California resident Mark Feigin is learning the hard way that the social justice warriors that took over local government only approve of bullying the ‘deplorables’.
In September 2016, Feigin posted five ill-advised comments to the Islamic Center of Southern California’s (ICSC) Public Facebook page:
“THE TERROR HIKE … SOUNDS LIKE FUN” (written in response to the Center’s “Sunset Hike” announcement).
“THE MORE MUSLIMS WE ALLOW INTO AMERICA THE MORE TERROR WE WILL SEE.”
“PRACTICING ISLAM CAN SLOW OR EVEN REVERSE THE PROCESS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.”
“Islam is dangerous – fact: the more muslim savages we allow into america – the more terror we will see -this is a fact which is undeniable.”
“Filthy muslim shit has no place in western civilization.”
Despite the ICSC Facebook officials dealing with the problem and blocking him from posting, which is their right and what almost every public Facebook page does from time-to-time depending of the age range of their audience and content guidelines, the authorities had to get involved.
This sounded like a job for California Big Brother!
California is now prosecuting him for posting these comments, on the theory that they violate Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b):
Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device … to another person is … guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.
The California legal office is arguing this,
And the government’s argument makes clear that it’s going after Feigin for the content — indeed the viewpoint — of his speech: “The mere content and nature of the posts establish that they are not made in ‘good faith’ as Defendant would suggest but are meant to annoy and harass.” “Defendant is not seeking uriderstanding or guidance, instead he is posting in order to annoy and harass those who have beliefs with which he vehemently abhors.”
Mark Feigin’s comments were in alignment with a loose definition of “annoy and harass” those “vehemently abhors”. But, what about all those people commenting about the President on social media day-in, day-out? I can’t even begin to count the number of times a day I see comments wishing for the murder of President Trump and derogatory slurs about his skin shade “Cheeto”. Should they be punished by the good virtue-signaling authoritarian law officials over in the Cali?
Of course, there’s nothing in the government’s logic that limits it to comments posted on the Islamic Center’s page, or for that matter on the Catholic Church’s page or the Westboro Baptist Church’s page or the Church of Scientology’s page. If the government is right, and the statute applies to posts on organizations’ pages, then it would apply to any repeated harshly critical posts
- on an NRA page “intended to annoy” NRA employees,
- on a pro-Trump page “intended to annoy” its operators,
- or on any other ideological organization’s page.
But of course, what does reason have to do with any of these attacks on our 1st amendment rights?