Saturday, September 16, 2017

Trend Beginning To Emerge

There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear, wrote Stephen Stills 51 years ago.

What is happening now isn't clear yet but it's becoming a little less blurry. In May, Newsweek reported

The number of complaints from servicemen and -women in the Army, Air Force, Marines and other service branches to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has doubled in number since November 2016, according to lawyer Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, a former Air Force officer who founded the organization.

Many of the recent charges are coming from members of minority religions, including Roman Catholics, Jews and Muslims, and from atheists. Among the complaints: military family and marital therapy programs are being infused with Protestant Christianity, which would violate the U.S. Constitution; open anti-Semitism; anti-LGBT statements, posters, symbols and bullying; openly anti-Muslim teachers and Islamophobic attacks; a rise in on-base evangelizing; and increased pressure on recruits or lower-level personnel and service members to convert to fundamentalist Christianity.

“With the advent of Trump as the commander in chief of our armed forces, MRFF has experienced a massive influx of new military and civilian personnel complaints of religion-based prejudice and bigotry, most of them coming from non-fundamentalist Christians being persecuted by their military superiors for not being ‘Christian enough,’” Weinstein tells Newsweek.

When Jamele Hill tweeted that Donald "look at my African American over here" Trump is "unqualified and unfit to be President" and “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists,” presidential press secretary Sarah H. Sanders suggested ESPN fire here. The network issued a statement criticizing Hill and tried unsuccessfully to replace her on Wednesday's broadcast.

The National Association of Black Journalists on Wednesday stated it "supports Hill's First Amendment rights on all matters of discussion, within and outside the world of sports, as they do not impinge on her duties as a host and commentator.​"

Unfortunately, the First Amendment does not apply to a private emplyer, which generally can discipline or fire an individual for what she does as a private citizen on her own time on unrelated matters. Coincidentally, on Friday Donald "I will absolutely apologize sometime in the distant future if I’m ever wrong.” Trump demanded ESPN apologize to him.

The massive Bristol, Connecticut corporation may have the wisdom and fortitude not to bucckle down to our Liar in Chief.  If all goes well. However, the US military may be more susceptible to intimidation (video below from early July), as The Washington Post has found:

U.S. Army recruiters have abruptly canceled enlistment contracts for hundreds of foreign-born military recruits since last week, upending their lives and potentially exposing many to deportation, according to several affected recruits and former military officials familiar with their situation.

Many of these enlistees have waited years to join a troubled recruitment program designed to attract highly skilled immigrants into the service in exchange for fast-track citizenship....

It was not immediately clear whether Pentagon officials have taken hard-line immigration stances from the White House as a signal to ramp down support for its foreign-born recruitment program.

Increased pressure on recruits to convert to evangelical Christianity, pressure on private companies to fire critics of the President, the Pentagon breaking deals with foreign-born recruits. It may be intimidation, bias, government suppression of dissent, or some combination of three. But whatever it is, it begins at the top.

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