If you don’t think Western Civilization is hurtling down an Orwellian slope at warp speed, check out what happened to a man in the U.K. And then realize that the same authoritarian impulse that was used to go after him has already made its way onto our shores.
A 53-year-old married father of four in England was interrogated by an officer from the Humberside Police Department for more than 30 minutes because he “liked” Twitter posts including a limerick, that was critical of transgender persons. The officer made it clear that police had tracked the man, Harry Miller, to his place of work after reviewing his personal Twitter account and would report him to his employer if the company had transgender employees on staff. The given reason was that Miller’s behavior had made the company an unsafe workplace for the transgendered. The real reason, of course, was to let Miller know in no uncertain terms that his livelihood was being threatened.
Bad Thoughts Detected
Miller, who happens to be a former policeman himself, detailed the encounter in a series of tweets. The key part of the encounter was the officer telling Miller that although his actions did not constitute a crime, they would be recorded as a “hate incident.” The officer mentioned a complainant who had brought the matter to the police’s attention as a “victim” of the “incident.”
“I asked how there could be a victim if, as he’d established, there was no crime,” Miller wrote. “He said, that’s just how it works.” So much for the notion of no crime, no victim.
From there, things got “sinister,” as Miller put it. “The cop told me that he needed to speak with me because, even though I’d committed no crime whatsoever, he needed (and I quote) ‘to check my THINKING!’ Seriously. Honestly,” Miller wrote. The officer then went on to lecture Miller about transgenderism before closing with a warning that, “I needed to watch my words more carefully or I was as risk of being sacked by the company for hate speech.”
There you have it. Police officers in the U.K. are now performing thought interrogations on citizens of a supposedly free nation. Let us examine that loaded term, “hate incident” for a moment.
The Telegraph newspaper spoke with the officer who questioned Miller, who confirmed the accuracy of his account. Mansoor Gul told the paper, “[a]lthough none of the tweets were criminal, I said to Mr. Miller that the limerick is the kind of thing that upsets the transgender community. I warned him that if it escalates we will have to take further action. If someone comes forward and says: ‘I’m the victim of a hate incident and it’s really upsetting me’, then we have to investigate.”
That’s right. For something to be considered a “hate incident” in the U.K., there only needs to be a perception by a “victim” that something negative happened to them that was motivated by hate. According to instructions on the Humberside Police Department website on how to “Report a Hate Crime/Incident,” the definition is met “if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice towards that person’s age, disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.” That’s it. Somebody just has to “think it was motivated” and there is an incident to record that may, upon further investigation, turn out to be a full-fledged crime.
Already in America
Lest you think this is merely a British affair, let me enlighten you on how the Los Angeles Police Department feels about the subject. In an incredibly disturbing 2017 Los Angeles Times article on “the fine line for police” between “hate crimes” and “hate incidents,” a “veteran hate crimes investigator” for the LAPD candidly voiced his belief that incorrect thoughts deserve to be flagged for pre-emptive police attention.
“People have a right to say what they want. No matter how bad it is and how hurtful it is to other people,” L.A. Sheriff’s Department Detective Chris Keeling was kind enough to acknowledge. But then he continued: “We have to know those people are out there, but what we have to fight against is allowing that person’s statement to cause us to react in a negative way.”
The article details how “hate incidents” are being recorded by LAPD officials “similar to the way they catalog information to calls for service.” Commander Horace Frank, assistant commanding officer of the LAPD’s counterterrorism and special operations bureau, told the Times that having information on private citizens guilty of wrongthink on hand in advance could help prevent hate crimes in the future. He openly declares that an American police department feels compelled to keep track of the thoughts and opinions of private citizens who have committed no crime at all.
“Incidents quite often develop into crimes,” Frank told the paper. “The last thing we want to do is to be on the responsive end as opposed to the preventive end.” This is nothing less than an assumption of future guilt being made by law enforcement authorities against private citizens based only on their holding certain personal views deemed to be offensive in the current politically correct zeitgeist.
Politically Correct on Campus
It should be no surprise, of course, that the corrosive “hate incident” mindset has taken a firm hold on college campuses throughout the U.S. as well. Countless examples can be found, most similar to the University of California, Santa Barbara’s official web posting. Spookily conceding that “there is no formal legal definition for a hate incident,” the school nevertheless asserts that “victims” of these non-crimes “tend to experience the same range of emotions and benefit from the same level of caring response” as those who experience “hate crimes.”
A child can see where this all leading. Not content with punishing supposed motivations in acts of criminal behavior, our new authoritarians are clamoring to punish thoughts they believe can lead to motivations that could possibly go on to cause criminal behavior. And you call this a free country?
Americans are far closer to losing their freedoms than most people realize. As new Democratic darling Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) ominously stated in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”
Conservatives still tend to believe that having the facts on their side will somehow protect them in the tyranny that is beckoning right around the corner. It will not. Where feelings and emotion hold greater value than truth, rights are non-existent. You will think “morally right” thoughts as the New Values Overlords demand – or you will be incarcerated.
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