When does “stupid” or “boorish” become criminal? Should it?
Two white students at the University of Connecticut were arrested yesterday for shouting racial slurs as they walked through a parking lot outside student apartments earlier this month.
21-year-olds Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj were captured on a viral video repeatedly shouting the N-word. As best I can figure, these drunk cretins were playing a game where they yelled vulgar words. I have yet to see any evidence that these words were directly at anyone in particular. The video that went viral over the weekend shows them yelling the words in an empty parking lot. Evidently they also yelled them while walking down the halls of the apartment.
Where is the “victim” here? Well, their fellow students who never heard the words seized upon the opportunity we have provided people to earn “woke points” by being victims. Students launched large rallies in protest of the video, and the campus chapter of the NAACP demanded school officials take action against the pair. The arrests were announced hours after a “march against racism” at the campus.
On Monday, the NAACP UConn executive board called the pair of incidents “highlights of bigotry and the regurgitation of white supremacy” and released a list of demands in a letter to the editor of The Daily Campus, the student newspaper. Their requests included the creation of specific guidelines and punishments for racist and hate speech incidents, as well as, a required First-Year Experience course that would convey the consequences.
Well you can’t say the Professional Grievance Industry isn’t shooting for the moon here. We have all of the elements. First, using singular evidence of a couple of drunks shouting bad things as evidence of campus-wide racism. Secondly, demanding “punishment” for people who say things they don’t like. Thirdly, pushing for “re-education” to make sure unapproved words are never uttered.
If the school wanted to discipline them for violating whatever code of conduct they have established for students, that’s one thing. But to *arrest* them? And to file *criminal charges?* That is another thing entirely.
Equally chilling is the fact that, according to the charges filed against them, people in Connecticut can be arrested for speech that “ridicules” based on ethnicity, race, etc. etc. Are you kidding me? We’re not talking intimidation or coercion. We’re talking RIDICULE. There are many rights we enjoy in a free country, but the right protecting us from ridicule does not exist. Nor should it.
And if person A can be arrested for ridiculing person B; but person B canNOT be arrested for ridiculing person A—then how is that Equal Protection Under the Law? Here’s a hint. It’s not.
And again, there is no evidence they said these words directly at someone. So the only ones claiming victim status here are people who watched a video and didn’t like the words they heard in it. Think about that! We are establishing the precedent that if someone sees a video of you saying bad things, they can have you arrested. Not just chagrined or socially ostracized. Arrested and subject to the power of The State. That is incompatible with the core concepts of Free Speech.
Now this is where non-thinkers will point out that “free speech has consequences.” Yes. But those consequences must NOT come from government. Shaming someone for saying bad things is permissible. So is an employer firing them if they deem the words will have a negative impact on their bottom line. But when you bring down the power of government on someone for “wrongspeak,” then you are in direct violation of the First Amendment. This not is “yelling fire in a crowded theater.” There was no intent to harm here. There was no victim here. Therefore, government sanctions must NOT apply.
In short, we are crossing a *very* dangerous line here. You do NOT have the right to have someone arrested for uttering words that you don’t like. ESPECIALLY if those words were not said in your presence nor were directed at you. If this is an acceptable use of government power, then what is to prevent someone from going on YouTube, finding videos of people saying random bad things, then demanding they be arrested for “ridiculing” someone?
We have got to STOP this, people!