One of the big factors in the racist business owner actually making that decision is if s/he can weather alienating that customer base. Let's say s/he can. So this poor family or couple of families have no genuine support in the community. There aren't other people still welcomed to the business but now turned off from it. So that's the climate of this community. Does a business owner even need to vent their prejudice in that manner then? I wouldn't think so. Their reason would have to be something like 'I can't tolerate the presence of these people', the physical contact, etc. This is a barely realistic scenario in of itself. Also, as the family, when you have that little to lose, relocating actually gets easier than if you had a bit to lose. They're already hungry where they're at.
eta: I'll go ahead and argument-wise redact the last two sentences. You're trying to prevent that predicament.
My exact scenario is unlikely obviously, and its extrapolated out to make a point. But the following things are seemingly true:
- People like being around people that think somewhat like themselves. It allows them to speak more openly and freely without fear of judgement.
- As a business, 20 loyal customers a day beats a group of 200 people choosing randomly between 10 businesses every time.
- Prejudiced people may not NEED to vent with their beliefs...but anyone so prejudiced as to refuse someones business likely WANTS to vent their beliefs. They likely hate that they havent been able to vent as freely as theyd like.
As for the whole small town scenario, its hopefully not likely that we will find an entire town of bigots looking to get rid of the blacks and gays. But there are lots of places (towns, workplaces, schools, etc) in which 10% of the group feels that way. Then the vast majority of the group have their own problems and dont care to get involved in that drama.
Thinking about it more from a more sociological perspective...Ive read studies that state that Anonimity has proven to be the key element of successful group decision making. Take away the anonymity, and people tend to follow the crowd. Those that disagree would have to confront. Laws provide an avenue of anonymity in that those that disagree with something have a way of reporting it in a nonconfrontational manner.