Proud to be a Filthy Liberal Scum

Loud, Proud and I don't care about hurting a conservative's feelings!

OK, Someone Help Me Out Here!

Every now and then, a conservative will make an argument that sounds perfectly legitimate, even if they’re being a jerk about it. Allen West (R-Unstable) has made just such an argument about the tanning salon tax:

“You want to talk about something that’s really racist? They have a tanning tax,” he said. “I’m not tanning.”

I’ve made this same argument about things conservatives have said or done. If the result of your actions are overwhelmingly detrimental to a race, then it doesn’t really matter if you intended it or not, your actions are tinged with racism. For example, Ron Paul’s insistence that the Civil Rights Act is wrong because it takes away business owners’ “freedom.” The CRA, in part, makes it illegal for business owners to discriminate on the basis of color. Repealing it would overwhelmingly impact minorities in a negative way while causing Caucasians almost no inconvenience at all. Ron Paul’s stance it racist whether he like it or not (hint: he doesn’t mind at all).

So, since there are few people of color that need a tanning salon, the tax is, by default, overwhelmingly levied against us pale skins. Is he right? Am I missing something? It falls in line with my own thoughts on this kind of thing. It’s like placing a tax on medicine for Sickle Cell Anemia which only affects African Americans. The idea that Allen West and I agree on anything at all gives me the heebie jeebies.

And what is it with conservatives and tanning booth problems? I remember when Palin got flack for having one in her house. It was one of the few times I had to defend the poor dingbat. Alaskans need to tan to make up for the weak sunlight that far up north. If you’re a busy (half-term) governor and you can afford it, why not have one at home instead of interrupting your busy schedule to go to a salon? For the record, I’ve never used a tanning booth and my dermatologist would murder me if I did.

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15 thoughts on “OK, Someone Help Me Out Here!

  1. JeaniB on said:

    It is not like a tax on medicine, in that medicine is needed to save lives and health. It is like a taxation on cigarettes. People who choose to tan in a bed and people who choose to smoke are the ones paying the tax, because the rest of us are paying the expenses of fixing those people when they get ill from their actions and must resort to health care. Mr. West is merely expressing his preference for protecting buseinsses (in this case tanning bed businesses) by helping keep their costs low over protecting people from the health risks inherent in the product provided by the business. Thus, Mr. West’s statement is merely another example of republicans wanting to shift costs away from businesses onto people.

  2. While it may have the side effect of only effecting non-blacks taxing a tanning salon is more akin to taxing snack foods and cigarettes. The point is that these are harmful luxuries. If you want to do it fine, but they’re going to make it hard on you and make you fund healthy necessities, like school nutrition programs and free clinics… which you’re going to need later if you’re going to use tanning salons, eat junk food, and smoke tobacco.

    But, here’s a better question: If whit people are so proud of being white why do they try to become darker skinned by tanning?And I’ve seen light-skinned black women use tanning salons. HE may not tan, but some do.

  3. Diana on said:

    The problem with the argument is that tanning is a fashion choice, just like wearing a certain necklace or shoes. So the tax is not inflicted on anyone, it’s totally their decision whether or not they wish to tan.

    And, on a different matter, I lived in Alaska from 1991-2000 and I don’t think there even were tanning beds in the city of Kodiak which has over 5,000 residents (making it a rather large place by Alaskan standards.) One of the advantages to living there is that you get less wrinkles than the sun worshippers.

  4. Allan on said:

    No one says you have to tan. Try to tell someone not to be black. Whether blacks use it or not, they are not withheld from using them. You may be white, but that does not mean you HAVE TO go to a tanning salon. While a tax on Sickle Cell medicine would be silly, blacks can and do tan, and yes, I know of a few normally dark skinned people that like to get a solid base at the beginning of the season.

    I hope that helps some.

  5. Allan on said:

    Kind of like the black on black racism. The lighter skinned blacks look down on those of darker skin.

  6. Arletta Q on said:

    There is nothing racist about a tanning tax. Most of our taxes don’t apply to everyone. Cigarette taxes only apply to smokers, property tax only applies to property owners, gas taxes only apply to car owners, income tax only applies to those with jobs, capitol gains taxes only apply to investers, and so on.

  7. When they try to put a tax on sunlight, let me know. If people who lay on tanning beds have to pay a special tax, good. Tanning is not a necessary thing. I say replace the grocery tax with luxury taxes. Everyone HAS to eat. Not everyone HAS to tan. If they don’t like paying the tax, they can still get a tan the old fashioned way.

    • Some states exempt food purchases (grocery only, restaurant purchases are taxed.) Some exempt clothing purchases. A sales tax can exclude or include anything the legislatures want and the citizens will put up with.

  8. Barb on said:

    Justin,

    You are not seeing the whole picture just as he is not. Hispanics use the tanning beds too. And while you were on the subject of Alaskans, anyone living in Alaska probably needs at least a sun lamp no matter what race they are to get their vitamin D during the winter there. The Republicans have been looking for, unsuccessfully I might add, a way to make SOMETHING be racist against whites in this white dominated country. And this fails miserably too. 🙂

  9. Rick on said:

    Alan West…

    Hardly a racist argument here. It comes down to choice and free will. A person does not choose to have sickle cell disease. In addition, the argument that: “Well you can choose to patronize another establishment so my denying you service is not wrong.” Is also a false argument. The CRA did away with inequal access to goods and services. A tax on tanning bed use does not limit anyone’s access to a desired service. It does raise the cost a bit; however, the all-knowing, all-glorious, and all-wise “FREE MARKET” should take care of that. If I really, really, really want to take business from Joe’s salon, I’ll just drop my price a bit.

    Alan West is a sophmoric twit.

  10. Dr. L on said:

    The key differentiation between this concept and a racist tax is in the word “need”. There is nothing necessary about using a tanning bed; on the other hand, medication for a disease is a need. Moreover, the taxed method of getting a tan is not the only method. Because of this, the tax is not levied against the pale-skinned; merely those who WANT to get tan without going out into the sun.

  11. Tanning beds DO have some legitimate medical uses, such as the treatment of keratosis, psoriasis and eczema. There are some that believe that tanning beds may be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Medical prescriptions are sometimes written for use of tanning beds. I am unsure if the medical treatments are used as often on people with naturally dark skin or not. I am also unsure if the tax is waived if use of the tanning bed is “medically necessary”.

  12. I’m just wondering why rich white guys are always looking for a reason to claim that “reverse racism” exists. Really? You want all the baggage that comes along with that? Shhh. Sit down and let some grown folks talk now, honey. You are not oppressed. Get over yourself.

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