Sunday, August 31, 2008

Where is the Outrage?

I'd like to ask you to use your imagination for just a moment. Imagine a typical house of college aged American kids. There might be band posters up on the walls of some of their rooms. There's probably the remains of a pizza and a six pack of beer in the fridge. There's an Xbox in the living room. These kids pay their rent. They are nice to their neighbors. They don't cause trouble.

Now imagine that the kids who live in this house are politically active. They are attached to certain political causes, and they are planning to peacably assemble to protest on behalf of those causes. Maybe they are sitting in the living room excitedly planning out their protest. Maybe they are on the floor with poster board and markers, making up signs.

Now imagine that the police, along with the FBI, show up to this typical house of college kids and break the door down. With weapons drawn, they force our typical American kids down on the floor and bind their hands behind their backs with handcuffs. The kids ask to see a warrant, but the police refuse. They proceed to search the house. After completing their search and finding nothing, the police set the kids free and leave.

Is this the sort of thing that should happen in the "land of the free?" No. Of course not. This is the sort of thing that happens under dictators, not under constitutions. Nothing of the sort should ever occur in the home of typical American college kids planning to exercise their freedom. If this really happened in our country, you'd be pissed, wouldn't you? If this really happened in our country, you'd expect the media to be all over it, right? You'd expect heads in the FBI and on the local police force to roll, no?

Well, it did happen. Several times. Police and FBI have been raiding the homes of those suspected to be planning protests at the Republican National Convention. You can read about it and see videos here, here, here, here, here and here. And that's just a taste.

Now, I've taken a little poetic license in my description of events. I don't know the exact circumstances of each raid. Maybe those raided weren't typical American kids. Maybe they were hippies. Maybe they were communists or anarchists. But they are Americans; Americans who are guaranteed the right to protest and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. It shouldn't matter whether they are typical kids or circus side shows, investment bankers or suffering artists. They have rights, and this seems to be a gross violation of those rights and a gross violation of the principles on which this country is founded.

Of course, I don't know for certain that these people weren't all planning on bombing the RNC and causing chaos. They say they weren't and the police aren't talking. You know who else isn't talking? The mainstream media. I haven't seen a peep about these raids on the 24 hour cable news channels. Nothing in the Washington Post. Nothing in the Chicago Tribune. Not even anything in the "liberal" New York Times. With the exception of a few independent media sources and bloggers, no one is pissed. No mainstream media is anywhere near the story. No heads are rolling.

The police in Minneapolis and the FBI acted like they operate in a police state, and where is the outrage?

No comments: