Friday, March 16, 2012

A troubling poll

I was there. I saw it all. Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists, disease-ridden degenerates. They had to go. Strength through unity. Unity through faith.
          — from "V for Vendetta" (movie clip)
A poll released a few days ago was very troubling where:
58% of respondents found no fault with police actions toward Muslims. And 82% said they believe the antiterrorism efforts of the NYPD have been effective. Overall, 63% said they generally approve of the way the department does its job.(Poll: Majority of New Yorkers approve of NYPD surveillance of Muslims)
Beyond the fact that it is simply immoral to isolate a segment of the population for discrimination by the state, there are some other very serious issues:

1. It's illegal and unconstitutional. The NYPD has been surveilling the general Muslim population not only in New York, but also in New Jersey which is obviously outside its jurisdiction. Article IV of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
2. It gives the government unlimited power which it will not easily relinquish. When the government is no longer constrained by the Constitution, the people have to fear the tyranny of the government. When the power lies beyond even the politicians it is aptly described as "Inverted Totalitarianism": Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction.
You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. 
          — Abbie Hoffman
3. It's a slippery slope: today it's Muslims; tomorrow it's protesters and dissidents; next up are journalists and whistleblowers. Then it becomes the poor, African Americans, and finally it's the war on women, Christians, Jews, gays and lesbians, you and everyone else. Welcome to the police state.

This is what the NYPD has been doing. I highly recommend that you take a look at these:
If we don't start supporting freedom and justice for minority groups, who is going to be there for you when you become the target?
Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.
          — Benjamin Franklin (attributed)
Without liberty, there can exist no lasting social order, no field for productive labor, no personal security, and no security for property.
          — Louis Kossuth
Perhaps, the poll was inaccurate and unfair. Perhaps New Yorkers just don't know the extent of the NYPD's surveillance and harassment. But now you do. Spread the word.