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