Power abusers only put evidence of their nature on public display when they are absolutely certain that no one can or will hold them accountable. That certainly is the case with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, but then this has been the pattern with all of the (inevitably) Democrats in her office since the days of Eliot Spitzer and before. Her latest example of unethical use of her office, however, is especially ominous.
The pro-Trump Reawaken America Tour has been criss-crossing the U.S. for more than a year, and because speakers currently include former General Michael Flynn, a Trump ally, the Left has been trying to interfere with the event whenever possible. An online petition intimidated the owner of the Rochester’s Main Street Armory cancel its hosting of the event, so the Cornerstone Church in the tiny town of Batavia, NY. took over hosting duties. Borrowing heavily from the anti-speech petition (for talking about some topics are the equivalent of violence, you know), James sent a threatening letter to tour organizer Clay Clark and Flynn, along with the church itself.
Its objective: chill a legal gathering’s free speech rights by intimidation.
Alluding to the imminent danger of “extreme views,” James warns her targets that she is “New York’s top law enforcement officer.” Her concern, she writes, is that the ReAwaken American Tour “could spur extremist or racially motivated violence.”
These concerns center around the event’s proposed dates, which coincide with the five-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and past extremist statements made by yourselves and the other featured speakers on the tour. I am especially concerned about featured speakers’ regular allusions to white nationalist ideals connected to the “Great Replacement Theory,” a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide and efforts to replace native born immigrants. The theory is frequently linked to violent actions, including the racially motivated mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo. Especially in light of this racist mass shooting, and other recent episodes of racially motivated violence in New York and throughout the country, the Office of the Attorney General is concerned that such rhetoric could contribute to violent or unlawful conduct at the ReAwaken America Tour’s upcoming event.
Black Lives Matters, Critical Race Theory, Islamic theology and other ideas James approves of are also “linked” to violent actions. This is the current poisonous drift of what once what was liberalism: ideas and words are dangerous, and must be stifled and regulated. By them.
Are dates considered threatening now? That’s going to make scheduling anything a chore, then. I remember the dates of the Charlottesville riot as a marker of when a peaceful and legal march with proper authorization was disrupted by violent counter-protesters without authorization whom the police stood back and refused to control. But I digress. The letter continues,
The Office of the Attorney General writes to remind you that New York law prohibits racially motivated violence, harassment, or interference with another person in the exercise of their civil rights. New York Civil Rights Law §79-n empowers the Office of the Attorney General to investigate acts of violence, intimidation, threats, or harassment directed at people based on a belief or perception regarding an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation. In addition to actual damages, any person who violates this statute can be held liable for $5,000 in penalties for each violation.
A reminder! How considerate! This is like the “reminder” Obama’s Education Department sent to colleges and universities to “remind” them that there could be investigations and lost funding if the schools continued to displease the administrations’ radical feminists by insisting on extending due process and fairness to male students accused of sexual assault or harassment….
Additionally, New York Civil Rights Law §40-c prohibits discriminating against another person in the exercise of their civil rights-including their right to peacefully protest- based on similar protected characteristics. Finally, New York Executive Law §63(12) empowers the Office of the Attorney General to take action against any business engaged in significant fraud or illegality- including the violation of New York’s civil rights laws….
There is no hint in the tour’s promotions or in any of its stops that discrimination is a threat, except that James is dedicated to advancing the Big Lie that conservatives are racists.
The letter ended with an overt threat
The Office of the Attorney General has a duty to protect New Yorkers from extremist and racially motivated violence. We stand ready to investigate any violation of the laws above and, if necessary, to enforce them to the fullest extent available. You are therefore instructed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the event complies fully with the requirements of New York’s civil rights laws and all other applicable state and federal statutes.
Pastor Paul Doyle of Cornerstone Church has publicized the letter; naturally, the mainstream media doesn’t see anything especially newsworthy about the top legal officer in New York using threats to try to stop an event she deems offensive, because they deem it offensive too. Wouldn’t anybody?
Funny, I deem the flagrant abuse of power and office by partisan bullies offensive.
Pastor Doyle calls the letter harassment. “I feel harassed,” he says. “I am a law-abiding — I’m a businessman. I’m law-abiding, I’m God-fearing, and I’m hosting an event.” He also noted,
This letter is a deliberate and arrogant act of government intimidation…The letter is filled with inaccurate and irresponsible language. The past events that the Attorney General indicates had absolutely nothing to do with this event. It clearly has a politically partisan agenda to it by calling the views of some of the speakers as “extreme”. By carelessly using the terms “racist” and “violence” it attempts to skew people’s perspective of the agenda of the event. I feel it is defamation of the event, its speakers, Cornerstone Church and me personally as pastor of the church.
The news media does not care; reporters think anyone who opposes them—you know, the good people—deserve to be harassed. Until Americans of all beliefs and political affiliations join to show aspiring totalitarians like James that their methods and contempt for freedom of thought and speech will not be tolerated, these episodes will continue and escalate.
Which reminds me…did you know that the Republican Party poses an existential threat to democracy?
The dangerous event in Batavia drew a crowd of approximately 3,500 people.
There was no violence.
Pointer and Facts: Legal Insurrection