A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

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April 21, 2012

2012 Ushers In An Erosion Of Rights  

The attack on the Twin Towers on 9-11-2001 was startling to most Americans. America was attacked on her home soil for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Beneath the outrage was an undercurrent of fear and a degree of panic. While the world's mightiest military machine lashed out, seeking vengeance , American citizens were uncertain, perhaps for the first time in their lives. President George W. Bush declared that Americans were hated "for our freedoms". He then joined Congress in imposing the Patriot Act, which
proceeded to limit these freedoms. The shock of being hit back made the American bully disregard the adage, "those who give up liberty for security, end up with neither".
 
As the Patriot Act unraveled the Bill of Rights, civil libertarians bided their time.  Surely once the right wing reactionaries were out of office, the U.S. Constitution would regain its lofty status as the law of the land. In 2008 progressive Democrat , Barack Obama was elected President. Mysteriously, the Patriot Act continued to be enhanced. Bit by bit, individual rights were being phased out.  On December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

National Defense Authorization Act  

The NDAA basically gives the President martial law powers without actually declaring martial law. In times of war or national emergencies, it may be necessary for the president to dictator powers. However, in day to day operation of the office of the presidency, the founding fathers did not find it prudent to bestow these powers on the office. If the situation calls for martial law then, martial law should be declared, open and above board. The right to indefinitely detain American citizens, without charge, has no place in a nation which is judicially governed by the U.S. Constitution.
     



Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the NDAA was the broad support it garnered in both the House and the Senate. It was also embraced by both parties. The only political opposition was President Barack Obama. He
threatened to veto the bill but relented when it was tweaked with cosmetic changes. At the signing he stated that he would sign the bill but that his administration would not use it. So, he thinks that the NDAA is so flawed that he would refuse to apply it, yet he signs it into law so that a future President would be able to apply it? Hopefully, President Obama's legacy will not be one of contradictions, that which he says and that which he does.

Eric Holder And Due Process  
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech given March 5th, 2012 at Northwestern University, claims that it is legal for the President of the United States to order executions on foreign lands. This execution power wouldextend to American citizens although Holder concedes that it may not be legal on American soil. This is an extension to the NDAA so that, at least on foreign soil, indefinite detention is joined with execution, as an option.


 


Holder contends that Congress authorizes these executions by their 9-11 authorization of military force against anyone the President identifies as a terrorist. The most puzzling and scariest concept of Holder's speech was his
declaration that due process did not require judicial process. He claims that the President can, unilaterally, determine the criteria for due process. He ignores the fact that the due process that the founding fathers spoke of, was due process of the law. "Of the law" would necessarily involve the Judicial Branch of the government. It is very disturbing that such double speak is coming from the administration that promised transparency.

Ozzie Guillen And Freedom OF Speech  

Ozzie Guillen is the manager of the Miami Marlins, a major league baseball team. He made a rather innocuous remark about the former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro. He remarked that he loved Castro because people had been trying to kill him for 50 years and Castro was still alive. The Miami Cuban community was outraged. Their anger at Castro's redistributing their parents' wealth to the people of Cuba still rages. Guillen apologized profusely. The Marlins suspended Guillen for five games. Commissioner Bud Selig said that Major League Baseball supported the suspension. It is understandable that the Marlins are a private organization and have the right to suspend or fire someone, even for something as ridiculous as this scenario. Major League Baseball may be a horse of a different color.

Congress granted Major League Baseball anti-trust status. In other words, Baseball is not, strictly, a private organization. The special status that Congress gave Baseball brings with it a heightened responsibility to adhere to government policies. Baseball should not support the suspension of a man merely for exercising his freedom of speech.

9-11 brought about many restrictions on individual rights of American citizens. Instead of slowing down, they seem to be snowballing in the year 2012.  As the year progresses and the weather gets nicer, the thought of the occupy movements of 2011 comes to mind. Protests seeking to maintain individual freedoms can become much more damaging than those protesting financial equality.

Random Thoughts  
It goes on and on. Disrespect for Black Americans leads to mistreatment for Black children. In Milledgeville, Georgia, 6 year old Salecia Johnson threw a temper tantrum in her kindergarten class. This 6 year old terrorist allegedly wounded her principal. The solution, they called the police, handcuffed and arrested the child. They decided not to charge her because they say she was too young. Old enough to be handcuffed and arrested but too young to be charged.  Whatever happened to the policy of not releasing the name of minors who are
arrested? If Blacks are unable to protect their children, they will band together for self protection. These self protection units are familiar to us all, they're called Crips and Bloods.

 


Just Asking.... Considering that they recovered the body and that he only had his wives for protection, could Osama Bin Laden have been captured alive?
 



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