The idea of punishment, or making someone suffer by treating them severely for a crime is, in a civilized society, the difficult responsibility and duty of the justice system. Of course, there are always certain individuals and groups who are adamant that as superior human beings, they have the ultimate authority to mete out punishment for a variety of so-called infractions of “their beliefs” that are usually borne of religion. Over the past six years it has become glaringly apparent that America is not a civilized society, and that religious fundamentalists have authority to punish women and gays, and that law enforcement is authorized to unilaterally punish African Americans at will without due process and with impunity. It is just the new standard in a nation that lacks constitutional protections from tyrannical theocrats and apartheid devotees that are a law unto themselves. More on theocratic tyranny in another article.
Although racists in law enforcement have inflicted harsh, often capital, punishment on people of color, especially the African American color, throughout the nation’s history, events over the course of the last few months have brought the issue to the nation’s and the world’s attention. No American should be deluded that when white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson executed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, he was unilaterally meting out punishment in the form of the death penalty. The St. Louis district attorney and grand jury indicted, tried, and convicted Mike Brown in absentia after Wilson executed him.
After Wilson punished Mike Brown by gunning him down from over a hundred feet while his hands were in the air, the racist St Louis and Ferguson law enforcement community exercised its “white” authority to punish African Americans exercising their constitutional rights according to the now-defunct First Amendment. Make no mistake, when law enforcement shot demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and aimed their military assault weapons at unarmed African American demonstrators protesting the execution of an unarmed teen, they were punishing the people for exercising their constitutional rights. Now, St. Louis law enforcement has taken their lust for unilateral punishment to the national stage by demanding that the National Football League act as surrogate racist cops and punish five unarmed African American men for exercising their constitutional rights.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) demanded punishment for the five men, receivers for the St. Louis Rams football team, for holding their hands up in solidarity with Ferguson and St. Louis citizens protesting the racial injustice at the hands of the St. Louis grand jury. The SLPOA demanded that the Rams and NFL issue a public apology to the St. Louis Klan-infested cops and punish the players the SLPOA business manager and Wilson supporter called “violent thugs.”
Despite the purely racist threat of a boycott of the NFL and St. Louis Rams, the league supported the players’ exercising their constitutional rights. It is something the players certainly knew they would not get away with outside of the stadium, and based on the audacity of the punishment-minded St. Louis area cops, they were lucky the cops only demanded the league and team dole out punishment in their stead. Obviously, St. Louis area cops charging on to the field with assault weapons drawn on the players would not go over well, so they designated League and team as Klan surrogates to punish the five unarmed African Americans for exercising their constitutional rights.
Since the NFL and Rams franchise supported the players’ constitutional rights, a St. Louis area sports bar decided it would take up the mantle of doling out punishment. The sports bar, Time Out Sports Bar & Grill, said it was boycotting the Rams because it was time to “stand up to thugs” and “boycott the other thugs/organizations who support them.” It is another case of white supremacists, like the Klan-infested Ferguson police, labeling African Americans “thugs” for exercising their constitutional rights and “punishing” them like racist Ferguson cops did after Mike Brown was gunned down in cold blood; with his hands in the air.
The bar stated that it was a “bone headed” decision by the Rams players to exercise their constitutional right of free expression or, dog-forbid, an opinion contrary to, and not sanctioned by, the KKK mindset apparently as rampant in Missouri as the rest of the former Confederacy. It is yet another indication that in America, African Americans are second-class citizens that must be punished for “acting” like they are entitled to the same constitutional rights as white people. The sports bar’s owner is a typical racist who loves his Blacks in sports uniforms while “his boys” are doing battle for three hours every Sunday and bringing in customers to eat, drink, and watch their “heroes.” Of course, their heroes became “boneheaded thugs” the second they exercised their constitutional rights and needed to be punished; if not by St. Louis cops, and if not by the NFL and Rams organization, then by-dog it would be the racist-owner of the sports bar. Just so somebody punished those unarmed African Americans for exercising their constitutional rights.
If any American thought, for even a nano-second, that there is not an inordinately large number of white supremacists in the population who still believe African Americans are inferior and do not warrant the same constitutional protections as white people, they are blind, dumb, stupid, and likely racists themselves. This kind of blatant racism cannot continue and many Americans have had more than enough of it; obviously the five Rams heroes have had enough.
For decent Americans it is beyond comprehension that it is acceptable for white supremacists, whether they are St. Louis-area cops or owners of a sports bar, to demand that African Americans suffer punishment for exercising their constitutional rights. It is telling how little America has changed since the abolition of slavery and although it appeared blatant racism and white supremacy subsided since the Civil Rights movement, all it took was the American people electing an African American as President to expose the deep-seated KKK mentality rampant in this sad apartheid country.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.