I'm no fan of racism. I do not believe in the inherent superiority of one race over another and do not believe in discrimination on the basis of race, creed, sexual orientation or much of any other reason. I do believe that private person or business has the right to discriminate as they choose based upon whatever reasons they see fit.
This does not mean I respect people, groups or businesses that discriminate. I simply believe they have a right to be discriminatory if they choose.
Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) has, however, introduced an amendment to a bill (Amendment 82) that would make it illegal for anyone to join the military who has ever been a member of one of these groups, or who possesses materials or paraphrenalia of such a group, or has even so much as attended a meeting of such a group.
Not only that, but the amendment also includes any group that proposes the possibility that The People may need to rise up against the government of the United States. Add to this people who have ever been members of an undefined "gang."
I guess members of the Sons of Liberty are just not good enough for the Army.
The amendment includes a "renouncement" clause, where the recruiter or superior officer can make a determination that the recruit or soldier has foregone their association with such a group or ideology. However, the bill also penalizes recruiters and officers who make mistakes.
Raise your hand if you think a recruiter is going to stick his or her neck out like that.
So I just have one question for Congressman Hastings: Does a person who inherited the Nazi flag their grandfather took as loot from Bavaria in 1945 own a racist "symbol" or "propaganda" materials? I'm fairly certain I have seen such an item carried by Neo-Nazis here in the US. Is a reporter or documentarian who attends a Klan rally included? Is my attendance at a protest against illegal aliens grounds for keeping me out of the military?
I hate the "slippery slope" argument, but Congressman Hasting's Amendemtn to H.R. 2647, is so vague and gives sufficient power to the Attorney General to declare any group "hate based," "gang" or "anti-government" as to make association with groups of any kind potential for being called a domestic terrorist. Indeed, this isn't "slippery slope." This is the essence of political persecution. This is the methodology of the fascists in Germany and Italy.
That this bill is so illustrative of liberal thuggery, of the desire to control politcally unpopular thought, is almost humorous. It is, unfortunately, a submitted amendment actual bill submitted before Congress. The mere introduction of such an amendment is not only disturbing, it speaks volumes based upon Hastings history as an impeached judge (by a Democrat Congress) accused of soliciting bribes.
While this is still just a proposed amendment to a bill that has yet to even be voted on, it should illustrate the danger of the current Congress. Remember the "reserved section" of the Waxman-Markey Cap & Trade Tax bill? Could the Democrats really be so devious as to place Amendment 82 and amendments like it in such a placeholder?
I would not put it past this Congress.