Swinging Like Monkeys from the Branches of the Liberty Tree

-By Frank Salvato

Recently, in a Chicago suburb, a village trustee was issued a citation for disorderly conduct when she informed two less than discerning parents that the trees of the village were to be respected as elements of nature, not utilized like playground equipment. The citation was issued after the parents mistook verbiage used as that of being racist. It should be disturbing to all of us that a citation was issued because of words used in a non-aggressive fashion. Even more disturbing is that our society is willing to disregard free speech rights in pursuit of political correctness.

On seeing two children climbing in a less than mature magnolia tree – and upon witnessing the damage they were causing to the tree – Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, the village trustee in question, asked the parents, who were supervising the children, to remove them from the tree. She cited safety concerns and the fact that they were damaging the tree. This resulted in the parents effectively telling Ms. Ramirez-Sliwinski to trumpet her opinion out of her rectum. It was at this point that the “offensive verbiage” was uttered.

Upon the parents’ suggestion that Ramirez-Sliwinski explore the possibility of turning her opinion into a suppository, Ramirez-Sliwinski said,

“…the tree is not there for them to be climbing in like monkeys.”

Normally, a clear thinking person wouldn’t find anything wrong with that statement as monkeys do climb about in trees. Further, the fact that they call a particular playground apparatus the “monkey bars” should be precedent enough that referring to wiry, energy-filled children as “little monkeys” or simply “monkeys” is not a derogatory statement. The problem here – as if you hadn’t guessed it already – is that the children and the offended parents were Black; American-African.

Now perhaps Ms. Ramirez-Sliwinski could have used different nomenclature but it is obvious to the thinking man that Ms. Ramirez-Sliwinski meant nothing racial by the remark. Maybe it was a poor choice of words given the intellectually stunted times we live in but how did “insensitive speech” become a criminal offense…in the United States of America?! Someone is going to have to point out to me where in the US Constitution we are all guaranteed the right not to be offended!

Ironically, Ms. Ramirez-Sliwinski is a delegate to the Democrat National Convention. That should inoculate any Progressive-Leftists who would have otherwise characterized her as a Right-Wing thug trying to diminish the self-esteem of two black future Olympic gymnasts.

The issue of hate-speech legislation – and hate crime laws in general – is one that needs to be urgently addressed. Moving away from the sanctity of the First Amendment guaranteed right to free speech is a step toward ushering in the fears Orwell outlined in his classic 1984. Allowing cultural elitists to usurp the Charters of Freedom in order to install a shadow set of laws (read: political correctness) is a giant step toward the demise of our liberties; toward the demise of our freedoms as mandated by Natural Law. Sadly, we are already started down that path.

Before we acquiesce to the will of the counter-culture of the 1960s we should ask ourselves; should hate crimes and hate-speech laws come to fruition, who will be the arbiters of what is considered hate-speech, of what is considered hate-crime? The answer is, unquestionably, the same elitist, counter-cultural, hypocritical malcontents that have judged most every action of the US since the 1960s as “insensitive” and “intolerant”; The Me Generation.

The Me Generation is truly living up to its name. They are self-serving and narcissistic. They only care about issues when those issues affect them directly. A few examples…

We hear – almost on a daily basis – how we have to save the children of the world. We have to save the children of Darfur from genocide. We have to save the children of Kenya from starving to death. Before that it was the children of Cambodia and Vietnam. To be certain, helping children anywhere in the world is a noble cause and one that should be pursued. That said, why wasn’t the Me Generation concerned with saving the children of Iraq when Saddam Hussein was committing genocide against the Kurdish and Shiite communities? Certainly, the children of Kurdish and Shiite Iraqis are just as innocent, just as deserving of our efforts as those of Darfur or Kenya. Why is it then that the Me generation – those who control the mainstream media and the Democrat Party – why is it, then, that they don’t acknowledge that going into Iraq, eliminating Saddam Hussein’s regime and saving the Kurdish and Shiite children from genocide and oppression was a good thing?

The fact of the matter is that the Me Generation is more concerned with power – more concerned with getting their way and how the lack of power affects them – than they are with the children of the Iraqi Kurds and Shiites. They cannot afford to allow President Bush to be correct on Iraq, even as they decry the genocide in Darfur. They need President Bush to be wrong on all counts. That’s why they dismiss the fact that in giving his reasons for going to war in Iraq the first reason given was Hussein’s atrocities committed against his own people:

“Last year, the UN Commission on Human Rights found that Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights, and that the regime’s repression is all pervasive. Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution, and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation, and rape. Wives are tortured in front of their husbands, children in the presence of their parents – and all of these horrors concealed from the world by the apparatus of a totalitarian state.” – President Bush, in Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 12, 2002.

In fact, the Me Generation/Progressive-Left had to cherry-pick reason number four – not two, that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands, not three, that Iraq renounce all involvement with terrorism and permit no terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq, but four, that Iraq destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, a condition they violated with regard to their on-going missile development. It was reason number four they had to glom onto in order to take issue with Iraq’s liberation.

Another good example of the Me Generation’s narcissistic hypocrisy is the issue of women in Islam.

Women are routinely abused, subjugated, sold into arranged marriages, beaten, maimed and even killed in the fundamentalist Islamic culture yet, but for a scant bit of lip-service to the barbarity of it all, women’s groups, such as the National Organization for Women – along with activists groups like Code Pink for Peace – do absolutely nothing to right the wrong. Medea Benjamin and her army of pink-clad miscreants will routinely disrupt Congressional hearings and harass the families of wounded soldiers outside VA hospitals in Washington DC, but they are absent in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy. NOW is out in full force to campaign for women’s rights and Hillary Clinton’s campaign but in Iran women are being pulled off the streets, never to be seen again because they were wearing “un-Islamic dress.” Why are the women of the Middle East, the beaten, the raped, the maimed, those who have been victims of honor killings, why are they not worthy of the Me Generation’s feminist ire?

Again, the fact of the matter is that the activists of Code Pink and NOW couldn’t care less about their “sisters” in the Middle East. It doesn’t affect them directly and if it doesn’t affect them directly they don’t care. The fundamentalist Islamic culture defecates on women and American feminist activists ignore it. What a great group of people to have in your corner, huh?!

We stand at a moment in time when two narcissistic and manipulative people vie for the nomination of the Democrat Party to become President of the United States; Hillary Clinton of the counter-culture of the 1960s and Barack Obama who surrounds himself with and idolizes the icons of the counter-culture of the 1960s. In essence, the Democrats – the Progressive-Left – are offering us the chance to further empower the counter-culture of the 1960s.

Both candidates serve up a tremendous amount of caring rhetoric, rhetoric about how they will “change” the United States. But the truth be told, if their “change” is illustrated by the compassion their culture demonstrates for those who don’t directly affect them, they will change our nation – the nation that gave more in private charity to the world than any other throughout the history of the earth – they will change our nation into a place of greed, of selfishness, of jaded indifference for those who truly need our help.

Perhaps we should all follow Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski’s lead and cast off the chains of political correctness before it’s too late. Maybe it is time that we demand the misfit “monkeys” of the 1960s counter-cultural quite swinging from the fragile branches of our nation’s Liberty Tree.

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal . He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at oped@newmediajournal.us

Copyright Publius Forum 2001