Permission to speak freely…denied!
I write this in light of the case involving Latausha Nedd aka Eye Empress Sekhmet. For those unaware of this case, Latausha Nedd was arrested for making “terrorist threats” against officers in an open letter on her YouTube page. She called for open season on cops and crackers and is accused of assaulting or what they call endangering the welfare of a minor.
In a separate case 33 year old Ebony Dickens was arrested in Atlanta Georgia for a Facebook post she published urging death to all white cops.
In the case of Latausha Nedd not only did she deny endangering the welfare of a minor but she insists her threats weren’t that serious stating that, “its just YouTube.” A judge disagreed when she was denied bail on the more serious charges. Some argue this is a case of Freedom Of Speech others call it an outright Act Of Terrorism.
Latausha’s case involved the FBI and the US Marshall in association with The Joint Terrorism Task Force or JTTF. As the investigation continues in both cases it appears that these women have already been tried and convicted if not by their own words but by the media and the understandable fear that grips many of us in the Land Of The Free. There have been many cases to date that argue freedom of speech and/or freedom of expression. The question we have to ask as Americans is, “What are the parameters of these freedoms?”
America has often had tension with different Nations around the world specifically in the Middle East. More recently there have been many acts of terrorism committed in United States adopting the phrase Domestic Terrorism. Sadly it is not new that America has experienced many cases of domestic terrorism. For example The Wall Street Bombing in 1920, The 1963 Bombing of the 16th St Church in Birmingham orchestrated by KKK members , The Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, the Harvard University graduate and former math professor Theodore Kaczynski aka The UNABOMBER, the FORT HOOD shooting with Nidal Malik Hasan in which FBI was aware of disturbing activity online but never deemed it a threat not to mention the South California shootings of 2013 involving Christopher Dorner, The bombing in Boston and the mass killing of churchgoers in 2015 by Dylan Roof to name a very few.
We can examine Free Speech, The United States Constitution or The Patriot Act but I wish to appeal to the common sense and how many Americans truly comprehend the consequences of expressing your ideals and even act upon them in this current day. Do we understand the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression? How many Americans have even read the United States Constitution? and how does it even apply in this current day and to whom?
Not all Freedom of Speech incidents involve acts of domestic terrorism. There are instances where art is the assailant to crimes yet to be committed. As in the case of rapper Tiny Doo who is facing prison time for rapping about gang affiliations or Cameron D’Ambrosio who was arrested for posting a rap lyric on Facebook which was deemed a terrorist threat.. There are several more cases where rap lyrics where used to arrest and even convict in a court of law.
One debate is that the people targeted are a disproportianate amount of minorities specifically African Americans and Latinos. I think we need to closely examine the margins of what actually is free speech in America. Is it what we assume it be or is it just some idealistic concept to pacify the more aggressive advocates for change in community, policy and government. Some argue that freedom of speech doesn’t exist anymore due in part to the terrorist acts of 9/11 which set off a chain of events spawning new laws and amendments. Two major results of this is The United States Patriot Act and Homeland Security.
I don’t profess to be an expert on this issue I am merely opening a dialogue for an intelligent analysis of incidents that catapult this Government and the people into domestic strains and forces us to change the value or at least test the values that many have died to preserve namely The Constitution and the basic rights of all people and the citizens of the United States of America. There are people who believe what they do is right and they will die to protect their beliefs their ideaologies and their God given freedoms. Who can actually say who is wrong or right and what outline do we use to come to this conclusion.
Here are some of my ideas of domestic terrorism:
police harassment, intimidation and brutality
This is not to berate any form of violence or injustice committed against any living creature or any damage done to any property based on an ideology or belief of an individual and/or group. This is not to incite every patriotic nut to debate their love for their country. One can arguably say that many of us if not all want to live in a country where freedom is free and not at the cost of young lives. Many believe it is right and even honorable to die for what you believe in.
Is it possible to truly express yourself freely, without causing harm to others and what constitutes harm also how do we gauge the level of seriousness in the case of verbal and/or physical threats?
In 1775 Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
In 1989 Chuck D of Public Enemy stated, “Our freedom of speech is freedom or death…”
By General Steele