Knotting Some Public/Private Threads
One can hear, in the expected quarters, the admonition that Eliot Spitzer’s $80,000 whoring habit is a private matter. I wonder how many who’d make that argument also see David Richardson’s travails in Providence — where he recently requested proof of the citizenship status of an Hispanic customer to his store — as private.
I imagine that a sizable number of them would insist that Richardson’s act, as a manifestation of racism, was a blight on our society and has repercussions beyond the individuals involved. But then, I’d say the same of adultery and prostitution.
Perhaps they’d take the tack that his business transactions are a public matter. But then a prostitute’s business transactions would be the same, and a marriage is even more explicitly so.
The circumstances are different, of course, one involving an elected official and the other a store owner, but I don’t see anywhere to draw a line between the two that makes one act private and the other public.