Last week, Michelle Obama made headlines when she exhorted graduating high schoolers in a commencement address to monitor their families for politically incorrect thoughts and behaviors.
To one journalist, this was more than an off-hand comment made by the first lady. In the opinion of Cheryl Chumley, a reporter for The Washington Times and the author of “Police State USA,” Michelle Obama’s remark reflects a growing trend in America to target and attack individuals for committing “thought crime.”
“Michelle Obama’s push for kids around the nation to monitor their family members for perceived racist comments is just another way the government seeks to inject itself into an area it doesn’t really belong — the American home,” Chumley told The Daily Caller Monday.
“Having the first lady wag her finger at us and send America’s youth on some sort of quest to scour the homes and backyards of our nation’s families for any mention of a racist joke, slur or slight is nanny-governance run amok — something that belongs in a George Orwell novel, not the White House,” Chumley said.
Chumley sees a troubling growth of America’s most powerful political figures now singling out private individuals for their beliefs, and using government agencies and public denunciations to intimidate opponents into silence.
“Harry Reid attacking the Koch brothers for the crime of giving money to conservative causes is just as bad. President Obama, Joe Biden and the entire cast of the White House, for slamming lawful gun owners for exercising their Second Amendment rights, and for trying to drum up emotional-fueled support to ram through gun control,” Chumley listed off. “The IRS targeting of tea party and patriotic non-profits and our nation’s highest law enforcement official, Eric Holder stonewalling on a special prosecutor appointment — does it get any more police state than that?”
The Washington Times reporter sees the creation of hate crime laws as one of the first steps in our country’s history in the direction of attacking unpopular and politically incorrect thoughts in America.
“What comes to mind when I think of the genesis for this growing trend of government to control Americans’ speech, and by extension, thoughts, is when the notion of hate crime was brought into our criminal prosecution system — as if acts of violence that are committed because of racial divides deserve a different category of ‘extra-special bad,'” Chumley stated.
“Political correctness and pandering politicians have fueled this narrative in recent years. Anybody who throws the race card on a regular basis — think Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Harry Reid — is guilty to a certain degree of clamping down on free speech, and in turn, making Americans even wary of what they think.”
And it’s not just the government enforcing this new speech code, in Chumley’s opinion — private companies are just as complicit in regulating speech that’s deemed offensive by the government and media.
“Private companies, like A&E with the “Duck Dynasty” debacle, are getting just as bad as government when it comes to clamping down on free speech, especially when religious views are involved — or, of late, the gay rights movement,” Chumley stated. “I’m all for businesses reacting to free market pressures from their customer base — but really, they need to show a little more spine.”
In Chumley’s opinion, Americans growing a backbone and holding firm to their beliefs would be enough to resist this apparent infringement on individual rights.
“When Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, stood strong in the face of gay rights activists, you didn’t see his business crumble and fold. Rather, you saw those who believe in freedom of speech rise up and stand in Chick-fil-A lines across the nation to support him,” the “Police State USA” author stated. “The only answer is to refuse to be cowed. We’re a nation that’s founded on the belief that rights come from God, not government.”