Reminder: August 1 Is “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day”


This is  sad.

We last heard anything about Justin Carter two weeks ago, when he finally was released from prison after an anonymous donor covered his absurd $500,000 bail amount. Since then, nothing has changed. He’s still charged with making terrorist threats based on an obvious joke he put on Facebook. He still represents the apotheosis of the fanatic fear of guns and violence against schools in the wake of the post-Sandy Hook hysteria, cynically fed by Democrats, anti-gun zealots and the media. Carter’s plight still shows the continuing erosion of First Amendment rights in the fearful and paranoid culture nurtured by the Obama administration and turned into an offense to liberty by its natural partner, the abuse of government power. It’s just that nobody is paying attention.

The news media, which should have an interest in protecting the same amendment that (theoretically, these days) protects them, gave some fleeting coverage to the story but quickly dropped it in favor of gushing over infant foreign monarchs, finding ways to vilify George Zimmerman and making bad Weiner puns. The blogosohere has been pretty silent too, with some notable exceptions.

I am generally opposed to pointless demonstrations. My pathetic gesture to try to generate some fight in this somnolent nation as its common sense, ethical priorities and sense of justice drains away was never a threat to catch on, and didn’t. Essentially, few understand what is so wrong about what Texas is doing to Carter, and fewer still care enough to protest it. That is sad, and it also is frightening.

Nonetheless, those of us who do care should try to show it, and this was the best that I (or anyone else) could come up with. So challenge the fearful, the bullies,  the Constitutionally ignorant, the arrogant abusers of power “if it will save just one child,” and post the harmless, facetious and sarcastic statement that young Justin Carter posted for a friend, never realizing that America, or at least the part of it where he, and quite possibly you, live, doesn’t really believe in free speech anymore. Post it on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter. Let’s see if they come for all of us, however many it is. And let’s see how many people care anymore.

August 1 Is “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day.”

And Justin’s words, which got him arrested, imprisoned, and soon will have him being tried for his freedom, were these:

“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.”



If Only Justin Carter Were Black…Or Muslim…


Maybe people would care if he looked like the President’s son, and not mine…

If Justin Carter were black or Muslim….

  • maybe the news media would take an interest in a Texas teenager being imprisoned and charged with a terrorist threat for an obvious joke on Facebook;
  • maybe progressive and civil rights organizations would question whether his prosecution was the result of an abuse of power by prosecutors, and fearful paranoia by the his community;
  • maybe pundit and commentator accusations of official bias against his race or religion would result in authorities questioning the wisdom of their actions and the cruelty of Justin’s persecution;
  • maybe professional activists and race-hucksters would use their influence to focus attention on his plight, the miscarriage of justice, and its dangerous implications for the rest of us;
  • maybe the ACLU would deem his case worthy of its intervention and support;
  • ...maybe Al Sharpton would organize demonstrations protesting law enforcement ruining the life of an innocent young man  because he was insufficient sensitive to irrational public fearfulness, instead of organizing protests against a jury’s just and unimpeachable acquittal of a defendant based on inadequate evidence to convict.
  • maybe the President of the United States would feel that his case was worthy of a lecture to the nation about the importance of free speech, and why fear of guns, violence and terrorism shouldn’t turn the U.S. into a censorious police state.

But unfortunately for Justin Carter and the First Amendment, he isn’t black or Muslim, so the serious criminal charges against him for daring to express himself remain, the news media has been silent on the case for more than a week, the ACLU ignores him, the President’s attentions and priorities remain elsewhere, and most of the public has never heard of him, or doesn’t give a damn.

Please join me in trying to get this terrible injustice noticed and rectified, and by participating in “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day,”

August 1, 2013.

Remember, the words that made Justin a criminal are these:

“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.”

Post them on Facebook, Twitter, Link’d In, or your own blog, and let’s see if they can arrest all of us.

Ken at Popehat Weighs In On The Justin Carter Persecution


At Popehat, where I hoped the Justin Carter arrest and imprisonment would eventually attract interest, Ken White—attorney, civil libertarian, blogger extraordinaire—writes in part…

“We have fully and foolishly subscribed to the “Think of the Children!” culture. In an era in which violent crime has plunged dramatically, we think it is up. We think so because the media — hungry for money and attention — serves us bloody context-free meat every night. We think so because law enforcement — hungry for more funding, more power, more toys — relentlessly tells us we are in danger and that our children are in danger and that the only answer is to trust and fear. We are bid to trust not ourselves and our good judgment, but law enforcement. We are bid to fear not the power of the state, but the criminal forces arrayed against us and our children — forces that only law enforcement can hold at bay. We accept this. But who poses more of a risk to us, and to our children: the Justin Carters of the world, or the state that will file dishonest and misleading warrant applications against him, the state that will confine him to be beaten and stripped naked in a cell, the state that will confine him for a crass joke?”

Read the entire, excellent post here.

Ethics Alarms hopes Popehat joins with us in promoting…

August 1, 2013

as “Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day.” Even more, I hope that the charges against Justin Carter are dropped before the first, though the protest should go forward. The Justice Carter prosecution for free expression on his Facebook page is infinitely more significant and important to the nation than the show trial of George Zimmerman, though they are related: in both cases, deliberate efforts to inflame the public for political gain resulted in the flagrant abuse of prosecutorial power. It isn’t enough that Justin is spared…we need to make sure this stops now, and forever.

Note: You can register your support for the protest at Jeff Field’s event page, here.


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 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