Given all the chatter – and fear – being generated following Department of Justice head, Loretta Lynch
em’s deliberate ratcheting up of the already tense situation in her remarks to a Muslim group, here’s a calm reflection from Hot Air giving some context. My emphasis below:
Via BuzzFeed. To be honest, I’m not sure my headline captures what she’s saying. Watch the clip and ask yourself if she’s talking about hateful acts or hateful speech. Not so clear, is it? She mentions speech and rhetoric and the First Amendment but she keeps coming back to prosecuting actions. If all she’s saying is that she’ll charge anyone who acts violently towards Muslims, that’s not newsworthy. That’s her doing her job. If what she’s saying is that she’ll charge anyone who speaks violently about Muslims, that’s something else. She could have spoken perfectly clearly on this subject if she wanted to. The fact that she didn’t means she intended to be vague. How come?
You have the right to say you hate a particular person or a particular group. You don’t have the right to try to harm that person or group. One is speech, protected by the First Amendment, the other is action. The gray area is when someone uses speech to encourage someone else to act violently. Even then, speech is usually protected. You can say, e.g., “let’s kill the atheists” without fear of going to jail. If you say that, though, to someone who seems like he really does want to kill some atheists and there just so happens to be some atheists nearby at that moment, then you can be prosecuted for saying it. That’s incitement.
The rule courts follow in analyzing a case like that is whether the speech was intended to produce, and likely to produce, imminent lawless action. Because of that, it’s almost impossible to be guilty of incitement in most situations. If you’re addressing an angry mob, you’re in the danger zone. Anywhere else — especially if your speech consists of writing, not spoken words, since writing can’t trigger “imminent” action — and you’re safe. Threats operate similarly. If you say “the atheists should be killed,” courts will chalk that up to hyperbole or political grandstanding and refuse to let the state prosecute for it. If you say it, though, to a group of atheists while your hand rests uneasily on your holstered semiautomatic, well, that’s different. That threat seems real. You can go to jail for that.
There have been reports that at least one worker in the neighborhood where these two dead terrorists lived thought the level of activity – a lot of men going in and out of that garage – found their behaviors “suspicious” but was afraid he’d be labelled a racist if he spoke up… given the political climate Obama has worked so hard to create, who can blame him?
Now we have the FBI Director, James Comey, not only telling us to speak up, but he uses the ‘T’ word… I thought the ‘T’ word was verboten. Only a little less dangerous than the ‘N’ word. But listen for yourself:
So what now? We need to write to the FBI and get this You Tube advisory in writing. Particularly since the new Attorney General is going after certain language.
Loretta Lynch, same kind of player as the last Justice Department head:a divider. What a fitting last name for someone who wants to abridge our First Amendment Rights.
Don’t let her scare you.