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.
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”
If a joke after 20 kids are killed gets you 8 years, what does a Holocaust joke get you these days?
Good question. And if a sarcastic joke about killing kids gets you 8 years, what does a real and unsarcastic threat of violence over twitter to a journalist get you? If you’re a good liberal bully jackass like Alec Baldwin, another rich contract with a national bank. Go figure.
And to tie it back to an earlier post, if you stalk your ex so hard that there’s restraining orders involved, show up at her work place, and end up getting her fired, they don’t do anything until you actually try to kill her- but say something juvenile that triggers the “OMG TEH SANDY HOOKZ” reflex and they will somehow find a way to jail you…
Good point Luke.
Though what this knucklehead posted was distasteful, that does not mean he has no right to express it. In my day he would have been an “outlaw” ham radio operator spending way too much time in his parent’s basement, showing his friends his new switchblade to impress, shock, and enjoy his friends’ reactions as he demonstrated, with “expert” thrusts, how best to effectively kill – just a kid searching for a counterculture identification by deciding to be intentionally politically incorrect (why isn’t Bill Maher defending this kid in his monologue?), and shocking. I find it no different than “Metal”, or “Death Rock” band culture, artwork, lyrics, or comedians who develop a brand, and a following with shock humor (Lenny Bruce, anybody?). B.O., whom I voted for, twice, mainly because the alternatives were too appalling, and his execrable AG, and fascist DOJ, have been far more shocking in their imperialism, and arrogance, and far more deadly, and destructive to the fabric of this country, and its laws, than this kid could ever be.
Great post until you made an odd comparison that the alternatives to BO were ‘too appalling’ in comparison.
MNBC just covered this tonight. The kid is out of jail thankfully.
Only out on bail (which was $500,000); he’s still going to go to court. The situation in regards to a flippant remark of a teenager protected by the 1st Amendment vs an actual Threat has yet to be decided.
Pingback: The First Amendment Protects Satire And Rhetoric! lol j/k | Popehat
Jack, I just cannot join in on this. Not because it “totally isn’t my style,” because I can get mighty audaciously, frighteningly, trust-bustingly, tit-for-tat vengeful, spiteful, crude, sarcastic and mean. It just is not a part of my style that I want to exercise, let alone in one of the new media. That is what my participation would amount to. I honestly aspire for all that not to be part of my style. I’m too old to be optimistic about that ever being the case, but I am not giving up yet.
Besides, I do not think the mass protest will help the young man like he needs or deserves. I think the better action would be for wiser heads, who have the power, to call the persons most directly involved with the man’s suffering of injustice to account.
You may not comprehend the point, which is this: IF substantial numbers of people follow through, and I have severe doubts, the media will have to note the phenomenon, which means they will have to tell the story. The story is just not being told by the mainstream media, which is too busy trying to make sure there is a race riot over George Zimmerman. People should at least know their First Amendment rights are a sham, don’t you think?
The media is covering it — just not as much as you think it deserves. I heard the story on NPR and MSNBC. A quick Google search showed that it also has been covered by CNN and HuffPost. The fact that this poor boy was arrested, jailed for so long, and is facing trial is horrible — but lots “stupid and/or egregious police stories” do not get covered at all, even when they involve violations of Constitutional rights.
I can’t post his stuff on Facebook because, like Eeyoure, it is not my personal style. But, I will comment on his unfair prosecution and attach an appropriate link.
Mind you, many of us are confined to social media policies because of employment. I am only able to post political items to a smaller and more select audience. And, even then, I have to be careful.
You should not have to be careful in a land governed by the Declaration and the Constitution. This should not happen, and I am frankly suspicious of the coverage at NPR and MSNBC because they did as much to chill expression as the arrest, if they do not, and they did not, unequivocally condemn the arrest.
“but lots “stupid and/or egregious police stories” means you are assuming that lots of people get arrested and prosecuted for stating their opinion or making jokes or exercising their rights of free speech. Really? How do you know? If you believe that, why aren’t you more upset about it; why isn’t this incompetent and biased Justice Department doing something about it, and where is the ACLU?
1. You attack NPR, HuffPost, and MSNBC for creating a culture that fears guns, terrorists, etc. You attack them also when they cover stories about improper police action over speech about gun violence/terrorism — when the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) are not covering these stories at all. Not only is that inconsistent, it should make you question your fanatical zeal in blaming the left for all of this. This poor boy was arrested for making “terrorist” threats — these laws (all a result of downstream crap flowing from the Patriot Act) were a result of the “law & order/let’s fight another war against an unnamed enemy” types championed by the Republicans. And yes, the main line Democrats happily fell into line, but the Progressives and Libertarians have been screaming about this for 10 years. And now we’re starting to see the chilling effects — incarcerations for speech, body scans at airports, full capture of all emails/phone calls, drones to take out enemies. This is the crappy new world we live in — and it is not the Progressives’ or Libertarians’ fault. It’s the fault of the people in the center and to the right.
2. I’ve been upset about this since law school and it was the primary reason I didn’t become a prosecutor. The abuse of State power sickens me to my core and I refuse to be a part of it. (I also can’t be a defense attorney because that would sicken me too.)
3. ACLU? I agree with you there. Where the %$#& are they?
I do get the intention of the protest, and I have shared links to the articles about the injustice, in e-mails but not in other media. I have considered studying the situation further with a mind to pay personal visits to appeal to a few of the authorities who are able to make amends. Short of confronting major media moguls ambush-style, I don’t see anything else I could do to influence those media to be any more responsive.
Im from south africa, is this real? how does one get arrested for making comments on his own facebook page? its a given that the joke made was not a good joke! so what? are american prosecutors now going to arrest,detain and prosecute every moron that makes insensitive jokes?
if they do they will be just as busy with law suites and liability claims as they will be with the “criminal overflow”!! some people need to take their ritalin every morning, look for real criminals and do some real work!
and further, how on earth does a court make a decision to grant bail at 500000 dollars?? that in itself is a joke? unreal! i feel sorry for this young man.