I Propose A “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day”—Because His Imprisonment Is A Disgrace To Our Nation

Justin Carter

Ethics Alarms is not an activist blog. That is not its purpose. However, for some reason that mystifies and frightens me, most of the nation appears to be unaware, or not to give a damn, that in this nation, supposedly free and governed by the principles of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, a young teenaged man has been imprisoned and abused because he wrote this in a non-threatening exchange on Facebook:

“Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head. I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them.” lol. jk.”

I wrote about the ridiculous, Kafka-esque series of events that put this innocent kid in prison here. I asked in that post, “what are we going to do about it?” The answer, apparently, is nothing.

The confiscate-the-guns, save-the-children, anything-goes-to-save-one-child hysteria that marinated everyone’s brain since Newtown apparently worked, and just a few observers are even paying attention to Justin’s persecution any more. It’s gotten worse for Justin, you know. He’s still in jail; he has apparently been beaten. He’s on a suicide watch, and for some reason a judge set his bail at $500,000, which defies sanity. The ACLU, which one would think exists to come to the rescue of victims like Justin, has been silent as far as I can tell. Texas Governor Rick Perry hasn’t lifted a finger either. While President Obama clearly intends to stick his nose into every local incident he gives a damn about, he doesn’t appear to feel the imprisonment of a kid for making a black humor joke on Facebook is worthy of his meddling. Outside of the Huffington Post, the National Review and NPR, only the conservative websites have expressed outrage at Justin’s case. None of the major news networks have reported it. Nor has the Washington Post or The New York Times. Indeed, read the comments to some of the web coverage, and you encounter disgusting reactions like this, from HuffPo reader Rita Phel:

“It is unbelievable how many people are defending this young man and making light of what he said. There is NOTHING funny about that comment and there never will be. The victim’s families are still grieving for goodness sake. And just because somebody says they’re just kidding doesn’t mean they actually are. Also, he’s not a kid – he was 18 at the time and that makes him an adult. He knew very well that what he posted was inappropriate or else he would not have quickly followed it with ‘lol’ and ‘jk’. This world is clearly more messed up than I thought if people could boldly defend something so obviously cruel, offensive and insensitive”

That’s right Rita, you Nazi, when someone offends you with an insensitive remark on his own webpage, lock him up.

All you self-righteous civil libertarian cartoonists out there: you thought it was worth insulting an entire world of Muslims because one of your number was bullied by Islamic crazies for drawing Mohammad. Is it worth your time to do anything to protest your own country throwing teens in jail for making sarcastic jokes? Why are you, indeed, why are any of us sitting by and allowing our news media to ignore the fact that in this country, someone is being jailed for nothing more than a lack of political correctness…and is allegedly facing many years in jail? The big protest action undertaken in Justin’s behalf appear to be a Change.org petition. Yeah, that’s powerful.

lol. jk.

He’s “just one” individual? He’s one citizen, and if it can happen to one, it can happen to any of us. (It already happened to another.)

So let me propose some more high profile action that might rouse our media and our elected officials out of their disgraceful apathy. I’m not going to organize it, but the social media will do that, if anyone else cares.

I propose that we make August 1 “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day.” Circulate this post, or just spread the word yourself. Everyone with a Facebook, Twitter or other social media account post Justin’s prison-worthy threat….

“Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head. I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them. lol. jk.”

Maybe that will get some attention. That busy-body in Canada can’t have all of us arrested…unless its just me. Come to think of it, I live next to a school. Hmmm. I sure hope I have some company on August first, because in Barack Obama’s America, I’m not sure what I may be arrested for, or who may be watching.

I’m not doing this alone.

________________________________

Graphic: New York Daily News

75 thoughts on “I Propose A “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day”—Because His Imprisonment Is A Disgrace To Our Nation

  1. I still think this should be tagged primarily as prosecutorial misconduct. It’s sheer idiocy. Maybe the prosecutor hasn’t read what this kid wrote? Maybe he’s also a congressman and doesn’t read the indictments he seeks?

  2. I’m in!!!!

    Meanwhile, I have this thing for Rand Paul. Here’s a copy of my email of my tweet (to Rand Paul) to myself and CC:d to NSA sent minutes ago hahaha! (I email myself in order to harrass the NSA cause I CC: ’em every time and leave innocent bystanders, well, innocent of my shenigans.)

    ——————————

    Dear Fatty,

    I think you are treading on dangerous ground here.

    I love you anyway.

    Pax,
    Fatty

    #inmybookisaid@ @ @ggreenwald @SenRandPaul Yo, Rand! You gonna have me arrested? http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11439

    All is in pieces anyway.

    ————————

    Original tweet to Rand Paul (and Glenn Greenwald) –

    Jeffrey Field ‏@phattymoon 38m
    #inmybookisaid@ @ @ggreenwald @SenRandPaul Yo, Rand! You gonna have me arrested? http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11439 pic.twitter.com/7vyPVK2QJX
    View photo

  3. A grand jury in Comal County, Texas indicted this 19 year old for a third degree Felony and the judge set the bail. That county is strongly Republican.. So why are you trying to pin this on President Obama? This is more of a hardline Republican stance on threats of school violence.

    • Because Obama is by far the person whose involvement/commentary on this issue would be likely to help this kid the most?

      Because Obama has interjected himself into local events far less relevant to his job than this one?

      Because Obama is probably the single person most responsible for the post-Sandy Hook hysteria?

      Because you just might be the first person ever to characterize these no-tolerance gun policies and Sandy-Hook related free-speech limitations as “Republican” policies, given the track-record of same?

      Could be any one of those maybe.

      • Because Obama is by far the person whose involvement/commentary on this issue would be likely to help this kid the most?

        Doesn’t mean he’s at fault for not getting involved. Obama’s involvement/commentary on any issue is likely to be more powerful than anyone else’s commentary on that issue.

        Because Obama has interjected himself into local events far less relevant to his job than this one?

        So?

        Because you just might be the first person ever to characterize these no-tolerance gun policies and Sandy-Hook related free-speech limitations as “Republican” policies, given the track-record of same?

        He commented on the response to threats of school violence, not “no-tolerance gun policies and Sandy-Hook related free-speech limitations.” And yes, prosecuting people for making comments about school violence is a ridiculous law and order position that tends to line up more with the right than the left.

    • “While President Obama clearly intends to stick his nose into every local incident he gives a damn about, he doesn’t appear to feel the imprisonment of a kid for making a black humor joke on Facebook is worthy of his meddling.”
      I can’t believe you read Jack’s whole post and came to the conclusion that this is the most troubling aspect of this wretched episode is that you think he’s “trying to pin this on President Obama”. Respectfully, I think you’re missing the larger point which is, “My God, we live in a country where being an insensitive jerk is an imprisonable offence”. Furthermore, how is counterpointing the Obama administration’s willingness to inject itself into local affairs when political points are to be made with it’s silence on this issue, an attempt to assign the blame to the President? Isn’t he then also blaming Rick Perry? Wait, I’m sorry, Perry is a Republican, so he is not deserving of your reflexive outrage. It doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t, that this happened in a majority Republican district. Objectively, this is a horrible injustice. Any one not blinded by hysteria or partisanship should be able to see it as such.

      • The issue Jj brought up was with “Obama’s America”. That was an unfair potshot. That “most troubling aspect…” crap are your words, not Jj’s.

        • Clearly not an “unfair potshot.”

          When died-in-the-wool Democrats and civil libertarians like Nat Hentoff, Glenn Greenwald, Richard Cohen, Elizabeth Holtzman and many, many others protest that this administration has demonstrated unprecedented hostility to basic Constitutional rights—and they are correct—such incursions at a local level can be fairly, and should be, laid at the ultimate leader’s doorstep. The news media wire taps, drones kills, show trials, mandated purchases, vilification of gun ownership, intrusive TSA searches, NSA spying, cover-ups, IRS targeting based on political views, cover-ups, cover-ups, race-based law-enforcement—take your pick…like some, justify some, but the over-all trend is obvious, and the President either allowed or encouraged it all.

          • So much is wrong with this comment. For starters, Greenwald is an ideologue more than he is a Democrat.

            Democrats and civil libertarians shouldn’t be combined together.

            I don’t see any “unprecedented” hostility to basic constitutional rights. Hostility to them, yes, but not “unprecedented” by any means.

            As for your list of things, they should be taken one by one:

            * “The news media wire taps” – not new
            * “drones kills” – not new (started by Bush, if not Clinton)
            * “show trials” – too generic to respond to
            * “mandated purchases” – not new
            * “vilification of gun ownership” – not new, also, Obama’s been a bit unfairly tarred here. His comments and policies were pretty tame. Other voices on the left were considerably less sensible.
            * “intrusive TSA searches” – not new (started by Bush)
            * “NSA spying” – not new. These spying ideas came in under Bush.
            * “cover-ups” – too generic to respond to, but cover ups are not new
            * “IRS targeting based on political views” – not tied to the administration at all.
            * “cover-ups, cover-ups” – Repeating a generic point isn’t support.
            * “race-based law-enforcement” – oh come on. We’ve had race based law enforcement for our entire history. It’s still more anti-black than pro-black.

            “take your pick…like some, justify some, but the over-all trend is obvious, and the President either allowed or encouraged it all.” – I can make up a list of things I don’t like during any administration, that does not mean you can tie anything else specific to the president in that administration. The “over-all trend”? If you just list negative things and ignore positive things like backing of recording of police officers and including unpopular groups in speeches (like the non religious), then of course it’s going to appear to be a negative trend.

            • I think you’re nit-picking, and I think most fair commentators on right or left would agree with me. The over-all tone since Day #1 has been either contempt for or ignorance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Holder says he wants a trial of imprisoned terrorists, but there’s “no chance” they’ll be acquitted. ??? Obama directly attacks individual news outlets and commentators. ??? He uses a PR offensive against the Supreme Court, both before and after opinions.

              Your excuses are shockingly contrived:

              * “The news media wire taps” – not new Everybody does it, eh? Not new, but on an unprecedented level. Criminalizaing reporting. Name another example as bad as the AP.
              * “drones kills” – not new (started by Bush, if not Clinton) See above. Of American citizens? New with Obama.
              * “show trials” – too generic to respond to Obviously a reference to the President pushing a trial for Zimmerman, and getting his wish.
              * “mandated purchases” – not new Excuse me? This fake argument has been definitively debunked.
              * “vilification of gun ownership” – not new, also, Obama’s been a bit unfairly tarred here. His comments and policies were pretty tame. Other voices on the left were considerably less sensible. See above! Not new, but from a President, unprecedented.
              * “intrusive TSA searches” – not new (started by Bush) See above. This went beyond anything allowed by Bush, and of course, Obama was against everything Bush did that he is repeating, on steroids.
              * “NSA spying” – not new. These spying ideas came in under Bush. Ditto.
              * “cover-ups” – too generic to respond to, but cover ups are not new And this sheer mass of cover-ups is matched only by Clinton.
              * “IRS targeting based on political views” – not tied to the administration at all. Huh? It’s IN his administration. Nobody has been called to account. Nobody has been fired who wasn’t already leaving. The message came from the White House loud and clear. It is inherently tied to the administration.
              * “cover-ups, cover-ups” – Repeating a generic point isn’t support.
              * “race-based law-enforcement” – oh come on. We’ve had race based law enforcement for our entire history. It’s still more anti-black than pro-black. Everybody does it. So now its pay-back time? From the racially neutral President? Nice.

              When did you start subscribing to “MSNBC Talking Points”?

              • * “The news media wire taps” – not new Everybody does it, eh? Not new, but on an unprecedented level. Criminalizaing reporting. Name another example as bad as the AP.

                Not “Everybody does it.” You were giving examples of “Obama’s America”. If they exist prior to Obama, then they aren’t valid examples.

                Reporting wasn’t criminalized.

                “drones kills” – not new (started by Bush, if not Clinton) See above. Of American citizens? New with Obama.

                Moving the goalposts.

                * “show trials” – too generic to respond to Obviously a reference to the President pushing a trial for Zimmerman, and getting his wish.

                How would I assume your plural meant a specific singular example? Also, are you saying that the jury and judge are in the tank against Zimmerman and Obama set that up? Are you using some odd nonstandard definition of show trial?

                “mandated purchases” – not new Excuse me? This fake argument has been definitively debunked.

                No it hasn’t. The prior mandated purchases were just put under different constitutional powers. The prior requirements weren’t a reason the healthcare mandate was constitutional. They didn’t stop existing.

                “vilification of gun ownership” – not new, also, Obama’s been a bit unfairly tarred here. His comments and policies were pretty tame. Other voices on the left were considerably less sensible. See above! Not new, but from a President, unprecedented.

                As noted, Obama’s comments and policies were pretty muted. He’s getting a bum rap here.

                * “intrusive TSA searches” – not new (started by Bush) See above. This went beyond anything allowed by Bush, and of course, Obama was against everything Bush did that he is repeating, on steroids.

                * “NSA spying” – not new. These spying ideas came in under Bush. Ditto.

                Obama was not against all the TSA measures. I also can’t think of any measures that he’s added. He’s even tried to rescind some of them (like the short knife policy).

                For NSA, I haven’t seen anything reported that’s beyond what was reported as being authorized under Bush. Obama actually pushed for laws to have checks on the system and do things with legal authority

                That Obama was against certain policies under Bush but for them now may be an issue, but (1) that’s not the point you made, and (2) it would be an invalid example to your larger point.

                * “cover-ups” – too generic to respond to, but cover ups are not new And this sheer mass of cover-ups is matched only by Clinton.

                Even looking at your position charitably… not specific to Obama.

                * “IRS targeting based on political views” – not tied to the administration at all. Huh? It’s IN his administration. Nobody has been called to account. Nobody has been fired who wasn’t already leaving. The message came from the White House loud and clear. It is inherently tied to the administration.

                The White House did not approve of or condone the bad behavior. When it was found out about, it was investigated independent of the White House. The White House’s hands are clean on the targeting. They might not be great on the post investigation response, but that’s a completely different matter.

                * “race-based law-enforcement” – oh come on. We’ve had race based law enforcement for our entire history. It’s still more anti-black than pro-black. Everybody does it. So now its pay-back time? From the racially neutral President? Nice.

                Ugh, my point was that if you’re tarring Obama here, you have to tar every other president even more. Again, you haven’t supported your “Obama’s America” comment.

                When did you start subscribing to “MSNBC Talking Points”?

                I don’t follow MSNBC and the few liberal commentators I read, I disagree with fairly regularly. I’m not regurgitating liberal points, and that characterization seems inappropriate.

                • Whether you follow MSNBC’s talking points or not, these are they: essentially rationalizations and excuses to duck obvious accountability.

                  When a man is President for five years, when he promised transparency and instead sewed distrust and obfuscation, when he promised even-handed, not divisive policies and then helped exacerbate divisions of all kinds men vs women, black vs. white, citizens vs. illegals, religious vs non-religious, young vs old, gun owners vs victims of gun violence, wealthy vs. poor, for political expediency, when he tolerated incompetence and dishonesty in his highest positions under his authority, when the populace is polarized and angry and economic conditions make that condition worse, it is his society, his nation, his problems, his culture. Obama’s America. Not a cheap shot.

                  Fact.

                  • Honestly, I’m speechless. How the hell did Obama exacerbate divisions between religious and non-religious? Between men and women? Old vs poor? Is favoring progressive taxes somehow flaming the fire more than regressive taxes?

                    Your opinions about Obama’s qualities as a leader appear to be biasing your comments.

        • Perhaps I should have said most provocative, or compelling, or comment worthy; choose your adjective. “Crap” or not the fact remains that Jj read the post and was apparently, based on his going to the trouble to post a reply, most agitated, annoyed, disconcerted (choose your crappy adjective) by the fact that Jack mentioned the President’s name in a less than flattering context. This is ridiculous. The core issue transcends partinsanship. Don’t you get that?

          • Perhaps I should have said most provocative, or compelling, or comment worthy; choose your adjective.

            All of which are “that’s not the worst thing”

            “Crap” or not the fact remains that Jj read the post and was apparently, based on his going to the trouble to post a reply, most agitated, annoyed, disconcerted (choose your crappy adjective) by the fact that Jack mentioned the President’s name in a less than flattering context.

            This isn’t logical. If Jack talks about how horrible X is, and makes mistake Y, I’m likely going to comment about mistake Y no matter how horrible X is. X has been covered. Y hasn’t.

            The issue also wasn’t that Obama’s name was used in a negative way; it’s that his name was used in an inappropriately negative way. If there was any partisanship here, it’ was on Jack’s part.

  4. I suppose Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” would invite similar prosecution.

    “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.”

  5. I’m waiting for our President to make a public appearance and say something along the lines of: “If I had a son, he’d look a lot like Justin Carter.”

  6. So, the only act of protest that makes sense when someone says you can’t do anything, like say draw pictures of something, would be to do that exact thing, hrmmmm?

    (I did it again this year, but I didn’t scan it because I was busy).

  7. Mr. Marshall, it gets worse. Another boy, age 18, fron Methuen, Ma., was arrested May 23, without bail, for posting rap lyrics on his Facebook. Charged with Terroristic Threats, is facing a potential 20 year sentence. A Boston College Law Professor weighs in, stating 1st admendment doesn’t necessarily protect him -not even under the cloak of artistic expression- if I understood it correctly. How can there be such a discrepancy?

  8. When enough people accept the “If it saves even one child…” argument to infringe on people’s rights, none of our rights are safe. The moment enough people accept the “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about’ argument, none of our rights are safe.

    Prosecutors, police officers, and judges do not have our, or society’s best interests at heart.. They need to be held to the strictest standards and scrutiny.

    We have to grow thicker skins if we are survive as a free country. We have to get away from the mentality that “he shouldn’t’t be allowed to say that” or “he shouldn’t be allowed to do that”. We need to get used to hearing opinions we disagree with and ideas that we think are offensive. We have to resist the urge to ban ideas opinions we think are wrong. We have to accept the fact that some people will teach their children things that are wrong. We need to accept the fact that sometimes, even children get hurt. We need to stop being afraid.

    In October of 2001, National Chemistry Week demonstrations were cancelled. I protested and said that this was 100% the wrong thing to do. To cancel an annual event that kids enjoyed because of the minute chance that terrorists might target our local mall demos seemed the height of paranoia and cowardice. I was overruled as were similar voices all over the nation. Unless we can accept some risk, our freedoms are gone.

    In college, two boys were thrown off campus because they expressed displeasure with the university’s affirmative action policies. They were in their dorm room with the door closed, but the RA put a glass to the door to see what they were talking about. She found it suspicious that they would close their door while talking. That was 1990. We have a whole generation that grew up with these conditions. Roughly half of them agree with them, many of the others are too afraid to say anything about it. Unless we can resist the urge to treat those with differing ideas like this, we can’t be free.

  9. Teenagers these days often post comments of what they are thinking at the time, without spending any time to process what they are actually saying… A mistake that could happen to anyone. Of course in this case it’s more serious. But the fundamental factor to consider is whether or not he was joking. Do you believe he was serious? It doesn’t matter if you found it insensitive, or offensive or a threat. If you don’t actually believe he would suddenly go outside and commit mass murders then this is just a mistake of posting what he is thinking at the time. And apparently that is now a criminal offence carrying up to 8 years jail time.

    • Please don’t try to excuse this on the basis that it was a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake, it was self-identified sarcasm. You don’t have to even wonder with this comment.

      • Exactly. He did nothing wrong. Saying he made a mistake suggests he is partially to blame—all the news coverage does this. “What he said was horrible, but…” IRRELEVANT. He should have been able to say what he said at no risk at all.

  10. The thing that pisses me off the most about this situation is that if you take the context of what was written, it is obviously a sarcastic retort to a comment or some he heard… As far as this being on Obama it is because he should be aware of it and stepping in to right this issue…. And as far as all the Obama bashing that’s not the point in the article, he was elected by the ill informed and ignorant public…. How you can be dumb enough to elect a politician out of Chicago to be president when 5 out of the last 7 Illinois Governors have been arrested while in office.

  11. This isn’t the only case. I read about another right as this case came out, another online exchange in which the boy was obviously goaded…when the inflammatory remarks were made in response to the goading, the friend replied ‘Knock, knock’ and soon police arrived-

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/02/second-teen-spends-months-in-jail-for-video-game-threat/

    “The threats were made while he was playing “Runescape,” an online multiplayer fantasy game. Another player began antagonizing him, and
    eventually told him to kill himself.
    Irritated, Pillault said he would kill not just himself, but also take out the local high school. He also mentioned Columbine — the name of an infamous school shooting — according to reports.
    It was the response that the other player had been hoping for, according to Pillault’s mother.
    “His gleeful last words to Josh were ‘Knock, knock!’ which is a reference to the feds he sent our way,” wrote Stacey Pillault in an email to TheDC News Foundation.”

    Here’s one about a boy arrested for yelling “Bingo!” and ticking off a hall full of old ladies…

    http://www.today.com/news/teen-arrested-yelling-bingo-crowded-hall-1C8990871

    • I’m aware of this, and the Methuen one too. They are all awful, but Justin’s is the clearest cut. One of the other kids mentioned Columbine, and the other the White House. The latter especially would get someone into trouble ant time in the last 50 years.

      If we are going to raise the issue, take the strongest case. A joke on Facebook, however gross or in bad taste, simply should never spark law enforcement. Ever.

      • You’re right. I thought that perhaps everyone on the thread might not be aware of all three. I guess my point in posting them was that this is happening everywhere, and I find it simply horrifying. Of course, Justin’s case is the strongest, and action needs to be taken.
        Count me in as well.

    • Twitter posts – Jeffrey Field ‏@phattymoon 1m
      #JustinCarter Those in support of Justin Carter are urged to participate in this social media event Aug. 1. Details http://tinyurl.com/mmwv6n8

      Jeffrey Field ‏@phattymoon 1m
      #FreeJustinCarter Those supporting Justin Carter are urged to participate in this social media event Aug. 1. Details http://tinyurl.com/mmwv6n8

  12. Just thought I’d throw this into the mix… posted on Facebook this morning. Should I expect a knock-knock?

    Jeffrey Field shared a link.
    2 hours ago near Las Cruces
    At 3:07…
    “Today man has too much power. The Roman Empire collapsed with the assassination of Cesar. And why? Because of too much power.”

    Now THERE’S an idea.

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