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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Truth Will Set You Free — Except In A New York Court

“If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave." — John Adams

The Bible tells us “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Many of us have heard this passage our entire life and we have lived our lives by John’s admonition to the Jews. But stating the truth in a New York City courtroom may bring you an admonition from the judge and land you in a heap of trouble.

According to a report in the Daily Mail a woman sentenced to indefinite jury duty after making racist remarks on a questionnaire given her prior to her jury service. On the questionnaire, when asked who she disliked the most, she stated the people she least admired were “African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians.”

The Mail reports; “A female juror in a high-profile American mafia murder trial was sentenced to indefinite jury duty after giving racist answers to a court questionnaire.”

“The Asian woman in her 20s was asked along with hundreds of others to provide answers to the survey prior to serving on the jury for the trial of crime boss Vincent Basciano.”

“But the woman enraged a Federal Court judge in New York by answering the question, 'Name three people you least admire', with the answer: 'African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians.”

“When asked by a judge at Brooklyn Federal Court to explain her answer, she replied: 'You always hear about them in the news doing something.”

“The woman, known only as 'Juror No. 799', went on to claim all police officers are lazy, and only use their sirens to bypass traffic jams.”

“Lawyers in the case successfully requested she be removed from jury duty in Basciano's trial due to her 'inappropriate' comments.”

“A furious judge, Nicholas Garaufis, held up the woman's questionnaire in court and told her: 'This is an outrage, and so are you!'

Referring to her racist answers, Judge Garaufis sarcastically asked the juror: 'Why didn't you put Asians down also?” The woman replied: 'Maybe I should have.”

“Jurors in America have been known to try to escape jury duty by providing outlandish answers to jury questionnaires. But the Asian woman's views evidently backfired, as she has since been told she will serve on the jury until the judge deems her ready for release.”

Perhaps juror 799 was trying scam the court to avoid the potential service on a long, drawn out trial, but if she was she sure picked a very explosive way to do so. In light of her comment about the police and the nightly news I tend to doubt this was a scam but more of an expression of her honest feelings

If you watch the nightly 11:00 pm local news you no doubt have seen countless leading stories of murder, rape, assault, kidnapping and gang shootings. When the show the photos of the suspects the majority of the time it is either an African-American or a Hispanic. How can this constant portrayal of black or Hispanic criminal suspects not influence your feelings towards people of these races or ethnicity?

Under the guise of being sensitive to "feelings," political correctness has succeeded in effectively censoring any uncomfortable "truths" that do not comport with liberal orthodoxy.

Censoring inconvenient truths is not a new phenomenon. Starting in 1994, AEI fellow Charles Murray and fellow author Richard Herrnstein came under fire for their best-selling book The Bell Curve, in which they wrote about differences in race and intelligence and discussed implications of that difference.

Murray's whole body of scholarly work was roundly denounced for daring toTheBellCurve point out that the general IQ of African Americans was lower than those of white Americans. Of course, no one objected to the fact that their research also found that the general IQ of Asian Americans was many points higher than white Americans.

Murray and Herrnstein found, to their dismay, that their fact-based research challenged the leftist notion of "equality." Both authors were demonized as racists for daring to point out that differences do indeed exist among differing races. They weren't supposed to say that, much less prove it scientifically.

Harvard's former president, Lawrence Summers, also found out that voicing politically incorrect truths can exact severe consequences. In a 2005 speech, Summers dared to suggest that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end," and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization. Feminists took umbrage at the suggestion that the under-representation of females in the scientific community might be due to anything other than male oppression.

Summers was forced to resign. And to soothe the hysterical feminists who objected to his politically-incorrect yet fact based opinion, Harvard vested $50 million bucks in Harvard's feminist studies program. Overlooked, or deliberately ignored, in this delicious fracas was the fact that Summers statement was a valid opinion. But he wasn't supposed to say it.

Political correctness is an approved form of censorship. Based on emotional appeals at the expense of reason, political correctness mandates that inconvenient truths or facts be swept under the carpet. Or else.

Free speech, guaranteed to all Americans under the First Amendment, is on its way to becoming moot. The political, media, and intellectual elites who control the terms of national debate and the rules of civil society have succeeded in censoring opposing views, limiting debate, and demonizing dissent. Perception is on its way to becoming our new reality.

The lady juror who answered truthfully to her court questionnaire is merely the latest example. Though many may express horror at her forthrightness, and are quick to label her a racist, she, like all of us, forms her opinions through an accumulation of her life experiences. She, through either ignorance or courage, dared to be truthful. She hasn't yet learned that in today's America, there are more and more things that are just not allowed to be said.

Her case is important, because for the first time, the unwritten and ever changing rules of political correctness have taken on the force of law. She is being forced to perform indefinite jury duty, supposedly until she starts thinking the right way. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps Judge Garaufis would favor “reeducation camps” similar to those of Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung or Pol Pot.

No one wants to be thought of as stupid or, in liberal parlance, "un-enlightened." No one wants to be publicly labeled a homophobe or a racist. Under this threat, more and more Americans are comfortable adopting the assumption that if everyone thinks it is so, then it must be so. They are willing to suspend their very own, inexpert but common sense opinions in favor of a widely held perception. A perception based on expert media and political manipulation as opposed to factual conclusions.

Truth, common sense and reality are now routinely suspended. It is OK to publicly revere one's vagina but acknowledging racial realities is verboten. Dangling a cross in a jar of urine is considered daring -- but mentioning God as our Savior means you're a fringe kook.

Daring to suggest that most AIDS sufferers share responsibility for their disease means you are a mean spirited homophobe lacking compassion. (Advocating the expenditure of other people's money is the new "compassion.") And blaming the poor for the life choices they made that contributed to their poverty is considered beyond the pale.

Censorship of uncomfortable truths or opinions is the goal of the PC police. Acquiescing to these arbitrary rules enables and validates them. And though it is politically incorrect to say, I personally believe that those who are politically correct are weak people — sheep who are either unable or unwilling to form their own opinions. Intellectually lazy sycophants who have so little confidence in themselves that they are willing to let others define them and determine their actions and opinions. Useful idiots, all. Can I say that?

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