Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When is a Business Not a Business?

I found an article about a Meridan, Mississippi "fortune teller" who is challenging the laws that prohibit "his kind" from doing business inside city limits. The challenger, Sandy Mitchell, is a descendant of Meridian's "King and Queen of Gypsies."

One thing I couldn't help noticing about the article is whenever the relationship between the current Mitchell and the famous Mitchells is mentioned terms like "self proclaimed" show up. I find such terms very disrespectful. I would think that no one would be stupid enough to claim a relationship to a famous person that could easily be checked out in public records.

The other thing that surprised me was that this law forbidding fortune telling within city limits was still on the books. Really? It's the 21st Century for cripes sake. I'm surprised it took this long to get a court case going. I guess they do things differently down in Mississippi. The article mentions that if there was a change, such businesses would be restricted to a certain part of town.

I'm not going to get into the argument about whether or not someone should use his/her gifts for profit. To thine own self be true is what I say (thanks Will). If Mitchell legally makes his living reading tarot cards and he pays his taxes I feel he should be able practice his business just like anyone else. He should also be able to practice this business anywhere any other business is allowed.

I guess I'm naive to expect everyone be treated as equal.

Image: Deutscher Maler, 18. Jh. (Umkreis Samuel Beck/Seekatz): Die Wahrsagerin Oil on wood, 36.5 x 23 cm

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