Editor’s Note: after roughly three straight days of trying (unsuccessfully) to fight what I feel is an unjust Twitter suspension and then rebuilding my new account, I have managed to hit a rarefied level of exhaustion that I assume only the ill, mad or desperate know intimately. In light of this, I decided to take it easy on this lazy Sunday morning and bring back a feature we haven’t seen in a little while; our Info Meme of the Week.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the format, the IMotW is a feature where we a look at one issue or scandal you need to know about in the form of a single, easy-to-share info-graphic that’s backed up by a few verifiable sources underneath the photo. No rants, speeches or explanations required – just the facts, in one quick snapshot you can show your barely-literate friends and random trolls on the internet.
In this edition of IMotW we’re going to take a quick look at an issue that ties directly into our ongoing examination of the rise of overt, state supported fascism in the United States; the Department of Justice’s ongoing crusade to punish sixty-one year old activist Desiree Fairooz – for laughing during Attorney General Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing & then making some noise when a capitol hill cop tried to arrest her for what she says was an involuntary giggle that lasted mere seconds:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this Info Meme, you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my very brief comments after the sources section of this article.
As those of you who’ve read the source links above already know, there is some dispute as to whether or not Desiree Fairooz is actually being charged with laughing during Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing. In public Department of Justice officials have argued that the totality of Fairooz’s behavior during her arrest warrants the disruption charge, but the government’s lawyers then turned around and told a jury that simply laughing out loud was enough for a conviction; which is why the original result was thrown out by Judge Morin. For their part Fairooz’s lawyers have argued that their client’s response to an unlawful removal by an inexperienced police officer was appropriate for the situation and from out here it certainly looks like the DoJ is trying to have its cake and eat it too.
At this point, I should also point out that many fascist-adjacent apologists will undoubtedly note that there is nothing the Department of Justice could have done to stop swine emperor Trump’s Arpaio pardon; indeed within days of the announcement word had already leaked out of the Justice Department that Sessions had tepidly advised against pardoning Sheriff Joe because it was “inappropriate.”
While on the surface these arguments may seem to have merit, a more careful examination in proper context reveals that both excuses for the Trump administration’s behavior simply miss the forest for the trees. The overriding truth is that the government is under no obligation to charge Desiree Fairooz with anything; the DoJ could and probably should drop the charges – especially in the light of Fairooz’s age, the fact that the cop really shouldn’t have forcibly removed her from the hearing for a moment of involuntary laughter and the sheer nightmare-fuel optics of being the “democratic” government that prosecuted an activist for laughing; twice.
Furthermore, even that basic observation misses the larger pictured because the Sessions DoJ’s decision to prosecute a CODEPINK activist for laughing also fits the Trump administration’s consistent pattern of attacking virtually all forms of protest against the swine emperor’s corrupt junta.
What does it say about the US government when the Department of Justice will go to such incredible lengths to punish a sixty-one year old woman for laughing at Jeff Sessions but allows the President to pardon a murderous bigot who openly ignored the US Constitution with only the tiniest of ass-covering whimpers? What if that same government told law enforcement officials to stop tracking white supremacist violence, had ignored warnings about “lethal” right wing extremists months before what eventually turned into a fatal neo-nazi riot and openly supported reactionary white nationalists even after an innocent 32-year old activist was murdered by a known nazi terrorist? What if I told you that same government that clearly couldn’t give a fuck about neo-nazi violence was trying put people (including journalists) who attended the J20 protest during President Trump’s inauguration in prison for up to 75 years? How can anyone take the concept of “justice” seriously in a country where the President thinks some white nationalists are “very fine people” and Joe Arpaio should be pardoned for his commitment to law and order, but the Attorney General and his Department of Justice are pretty damn sure that a loud woman in a pink Burger King crown must be brought to heel before a court of law?
Make no mistake; if Desiree Fairooz goes to jail for laughing at the Attorney General, then the only joke involved here will be the idea that America isn’t already a fascist nation.
- Nina Illingworth
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