Ratcheting down on freedom

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I guess while I wasn’t looking we’ve crossed another bridge. Some lowlife at the University of Mississippi allegedly hung a noose on the statue of St. James Meredith. Bad taste, yes. Lousy manners, sure. But now, it’s also a federal crime:

A federal grand jury indicted Harris, from Alpharetta, Georgia, on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights and one count of using a threat of force to intimidate African American students at the university because of their race or color.

Let me point out that it takes some imagination to convert a piece of rope hung on a statue from a scurrilous insult to an actual threat. Did anyone really think that somebody was actually going to start stringing people up? And how does an expression of an opinion by a private citizen, however crude and stupid, violate civil rights, which are supposedly our rights against the powers of the state?

The charges were brought jointly on Friday by the Department of Justice civil rights division, the FBI in Oxford, Mississippi, and the US attorney’s office for the northern district of the state.

This crime was so serious that the FBI actually investigated! I remember when they supposedly stuck to little things like bank robbery and kidnapping, and only investigated dissent and socially questionable types (including “civil rights” activists) on the sly. Well no longer. Now they go after social pariahs openly.

It was only a while back that I chuckled when a Turkish prosecutor went after some guy who insisted on talking about the Armenian mass murder, which the Turkish regime insists didn’t happen. The charge was “insulting Turkishness.” Of course, what do you expect from a country like Turkey, right? Well, now insulting Americans is apparently a crime too:

“This shameful and ignorant act is an insult to all Americans and a violation of our most strongly held values,” said the attorney general, Eric Holder.

Also, I seem to remember that being ignorant was a mitigating factor in the commission of a crime in the past. Now, apparently, it’s the opposite: an aggravating factor.

The upshot is that now you can be arrested and charged with a federal offense for insulting the right kind of person, if you are the wrong kind of person. Needless to say, if the noose-hanger had been black, there would be no arrest. And we’ve already seen that insulting, or even threatening or attacking, white people because they’re white, is not considered a crime by Mr. Holder and his allies. You can hang Sarah Palin in effigy, for instance, and it’s all good fun.

You wouldn’t dream of hanging a noose on a statue, you say? I’m with you there. But don’t get cocky. If you’ve got some questionable opinions, say on Climate Change, perhaps, how long before expressing them gets the same response here in the Land of the Free?

One thought on “Ratcheting down on freedom”

  1. >> A federal grand jury indicted Harris, from Alpharetta, Georgia, on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights…. <<

    Huh? I thought a conspiracy required at least two people. So who was the other person?

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