Cancel Culture 2.0: Youth arrested for allegedly racist Snapchat message - Must Read Alaska
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Cancel Culture 2.0: Youth arrested for allegedly racist Snapchat message

By SUZANNE DOWNING

America has arrived at the next stage in Cancel Culture, a stage where we eat our young: An underage youth in Connecticut has been arrested for racial slurs.

According to the Hartford Courant, a 16-year-old white boy was charged by the Fairfield Police Department with “breach of peace,” in addition to an older-than-dirt Connecticut misdemeanor of “ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race.” Hate speech on Snapchat is now punishable by up to 30 days in jail in Connecticut.

The 16-year-old’s arrest has sent shock waves through the nation’s conservative circles, because we prize, above all, freedom of speech. No right-minded conservative defends the lad’s mean comments on Snapchat, but Constitution-defending conservatives now find themselves in the uncomfortable position of defending the rights of people to express hateful things.

What hateful things? A photo of a black student was posted on Snapchat with the caption, “Why is there a n—-r in my homeroom?” and “Why is he not in chains?”

It’s not the first time. In 2019, University of Connecticut Police arrested two students for shouting racial slurs outside a campus apartment complex, the home of many black students. The two 21-year-olds were charged under the 1917 law that makes it a misdemeanor to be racist. You read it right: The law was passed in 1917.

You can pass all the laws you want to reform the human heart, but no government has ever succeeded in actually doing so.

Legal scholars and the American Civil Liberties Union raised free speech concerns back in 2019, but even though the law is clearly unconstitutional, it remains on the books.

Our Constitution could not be more clear that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We can agree the racist remark was wrong and needed to be addressed by parents (and the school district, if what was written was on school property and during school hours).

But to ruin a 16-year-old’s life over a reckless remark is not going to help heal this nation. The student will live with his mistake for the rest of his life, and the experience with the justice system will likely harden his heart. He is a now a victim of Cancel Culture and there’s no escaping it.

There are other racist groups on Snapchat, most that never see the light of day. In April, one came to light in Aledo, Tex., in which ninth-grade students had a Snapchat group that they called “Slave Trade.” They pretended to buy and sell their fellow black classmates. The school district disciplined the students, but there were no arrests, and that was an appropriate response.

Coincidentally, Prince Harry, as a new resident of the United States, has concluded that our nation’s First Amendment is “bonkers.” Most constitution-loving conservatives waved his comment off as ignorant musings of a royal family member tearing down the most profoundly liberating document in the history of the world, the founding rights our forefathers fought and bled for.

In fact, Fairfield, Conn., where the 16-year-old was arrested, was burned to the ground by the British on July 8, 1779 during the Revolutionary War. We’d like to think Fairfield might take pride in championing free speech, but instead it has embraced the Gospel of Prince Harry.

In the past 15 months of pandemic policy, Americans didn’t fight their state, and local governments that stopped them from attending church, indoors or out, or even going to work. Americans were prohibited from assembling unless they were assembling for race riots. Governments, using emergency powers, prevented the governed from shopping or even opening their businesses. The world was too dangerous, Americans were told, to have people away from their homes … unless they were protesting Donald Trump.

In those 15 months, we also saw Big Tech cutting off the opinions Americans have about their governments. Big Tech canceled the voice of the president of the United States and blackened the accounts of people who questioned government policy on masks, mandates, and vaccines. Big Tech became the arm of government in enforcing government-approved speech, government approved activities, and government-approved vaccines.

A year later, the leftists breached the next constitutional barricade by arresting a 16-year-old punk for saying stupid things.

School Principal Paul Cavanna issued a statement: “We strongly believe that racism has no place here or anywhere in our society. We are working to support those who have been affected by this reprehensible act.” Another unconstitutional action: The principal just threw that kid’s Fourteenth Amendment due process rights in the trash.

Fairfield Public Schools Superintendent Mike Cummings also sent a letter out, saying, “As we continue our equity work as a district, we recognize that this is a journey, not a destination. There will be missteps along the way, and while we are extremely disturbed by these incidents, they provide learning that can and will inform our work.”

Ah, the equity work defense. Who can fight that? Where is the ACLU this time?

Beyond violating the rights of a student, the Fairfield principal, superintendent, and the police missed a major opportunity to use this as a teaching moment for the perpetrator. They could have done so much more, had they initiated a conversation on kindness, human dignity, and respect. Instead, they’ve turned their town and state into a national embarrassment, and probably ruined the student’s chance for a successful future.

Take note of this moment as you watch Cancel Culture move into government practice: Every word on campuses across America is being evaluated through a different “woke” lens. Our young students have little room for error, lest they be branded and banished from the public arena before they are old enough to really understand the emotional toll and hurtful consequences of their words.

Suzanne Downing writes for NewsMax, Must Read Alaska, and Must Read America.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Democrats continue to try and destroy our first amendment Liberties. Pay close attention, you “orange man bad” voters.

  • Splendid summary and musings of our present and future, Suzanne. Thank you for keeping us updated with balanced frank discussion

  • It is possible to regulate a degree of verbal expression through some legal enforcement. But suppression of the mind cannot be enforced in a free society. Here, an attempt to control a youth’s mind by regulating his speech will result in a violent backlash.

  • In this case I don’t feel that it is cancel culture. I think this is more of a case of consequences for ones actions. Luckily for this teen his records will be sealed at 18 years of age.

  • He was charged with a misdemeanor and probably won’t be doing any time. A lot of people think that the freedom of speech amendment means that you can just say anything they want anytime and that’s not the way it works. If you exercise freedom of speech and you in turn insight riots or hate crimes, then you will be charged for those. Using your constitutional rights is also about being responsible as with any rules. There are limits do everything. It’s always been this way, and this is nothing new. The issue is when some groups take it too far and try to cancel legitimate freedom of speech because they don’t like the message. That’s the part of the first amendment that is protected.

  • Probably the best piece I’ve seen you publish here Suzanne, ( and you have published many great pieces), Thank you again.
    These kinds of actions by corrupted officials have but one purpose, to instill a sense of fear throughout the populace. The idiotic statements of one punk kid somewhere… are not what is injurious to the Republic, what is causing great injury is the control of speech. As Edmund Burke reportedly said, “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” I submit that we are living in a time when the means to broadcast a message has never been easier to access, however at the same time it is controlled by a few and increasingly more subject to censorship by those who hold a particular political point of view. It truly is to paraphrase Dickens , “the best of times and the worst of times. “.

  • Suzanne, you purposely(?) miss the point that minors do NOT have the same rights as you or me. One example is that when I was in 9th grade I was threatened with expulsion for long hair. The school believed I was making some kind of anti-war statement and made it clear that freedom of speech did not apply to minors. The Conservative lower courts sided with the school in a near identical case brought against them by a fellow student (Katz). My case had worked it’s way up to the school board where it became clear that I wasn’t trying to make a statement, but rather, like Einstein, I was just too busy thinking genius thoughts to bother with my hair. There, a board member invoked Jesus Christ as an authority on hair length. You don’t want to debate Scripture with me and I ripped her up in public and an exception was made for me…because I wasn’t trying to make a statement!!! The appeals courts continued to find in favor of the school in the Katz case…minors don’t have rights. Pretty sure you know that Suzanne. Also, you keep saying things about how “clear” the Constitution is and that’s a load of garbage and YOU know it. Seems to me the Constitution guarantees a “right to life”, yet abortion is legal. The Supreme Court INTERPRETS the Constitution. All one has to do is look at all the different Christian denominations, based on the same Bible(!), to see how ‘interpretation’ works! You could be a voice for good if you’d just be accurate and quit taking the easy “muck raking” way out.

  • Cancel Culture warriors will start the next civil war. When you start restricting the rights of individuals you open the door for the oppressed to revolt.

  • It’s good thing Anchorage conservatives wouldn’t make such Ivan Moore statements, inciting violence and vandalism if Dunbar was new mayor. or they’d be arrested.

    It will had been good for him to spend the night in Jail. I am sure he would be cursing out the dispatched officers.

    16-year-old boy shouldn’t have even been using any social media tools from the first place. Those creators of social media tools and apps don’t even allow their own children use the things they invent inside their home until their children turn 18. Maybe after this arrest, the child will cut himself out of all social media tools.

  • Well said, Suzanne. Really well said.

  • Where is the ACLU? Likely right behind the commies supporting the leftist #agenda.
    Sad.

  • Our society is a mess…look at the last year.
    First, Trump was bashed for calling out the “Wuhan Virus” & now we have Fauci stating it is very possible that it was leaked from the lab in Wuhan, China.
    These attacks on free speech are just the beginning as states like Alaska ramp up their digital vaccine databases to segregate the population between free-thinkers & sheep.
    The country will reach a tipping point like has happened in the past where too much of our freedoms have been eroded & life is dull like in other authoritarian countries.

  • You cannot govern morality..

  • Better arrest most all those rapper types over on mister sensitive, Tim Cook’s music store, as well then, they love to throw down that racial slur too.

  • Good for you Suzanne stand your ground

    Yes people Turn Off that Facebook Crap. Talk to your neighbors one on one.
    Yes I do believe that are Free Speech is being Taking Away from us. Again stand your Ground against this, woke craziness

  • Pretty soon if this continues, we will be arrested for what we are thinking. How many years do I go to jail for a smirk that someone doesn’t like?

  • If the youth in question had been black, and he had said “Why is there a whitey in my homeroom?” and “Why is he not in chains?”, no one in the media or other positions of power would have paid the least bit attention.

  • If free speech is already an accepted right then this must be discipline for a thought crime.
    .
    Agree with him or not, that young man does not care for “n—-r”s and no one’s going to change that. School administration might be able to teach him acceptable deportment guidelines but they can’t tell him what he’s allowed to think.
    .
    I wonder what the arresting officer thought of our darker skinned brothers. Might he (or she) be one?

  • TROUSER BARK, kids do and say stupid things without thinking anything through-my first time voting was for Angela Davis because she was hot. At 18 hopefully this stupid arrest will be sealed forever and he can get on with his life. And hopefully he will smarten up and expand his life experiences and contacts. In my observations only small minded lower intelligence people remain bigots.
    We all came out of Africa with dark skin. White skin is a defect only a few thousand years old. Intelligent people know this. Some people are just more Neanderthal than others.

  • Excellent law….hope the little racist scumbag learns something from being held accountable…

  • The cancel culture and woke youth will not be equipped, nor capable, of running this country in 20 years.

  • @AK Is it ok for others to have an opinion that differs from yours without being concerned that you might call them small minded lower intelligence bigoted Neanderthals with defective skin?
    .
    When evolution results in a skin that processes sunlight more efficiently it is not a defect and were you as intelligent as you’d like others to believe you’d know that evolution does not produce defects. You may also note that the further our ancestors strayed from their origins the more likely they were to make notable inventions, scientific discoveries, produce fine art, and ultimately develop the underpinnings of modern western culture. For example, defective skinned people began construction of Notre Dame de Paris in the 12th century yet several hundred years later when those with less defective skin were being sold by their brethren into servitude, those treated as chattel as well as their brokers were living in dung huts and had not yet invented the wheel.
    .
    We all are the sum of our heritable traits and that this young man might not be a lover of the same thing you are is not indication of a defect in any mind but yours.
    .
    Was his comment rude? Sure
    .
    Was his comment mean spirited? Sure.
    .
    But young people say things they probably could’ve worded better. Your post, an example. You were doing so well with your first couple sentences and then fell completely off the rails. Probably not that much different from the way that 16YO kid’s comments went.

  • TROUSER BARK, if it is my opinion I generally state so. This is genetics: ‘When humans began leaving Africa 20,000 to 50,000 years ago, a skin-whitening mutation appeared randomly in a sole individual, according to a 2005 Penn State study.1 That mutation proved advantageous as humans moved into Europe. Why? Because it allowed the migrants increased access to vitamin D, which is crucial to absorbing calcium and keeping bones strong. Penn State’s Keith Cheng identified a key gene that contributes to lighter skin color in Europeans and differs from West Africans.
    In 2005, Cheng reported that one amino acid difference in the gene SLC24A5 is a key contributor to the skin color difference between Europeans and West Africans.
    “The mutation in SLC24A5 changes just one building block in the protein, and contributes about a third of the visually striking differences in skin tone between peoples of African and European ancestry,” says Cheng, professor of pathology.
    Lighter skin color may have provided an advantage for the better creation of vitamin D in the lesser sunlight characteristic of northern latitudes.
    In this current part of the project, Victor Canfield, assistant professor of pharmacology, together with Cheng, studied DNA sequence differences across the globe. They studied segments of genetic code that have a mutation and are located closely on the same chromosome and are often inherited together. This specific mutation in SLC24A5, called A111T, is found in virtually everyone of European ancestry.
    A111T is also found in populations in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, but not in high numbers in Africans. Researchers found that all individuals from the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, and South India who carry the A111T mutation share a common “fingerprint”—traces of the ancestral genetic code—in the corresponding chromosomal region, indicating that all existing instances of this mutation originate from the same person.
    These findings were reported in the journal G3.
    The pattern of proportions of people with this lighter skin color mutation indicates that the A111T mutation occurred somewhere between the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.
    “This means that Middle Easterners and South Indians, which includes most inhabitants of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, share significant ancestry,” Cheng says.
    This mutated segment of DNA was itself created from a combination of two other mutated segments commonly found in Eastern Asians—traditionally defined as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.’ (these quotes are from two different articles referencing the same study).

    Light skin is a genetic mutation, albeit a beneficial one. And just to clarify, the only genetically true human beings come from Africa. The rest of us have Neanderthal and possibly some Denisovan contamination (mine is about 2%).
    And Europeans may have built the Notre Dame, but hundreds of years before the Romans, the Chinese built the first Great Wall, and five hundred years before Notre Dame, the Songyue Temple Pagoda. The pyramids date over four thousand years, but if you really want to go back, Adam’s Calendar in Mpumalanga, South Africa is still accurate today, an estimated 75,000 years from its construction. And we shall not go into the Indus or Khmer ancient cultures.
    You mention slavery of their brethren, just FYI on one campaign alone Julius Caesar returned with 53,000 Gauls for the slave market. From 1530 to 1780 estimates of up to one and a half million Europeans, often taken off the streets and often children, were both sold or captured into slavery to North Africa. And prior to 1619 when the first Africans arrived in Jamestown on a damaged Dutch ship, traded for repair of the ship, poor white Europeans were the indentured. In fact, after manumission several of the Africans became slave holders themselves.
    So, after this long diatribe, I hope that you understand that we are all the same. Skin color does not really define race (that could be another 1,000 words) but is a highly visible attribute that too many find easy to show their ignorance and bigotry, and in my life I find most bigots to be too ignorant to recognize their own stupidity about skin shade. Would a White Supremacist refuse a Black trauma surgeon?
    Oh, and here is a list of genetic defects just starting with ‘A’ (none of which gets you into the X-Men Academy):
    Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency
    AAA syndrome (achalasia–addisonianism–alacrima syndrome)
    Aarskog–Scott syndrome
    ABCD syndrome
    Aceruloplasminemia
    Acheiropodia
    Achondrogenesis type II
    achondroplasia
    Acute intermittent porphyria
    Adenylosuccinate lyase deficiency
    Adrenoleukodystrophy
    Alagille syndrome
    ADULT syndrome
    Aicardi–Goutières syndrome
    Albinism
    Alexander disease
    alkaptonuria
    Alport syndrome
    Alternating hemiplegia of childhood
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Frontotemporal dementia
    Alström syndrome
    Alzheimer’s disease
    Amelogenesis imperfecta
    Aminolevulinic acid dehydratase deficiency porphyria
    Androgen insensitivity syndrome
    Angelman syndrome
    Apert syndrome
    Arthrogryposis–renal dysfunction–cholestasis syndrome
    Ataxia telangiectasia
    Axenfeld syndrome

  • @AK I appreciate your attempt to share with me your enlightenment. First you say that “white skin is a defect” and when reminded that evolution does not produce defects you state that “light skin is a genetic mutation, albeit a beneficial one”. Every evolutionary step is a genetic mutation and persistent change is not a defect. In a world more like what Darwin documented and less like what modern science artificially permits currently those traits you refer to as genetic defects would diminish in the progression of time.

    You also suggest that “the only genetically true human beings come from Africa” and everyone else is genetically contaminated which again is contradicted by your statement: “understand that we are all the same”.
    .
    Your google search is likely only to result in perspectives that support your own and in this case; your perspective is flawed. There are a number of heritable traits beyond skin color that suggest genetic differences that may or may not provide advantage. Regardless, to state that the young man that made the insensitive remark might be less intelligent than you is little more than a guess mired in self-loathing.
    .
    If you’re tempted to post another largely plagiarized ramble you may spare yourself the indignity. Most on MRAK prefer an informed source where matters of science are concerned and having dropped fifty bucks on a 23&me report is simply not enough.

  • TROUSER BARK, obviously you understand bias and how it impacts our judgment. I don’t use 23&me, which is documented to give biased results. Sadly my genetics are very expensively researched for heritable disease through a university clinical study.
    Do you understand the difference between Genus and Species (race has no biological basis)? Humans are of the species Homo Sapiens, genus Homo, species H. sapiens (man of wisdom), evolved largely from H. erectus and H. heidelbergensis, with most of us contaminated (hybridized) with residual H. neanderthalensis and some of us H. denisova, both of which also evolved from H. erectus. As you say, anything can be found on the internet. You can follow the largely discredited belief that H. sapiens developed in Eurasia and migrated back into Africa (for those wishing to deny African origin), or you can believe that we are all Thetans. But no matter your well researched, far out beliefs, to deny that each of us is a human being, originating in Africa and spreading out to infest the world, each with genetically unique identifiers through defects and mutations leaving some of us more subject to diseases (people with darkest skin only rarely develop malignant melanoma), is ultimately just ignorant. And again, race has no biological basis no matter how bigoted you choose to remain. And that’s where this discussion began, over the superiority of one ‘race’ above another. ‘For example, defective skinned people began construction of Notre Dame de Paris in the 12th century yet several hundred years later when those with less defective skin were being sold by their brethren into servitude,’ I ‘plagiarize’ (quote).

  • @AK You are responding to questions no one has asked and with an authority no one has granted.

  • TROUSER BARK, Just trying to explain that we are all one people and we either get along or we become ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’.

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