Monday, December 03, 2018

Racism Watch: Mandatory Use of Credit and Debit Cards in Some NYC Restaurants is "Racist" [Brief]

By An Old Friend
Sun, Dec 2, 2018 11:56 p.m.

Mandatory use of credit cards in some NYC restaurants is "racist" [brief]

AOF: I actually think the idea of a cashless society is ominous, for 1984-style reasons. But then there's this:

[N.S.: The racial socialist pols are stepping up for their clients, colored criminals. As far as the pols are concerned, criminals of color have a right to rob establishments frequented by, and owned by colorless people. Recall how black supremacist politicians a few years ago got Microsoft to back down from selling an app it had developed, that would warn drivers when they were approaching a high-crime area. The NAACP called the app "racist." The only possible explanation for the NAACP's position was that it wanted white travelers to be robbed, raped, maimed and murdered by non-whites. There is no innocent explanation.]

Banning Cashless Establishments (City Journal)

A group of NYC city council members moves to ban some "cashless" establishments, arguing that they are racist.

By Seth Barron
November 30, 2018

A group of influential city councilmembers is backing legislation to outlaw the operation of "cashless" restaurants and coffee shops. In a glowingly enthusiastic interview about the proposal in popular foodie website Grub Street, lead sponsor Ritchie Torres explains that "on the surface, cashlessness seems benign, but when you reflect on it, the insidious racism that underlies a cashless business model becomes clear."

Progressives have taught us that anything can be seen as racist, if "you reflect on it" long enough. Cashless cafes have popped up around New York City and other metros in recent years, mostly in upscale neighborhoods. From a restaurant manager's perspective, avoiding currency makes good sense, especially since it obviates the fear of theft—whether by employees or robbers. Dig Inn, a popular cafeteria-style chain that caters to the midday lunch crowd, reports that cash management—counting it, making change, taking it to the bank—requires two hours of daily labor by senior employees.

Torres, who represents the Fordham Road and Tremont sections of the Bronx, says that "a cashless business model . . . will have the effect of excluding lower-income communities of color from what should be an open and free market." The very poor are "unbanked," he says, and disproportionately black and Latino; thus, cashless businesses are demonstrably discriminatory against them. "No matter what the intention was," explains Torres, "its effect is discriminatory."

Torres's notion of effective discrimination could be extended well beyond cashless restaurants. Take, say, expensive restaurants. The omakase menu at Masa—the costliest eatery in the country—costs $595 for 18 pieces of sushi. Though the restaurant accepts cash and credit cards, it's specifically designed to exclude people who can't afford to eat there. It doesn't matter what Masayoshi Takayama intended when he set up a restaurant that charges more for a party of two to eat dinner than most New York households earn in a week; he's effectively discriminating, Torres would argue. And if we start requiring restaurants to accept folding money or a handful of change as payment, why not also demand that they include fare at every price point on their menus, so even the poorest customers can feel welcome? Perhaps Torres's reform effort should also be extended to online purchases, which are virtually impossible to make without a bank card. Let's require that Amazon accept cash, as should Uber and Lyft and other firms whose business model discriminates—intentionally or not—against people who don't have bank cards connected to their accounts.

Food stamp recipients no longer get their benefits in the form of paper coupons, of course, the system long ago having transitioned to electronic cards, which can be used at points of sale in grocery stores or bodegas. So even the poorest among us do have access to a form of credit, but government regulations restrict the range of allowable purchases in the Supplemental Nutritional Allowance Program; prepared foods and four-dollar, individually prepared cups of drip coffee are usually not included. One solution for would-be banners of cashless cafes could be letting the unbanked deposit money on their EBT cards. Then they, too, could eat in the elitist cashless establishments.

The leftist preoccupation with smoothing out even the minutest examples of inequality has moved to the level of worrying over point-of-sale coffee shop arrangements. If only New York City had some serious problems for its political class to address.

Seth Barron is associate editor of City Journal and project director of the NYC Initiative at the Manhattan Institute.


Anonymous said...

The joke would be,that most blacks,being ignorant of the phrase,would agree with this new rule.
"Cashless society?I is all in favor of DAT,"they'd opine."Since my last job,15 years ago,I ain't had no money,so my black a*s would fit right in with a cashless society.Food for free at Masa and Per Se--right?"
But that's a great,creative idea by some restaurants/businesses to separate the desired customer from the troublemakers.I predict lawsuits aplenty,from the usual groups,if implemented.

Anonymous said...

"The very poor are 'unbanked,'" If you are unbanked THEN GO GET BANKED.

Most poor folks would never go to any of those restaurants anyhow even if they had the money. A non-issue to begin with.

Anonymous said...

I've got an app between my ears to warn me about dangerous neighborhoods--and I often share it for free with clueless Asians: When you start seeing bars on the windows, graffiti on the walls, and lots of Mexicans and blacks, you are in a bad area. Unless you see a lot of white people on the street, you don't want to be there. And if you see Martin Luther King Avenue on a map or an exit sign, you know to give that area a wide berth.
Strangely, a Hispanic friend told me about the time he started having car trouble while driving through a Mexican neighborhood. He admitted he was terrified his car would quit before he got back to a white area. I asked him, "You've got a black mustache and speak Spanish, why were you worried?" He replied, "Since I wasn't from their neighborhood they would kick my ass!"
Oh for a "racist" white neighborhood where a black, a Hispanic, or a Asian can walk down the street and have no fear of being attacked.