels that civil rights laws should be twisted to allow him and other Americans the right to exclude gun training from any possible terrorists.

Keller argues that by teaching a Muslim, who he feels are not real Americans how to use a weapon, it will only lead to inevitable harm.

He even irrationally equated that giving Muslims handgun training would be the same as providing flight instruction to the hijackers responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

His unapologetic tone in the interview and comments towards the subject gives listeners the true ideals behind his message. His view has not changed, just his action in dealing with it.

“Why would I teach people who have sworn the annihilation of the United States and who can lie, cheat, steal and murder Americans in order to further Islam?” Keller said. “Why would I arm someone like that? Why would I enable them to carry a weapon legally? I don’t want to be a part of that. I’m sorry those flight instructors didn’t have the same hindsight to know that these guys were up to no good, and they shouldn’t be teaching them, and they should have refused.”

In fact, it is possible that he will continue to discriminate against those who he described, knowing that it will not be announced over the radio waves again or garner any more attention from media outlets.

Not only do both Muslims and liberals have the right to be in an uproar over the Keller’s statement, but all Americans should be appalled at his statements.

To discriminate for any reason at all, against any person, is clearly defined as wrong no matter what state you’re in.

Yet if anything, Keller will get away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Yes, the advertisement was removed from the local television stations in Mason, Texas, but what are the restraints that will truly stop him from pursuing what he feels are the right actions?

In the end, there was no legal backlash against Keller. He was essentially let off the hook without anything being done for him to take his actions regarding his business into consideration.

The slight reverberation against his commercial that trickled from the small Texan community and a “knock it off” approach from the Texan government was the only reprimand Keller received.

If anything, Keller’s actions exploit an issue that continues to provide this country with one of its worst enemies, discrimination.

Though it’s only one example, this story and the media attention it has received will at least let Americans know that discrimination does still exist in the United States.

By knowing it still exits, we can continue to help make sure that it can be eliminated.

That being said, though, if virtually nothing is done as a result and no measures are taken to stop similar actions from occurring in the future, then forward progress will cease and our country will continue to be stunted by such blatant displays of discrimination.

If Americans as a whole do not stand up and speak out against Keller, we will remain in a stagnant position as a society.

Forward progress can only happen when a communal effort is applied toward changing the collective opinion for the better.

We cannot choose to ignore such discriminatory acts without letting know the entire country that such actions will not be tolerated.

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