By Tony Farkas
The woke tide that crashing on the shores of our society is growing larger.
Recently, one of Texas’ own has stepped into the fray with a bill that on the face of it would be laughed out of Congress, but because of the idea that wokeness trumps common sense is gaining traction, and prompting different adherents to take wild swings.
Such is the case with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, who filed a bill in Congress making it a crime to incite violence based on rhetoric related to “white supremacy.”
The subtext here deals with racism, and Lee’s fear that words will without a doubt cause white supremacy-inspired hate crime or hatch conspiracies to commit white supremacy-inspired hate crime.
According to the bill, white supremacy-inspired hate crimes are born when white supremacy ideology has motivated planning of or actions that constitute a crime. It empowers the Justice Department, which lately has been given a bloody nose for its ineptitude and partisanship, the task of investigating and prosecuting the “crime.”
On the face of it, this is an issue with free speech. Even if you don’t like what is said, there is nothing that the government can do to limit it, even if said speech inspires some whackjob to do something monumentally stupid and heinous.
The bill doesn’t even make a distinction between printed, spoken or even reported words, so it could be applied in a broad manner, even to newspapers. My nightmare scenario is one that a story I’ve written is deemed to have caused a crime, and off to the hoosegow I go.
That may sound far-fetched, but another thing the bill doesn’t do is identify what exactly white supremacy hate speech is made of. It doesn’t define the boundaries, nor does it give any examples, leaving it to the prosecuting agency, and whatever victim, to decide if what was said that inspired a crime was indeed hate speech.
See the dilemma? Without parameters, then everything is hate speech.
So the other rub is the race part, as this only deals with “white” supremacy. Granted, the history of things doesn’t look good, what with the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, Skinheads, etc., that push the nonsense of white supremacy, but that’s not to say that similar groups don’t exist in other areas and with other races.
It boggles the mind that a sitting U.S. Representative, sworn to uphold the law of the land which does include equality statutes, would write legislation that would single out a race for practices that exist across the spectrum of society.
It also boggles the mind that this legislation was introduced after the House pendulum swung toward a Republican majority, when it easily could have been introduced when the Democrats were in charge, giving it a better-than-even chance of squeaking through.
It’s been said in discussion groups that the point of this bill wasn’t to right any wrongs, but for political grandstanding. There’s merit in that argument; I believe Lee thinks this is a good thing. But it’s another step toward control the kind of which the woke crowd hopes for — limiting speech to what is approved.
The social climate is becoming one that progressive ideals are becoming more and more acceptable, which will end up taking away the one thing free speech was designed to protect — liberty.