Equal application of justice would be appreciated

The last time I wrote something about the Proud Boys, I ran into some problems.

There was a young man from the Bon Air Fire Department in Delaware County who attended one or two Proud Boys meetings and decided it wasn’t for him. However, the mere fact that he dared to attend a meeting was considered sufficient reason to treat him as a Nazi, which is what many people called him.

When my video was posted on YouTube defending this young man’s First Amendment rights, many Antifa sympathizers began trolling me on social media, and I responded in kind. It was a huge no for a news organization that thought I needed to be “nice” to people who hated me, and in the end, they decided I had too much responsibility.

He scored two goals (The Fireman and the Columnist) for Orwell.

I haven’t cared much for the Proud Boys since that incident. Nothing about their platform seems even remotely legitimate, and their involvement in the January 6 attack on the Capitol makes them repulsive, repulsive, and stupid. And they have a lot of tattoos.

However, its members are also US citizens entitled to all the protections afforded by the laws including the First Amendment.

They deserve to be convicted and sentenced in proportion to the seriousness of their crimes.

But in order to have some sense of confidence in our legal system, we have to believe that the laws are applied fairly and consistently.

We need, for example, to believe that a person who riots in the streets of Philadelphia, smashing store windows and stealing flat-screen televisions under the guise of social justice, will be charged with a crime.

We are not demanding that they be sentenced to 17 years in prison. We are not demanding that they be kept in solitary confinement. We do not call them traitors to the state.

We just want them, at the very least, to have a criminal record that can be expunged later if they stop acting like vandals.

We also want the Department of Justice to stop targeting pro-life parents who protest outside Planned Parenthood clinics, get into conflicts with obnoxious seniors who lie about being infected and have the audacity to preach the sanctity of unborn human life.

We would have no problem at all if a pro-life parent were charged with simple assault, assuming the assault victim had actually suffered some harm.

It would be nice if this father could be fined and forced to stay outside a 25 foot radius of the clinic.

What we get into big trouble is when federal agents, in a SWAT team maneuver, launch a pre-dawn raid on his home, in front of his terrified wife and young children, and charge him with felonies under a law designed primarily to protect clinics from pesky (but legal) protesters.

Although the FACE Act — Freedom of Access to Clinics — was enacted to address the wave of violence against clinics, it has been used as a means for abortion advocates to silence dissent, including the peaceful opposition of grandmothers carrying rosaries.

This is because if you think there is a small chance you will be charged with trespassing, you may stay home. End of protest.

You’re probably saying to yourself, what does any of this have to do with the Proud Boys and their participation on January 6?

The answer is simple: laws should be applied to everyone equally, without fear or favor according to race, class, gender or political affiliation.

If the women who defaced churches after the Dobbs decision, beheaded statues and wrote obscenities on walls were hunted down and prosecuted in the same way as the January 6th protesters were, I would have no problem with the execution of American justice.

If, once again, the vandals who set our cities on fire after the murder of George Floyd were charged with actual crimes instead of receiving apologies and payments for their “civil rights violation,” I would be celebrating the glory of the legal system. .

If women who lied about being raped were prosecuted for false reports at the same rate that men are falsely accused of being rapists, I would throw out all my books about the horrific Kavanaugh hearings and write a column praising Gloria Allred.

But this is not the case.

Proud boys have no reason to be proud. They are obnoxious. But so are the protesters in the George Floyd case who, in their own way, tried to destroy the foundations of our society with their hatred. Or in other words, your terrorists are no better than my terrorists.

CChristine Flowers is an attorney and columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times and can be reached at cflowers1961@gmail.com.


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