As Trump keeps reminding us, there is a difference between standing up to political correctness and being an obnoxious jackass. But it is possible to do both at once. Alarmingly, you can be arrested for it:
An East Tennessee State University student was arrested Wednesday after going to a Black Lives Matter protest on campus wearing a gorilla mask and handing out bananas.
Tristan Rettke, an 18-year-old freshman, wore overalls and a gorilla mask and, wandering barefoot while holding a burlap sack with a Confederate flag and a marijuana leaf on it, offered bananas to students who were protesting, according to a report by ETSU police. He was arrested and charged with civil rights intimidation.
Civil rights intimidation. Nonsense. He was arrested for being politically incorrect.
According to campus police, after being read his rights Rettke told officers that a couple of days earlier he had seen on social media that there would be a Black Lives Matter event in the “free speech” area of Borchuck Plaza on the Johnson City, Tenn., campus.
Apparently the concept of “free speech” no longer extends to speech regarded by the authorities as ideologically reprehensible.
This is a classic case to test whether we still enjoy the crucial liberties secured by the First Amendment. Most will agree that Rettke was behaving like a jerk. But being a jerk is not against the law in a free country. If jerks don’t have freedom of speech, no one does; we only have the right to parrot speech that has been approved.
On a tip from JeffersonSpinningInGrave. Hat tip: Right Wing News.