Happy Loving Day 2012: Right to Share Lives

This is a terrific website, set up to celebrate the outcome of the Loving Case of 1967.  I wrote about the Loving case on Valentine's day.

Don't have time to write much more about it today.   Mr. and Ms. Loving were a real couple who fought for their right to marry regardless of race.

This pertains to Fair Trade Recycling very simply.  The case made in defense of the Virginia law banning their marriage was based on statistics and fear.   They tried to justify the ban on interracial marriage with horrible anecdotes about all the things that can go wrong.

That is how the backers of HR2284 describe my trade with Las Chicas Bravas, refurbishers in southeast Asia, and geeks in Africa.   Because it might go wrong, I should be banned from doing business there.

So we ban Peace Corps volunteers from starting small businesses aimed at proper recycling, repair and refurbishment in the countries they lived in.  Perfect thinking.  It helps you to imagine the attitudes of the people, long passed away, who argued against women's suffrage, argued against voting by non-land-owners, who argued against popular democracy.

We are lucky to be arguing about fair trade recycling, at least from our side of the ocean.  The people being accused of being primitive idiots and having their containers of computers seized by dictators in Africa - not so much.  A ban on the export of used computers, as "e-waste", is based on what someone else is accused of doing, not what we are doing, and not even what most exporters are doing.  The right to share my life with people who repair and recycle computers in countries which need it is not something EPA or Congress or Vermont ANR should attempt to infringe on based on photos of black children taken at landfills.

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