Thursday, August 04, 2005

Terrorism & Civil Rights...

Whatzup, y'all. Here's a lil' diddy I wrote soon after the event of "911." It first appeared in the now-defunct "Community & Crime News," which was the reincarnated version of "The Crime & Community Report." With The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act (Yes, this is how it's REALLY spelled.) close to renewal, I thought that I should put this up.

Check it out...



by: Ken B.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: A date that will forever be etched into America's soul. To me, 9/11/01 marked my eleven-year anniversary of living in Greensboro, NC. Unfortunately, it means so much more now. It's a day that EVERYONE will remember precisely what they were doing when they either heard or saw the tragic news as it happened on live TV early that Tuesday morning. "911" also signifies something else: The slow dismantlement of civil liberties and rights in America.

I know that to some, this may be an unusual forum to present my opinion on this subject. But to me, it couldn't be more perfect. "The Community & Crime News" concerns itself with the blatant disregard of civil liberties that the alleged offenders perpetrate against their victims. After all, an earlier incarnation of "The Community & Crime News" stated that crime, particularly murder, is the ultimate violation of civil rights. Well, I'm here to talk about the government's attack on civil liberties in America because of the brutal and cowardly attack perpetrated on 9/11/01.

In order to separate the "good guys" from the "bad guys", we must not allow our rights as Americans and as Human Beings to be trampled on in the name of "security". Through the acts of religiously fanatical scum, we are letting some of the most basic tenets of "The American Way" slip away without so much as a decibel of protest.

For instance, the tenets of "attorney-client privilege" are some of the oldest and most sacred rights in America. Now, I know what you're thinking: "DAMN THE TERRORISTS RIGHTS! THEY SHOULD BE SHOT AND BURN IN HELL!" I agree with the sentiment, but the revised law now states that anyone "suspected" of terrorism can't talk to their lawyer without the conversation being overheard and/or taped.

The word, "suspected," worries me.

It means that all law enforcement need to do is "suspect" you of a crime without any corroborating evidence. Can I ask you a question: What is a terrorist and what does one look like?
Once again, I know what you're thinking: "Well Ken, you know, it's them people over in the Middle East. You know, Muhammad Allah-whatchamacallit." (The people who did the heinous acts of terrorism actually were living in the US and were doing so for years. They just didn't come over.)

Not all terrorists are Islamic extremists or looks like Osama bin Laden, just ask Timothy McVeigh. (Oops, I forgot, you can't because he was executed for HIS act of terrorism, and rightfully so.) Because of "911" racial-profiling is not just "in vogue" again, but is official policy now. (Not that it ever went away in the first place.) What if you're a proud American, but just happen to be a Muslim? Well, they're getting a lot of the crap that Black folks still get, as far as harassment and bigoted racial-profiling is concerned (I'm just glad that the terrorists weren't Black. Whew!!).

Let me give you an example of the erosion of your civil rights. Let's say you work with a person who so happens to be named Abdullah, and he so happens to be a Muslim. You've known him for years and are on a friendly basis. Let's say that the government "suspects" him of "acts of terrorism" based on racial-profiling only. No proof, just "suspicions." Well, since they're going after him and they know that you and Abdullah are friendly, guess who's next on the list?

That's right, YOU!

However, you haven't done anything wrong so why arrest you? "Suspicion," remember? No fact, No hard evidence, Hell, no CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, just "suspicion."

Now since I'm such a talented "mind reader," on the scale of Professor Xaivier of "The X-Men," I know what you're thinking: "Well Ken, I just won't have any Muslim and/or Middle-Eastern friends, or anyone that looks like one. That will solve everything, right?"


What if someone that is "suspected" of terrorism (Religious-affiliation and ethnicity unimportant) gives law enforcement YOUR name so that he/she can protect his/her own people? Just pulls your name out of the phone book or a mailing list in order to throw off The Feds?

That's YOU’RE ASS!

Although you have done NOTHING WRONG, obey the law, and pay your taxes. Similar situations have occurred like this long before "911". Think about it... Remember Kemba Smith?

In Conclusion, I'm an advocate of, "YOU DO THE CRIME, YOU DO THE TIME", but to be "suspected" of a crime is no reason to disregard "The Constitution" or "The Bill of Rights." The government has already stated that Because of "911" and other vague "terrorist threats" against the US that they regularly scan phone conversations and track were you go on The Internet (Something that its been doing long before on the "DL".) for any "suspicious" activity.

What defines "suspicious" activity?

Is logging onto an Islamic website "suspicious"? Will I be a "suspect" if I log onto (I consider myself a "Christian-in-progress", by the way, Baptist by faith.) Too many courageous citizens, Black and White, short and tall, young and old have perished fighting to preserve our constitutional rights that we take for granted and our way of life. Don't let the acts of conniving and cowardly terrorists or the government's overzealousness in combating terrorism destroy our most precious civil rights and liberties, or else all of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for those rights would have died in vain.

Not bad, huh?

Here's a couple of quotes I'm gonna leave ya with.

Dwell on them...

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
Abraham Lincoln, (attributed), 16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."
Mark Twain


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