Should eBay ban racist collectibles?

Should eBay ban racist collectibles? According to various articles I seen over the past few years on black people recapturing their history I thought it was black people who were buying a lot of this stuff for historical and personal collections of various types. Am I incorrect?

Activists urge Ebay to drop racist collectibles

Of course not. Thats like saying they should ban bras because they make flat chested women feel bad about themselves.

Absolutely not. People have a right to sell and buy things that are offensive. It’s called “freedom”.

Hell no.

As you stated, there are a number of Black collectors of such items, including Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee, either for value, or for reminders of America’s racist past.

Visit the aforementioned Jim Crow Museum for more information on these items (PRETTY OBVIOUS WARNING: contains African-American stereotypes and the word “nigger.”)

Check ebay’s policies, quoted in part below:

I personally don’t care if it’s an NAACP representative buying an 1850s era “Black Sambo” bank for historical value, or if it’s a neo-nazi buying a “I hate niggers” mousepad made last week. Freedom is freedom. People should be able to buy and sell things even if they are offensive.

Of course, eBay is a private company and can block whatever they want on their own site. It’d be nice if they went on the side of freedom, but my guess is they will cave and start banning this stuff.

IMHO, no, people should be free to buy and sell whatever crap they want.

It is up to them, of course. Personally I don’t think it reflects poorly on ebay to allow the sale of such goods, it is obvious from the increadible amount of crap that gets sold on ebay that they are not endorsing any of the items, ie if a Nazi helmet is for sale I don’t think of Ebay as being pro-nazi.

I can buy and sell world wide but I can’t say what the item is in the office??? Yepper, everyone agrees on what freedom is…

So eBay should allow sellers to sell child porn? Controlled substances? Nuclear weapons? Body parts?

I don’t agree that racist memorabilia should be banned, but to trump out the ole “freedom” card here–like it’s written somewhere that we are entitled to do whatever the hell we want-is crazy.

monstro, the stuff you mention isn’t just offensive, they are also illegal, dangerous or the result of a crime. Racist material is not. The analogy doesn’t hold.

Well it depends- will eBay make more money from selling these items than they lose from the bad publicity? They should do whatever is more profitable.

You may as well ban history books that deal with this topic. I do think that articles of this nature, while being made lawful for trade via EBay, should be carefully monitored for their historical value and reflections of popular attitudes of times past. Under the “freedom” definition, anything with the KKK logo (if there is one) could be allowed, as well as other hate-ridden merchandise that is endorsed by only a minority, and worse. This is what I think makes “Jim Crow” articles different; they were widely accepted at one time. To seek correction against racist matters, it is important to look at the past.

So if selling those things weren’t illegal, you would have a problem if eBay had a policy against them?

My point is that an inalienable right isn’t being trampled here. Freedom is only what the guy with the power allows you to do. And no one is stopping anyone from selling racist memorabilia. A private entity–like a business or an individual–has every right NOT to be associated with whatever items they deem offensive. This freedom thing is a two-way street.

If it’s legal, they should be able to sell anything they want. And not sell anything they don’t want. My opinion is that they should continue selling racist collectibles in the spirit of freedom.

I did in fact previously write in this very thread “Of course, eBay is a private company and can block whatever they want on their own site.”

Sometimes people buy such things for research. The museum I interned at had two antique KKK uniforms from the 1920s. (I didn’t see them, but a fellow intern did).

Or students reading Mein Kampf for a research paper.

So why are you complaining, Revtim? They are expressing freedom by making this decision. If they caved into the whims of people who have a hard-on for some vague concept called"freedom" (who wouldn’t be buying this stuff anyway, most likely), they WOULDN’T be erring on the side of freedom. It would be no different than forcing a Christian bookstore to sell pornography just because pornography isn’t against the law.

This isn’t an issue of freedom.

But it doesn’t sound like anyone is forcing eBay to carry these auctions-just the opposite!

I disagree with most people here. If eBay considers these kinds of things objectionable, they should not allow them to be listed on their own server in the interest of freedom. What amendment in the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom to list stuff on eBay? Refusing access for certain products in no way impinges on freedom of speech or anything like that.