Friday, June 13, 2014

Politically Incorrect Though Persecution On The Rise - Will You Be Next?

Politically Incorrect Though Persecution On The Rise - Will You Be Next?
June 13, 2014 | Tom Olago
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Are you in danger of being reported to the authorities for expressing your ‘politically incorrect’ thoughts and behaviors while in the safety of your home, and in the privacy of family conversations? At least one journalist thinks so: Cheryl Chumley, a reporter for The Washington Times and the author of “Police State USA,” feels that a remark made by Michelle Obama reflects a growing trend in America to target and attack individuals for committing “thought crime.”

Michelle Obama’s recent remarks made headlines when she reportedly exhorted graduating high schoolers in a commencement address to monitor their families for politically incorrect thoughts and behaviors. Chumley described this as an intrusion of family privacy by government that belongs “in a George Orwell novel, not the White House.”

The Daily Caller reported that Chumley “sees a troubling growth of America’s most powerful political figures now singling out private individuals for their beliefs, and using government agencies and public denunciations to intimidate opponents into silence.” Several examples as seen by Chumley include:-

• Harry Reid attacking the Koch brothers "for the crime of giving money to conservative causes";
• President Obama, Joe Biden and the entire cast of the White House, for slamming lawful gun owners for exercising their Second Amendment rights, and for trying to drum up emotional-fueled support to ram through gun control;
• The IRS targeting of tea party and patriotic non-profits;
• The nation’s highest law enforcement official, Eric Holder’s of stonewalling on a special prosecutor appointment;
• The creation of hate crime laws as one of the first steps in the country’s history in the direction of attacking unpopular and politically incorrect thoughts in America.

According to Chumley: “What comes to mind when I think of the genesis for this growing trend of government to control Americans’ speech, and by extension, thoughts, is when the notion of hate crime was brought into our criminal prosecution system — as if acts of violence that are committed because of racial divides deserve a different category of ‘extra-special bad’…Political correctness and pandering politicians have fueled this narrative in recent years. Anybody who throws the race card on a regular basis — think Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Harry Reid — is guilty to a certain degree of clamping down on free speech, and in turn, making Americans even wary of what they think.”

In Chumley’s opinion, private companies like A&E with the “Duck Dynasty” debacle are just as complicit as government in regulating speech that’s deemed offensive by the government and media, especially in relation to religious views and lately, the gay rights movement. Chumley sees the solution to this being “Americans growing a backbone and holding firm to their beliefs” adding that “the only answer is to refuse to be cowed. We’re a nation that’s founded on the belief that rights come from God, not government.”

However not everyone agrees with Chumley’s angle about Michelle Obama’s comments being a “thought police” trap. Comments sampled from online political forums suggest that interpretation of Michelle Obama’s comments differed widely. Some observers support Chumley’s views while others strongly felt that Michelle was simply urging young people not let bigotry and prejudice go unchallenged, thus helping the youth to be a part of the solution against racist and bigoted views and attitudes, irrespective of their individual racial backgrounds.

Whatever the case, the Justice department does seem to be in favour of formal programs to contain domestic “anti government or racially prejudiced” elements. This view was recently captured by who quoted Attorney General Eric Holder as stating that the Justice Department is “resurrecting a program designed to thwart domestic threats to the United States, and says those threats include individuals the government deems anti-government or racially prejudiced.”

Holder reportedly announced the return of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, created in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing but scrapped soon after the 2001 terrorist attacks as intelligence and law enforcement officials shifted their focus to threats from outside the country. The committee will be comprised of figures from the FBI, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

In his statement announcing the return of the committee, Holder said he remains concerned about the specter of attacks prompted by Islamic extremists, but he said this committee will be tasked with identifying other threats such as “anti-government animus to racial prejudice.”

The interpretation of Holder’s comments has had some alarm bells ringing and panic buttons pushed. The American Civil Liberties Union for instance is said to be pushing back against the DOJ plan, fearing “it could be a sweeping mandate to monitor and collect controversial speech.” Horace Cooper, co-chairman of the Project 21 National Advisory Board ( a network of black conservatives) commented: “It appears there’s an attempt to marginalize people who hold views that are sharply different from those of the administration and much of the establishment…(this administration) says that the groups of people that are not within their particular perspective ought to be considered the very threat … that the real terrorist threat that comes internationally presents.”

It would therefore appear that the real concern being raised in some quarters is that the government may now be equating dissenting speech that is well within the bounds of the freedom of expression, with terrorist threats – and may therefore proceed to apply anti-terrorist measures to individuals or groups considered to be guilty of merely expressing their views.

Has it come to that yet in America? That’s the question – for the answer, DOJ approaches and tactics in dealing with dissenters perceived to be politically incorrect will need to be carefully watched on an ongoing basis.


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