Uncomfortable vs. Dangerous Free Speech

The month of September brings the most perfect weather to much of the world. Not too hot during the day and not too cold in the evening, people can be comfortable without the need for artificial air conditioning or heat.

Those are the Goldilocks days, which are, unfortunately, just a few weeks long.

However, as the autumn moves on to October and the nights get colder, people turn on their heating systems that had been dormant for months. Several states have laws that demand that beginning October 1, landlords must begin to provide heat. Yet there is no equivalent requirement for landlords to provide air conditioning in the hot summer months.

The rationale for forcing landlords to provide heat is about safety. People could become extremely sick or freeze to death if the temperature drops too low. Such a situation would likely force the individuals to turn on their stoves and ovens or light candles for heat, all of which could produce a massive fire killing many people and destroying property. The dangerous situation would stem from primary (the freezing cold itself) and secondary (the actions that people would take in reaction to the cold temperature) events.

The dynamic in the summer months is not so dire. People could dress lightly and use fans to cool off. The probability of someone dying from heat would only happen in extreme circumstances. As such, governments do not force landlords to supply air conditioning to their tenants.

The government intervention in matters of heat and air-conditioning revolves around safety, not comfort. Just as it does for free speech.

Free Speech

The First Amendment to the US Constitution gives people the right to free speech. Some people have argued that such right is absolute and that the government cannot provide any exceptions which ban people’s expressions. However, the government has placed laws which curtail some forms of speech.

Consider Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s 1919 opinon in Schenck v. United States, which limited free speech in certain situations. Holmes wrote that “The most stringent protection of free speech, would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic…. The question in every case, is whether the words are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

The courts clarified this opinion in 1969’s Brandenburg v. Ohio when it wrote”the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

The courts ruling on free speech are similar to the rules on providing heat: the line between what is allowed and disallowed surrounds safety. It has nothing to do with the comments themselves nor around discomfort.

While this may appear basic, it has been upended and questioned in recent times.

Politicians and media sources recently argued that only right-wing racist calls to violence should be illegal. However the courts make clear that ALL calls for violence are illegal, including from far left extremists.

Free speech has NOTHING to do with political views and everything to do with safety.

There is a lot of speech that is hateful and offensive. Consider Pamela Geller’s Draw Mohammed Contest in 2015 which offended Muslims, or students at University of California Berkeley that wore shirts “White Man Bow Down” in 2017 which deliberately targeted and offended white men. The Draw Mohammed contest did ultimately result in violence while the racist behavior of the black Cal Berkeley students did not. But both initial expressions were considered lawful as there was no incitement to violence in the present.

The vast majority of speech is benign and enjoyable, like the Goldilocks days of September. Yet as more people take to the streets and social media to express themselves in more confrontational ways, we should be mindful of whether the temperature of the language is simply hot and uncomfortable, or dangerously cold that must be stopped. University students can escape to “safe spaces,” much like running to an air-conditioned mall on a hot summer day. But we must be mindful that the lines of safety not be crossed from either side of the political spectrum.

The right to free speech extends to the right and the left. It does not cover calls for violence from either the right or the left.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Active and Reactive Provocations: Charlie Hebdo and the Temple Mount

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Selective Speech

We Should Not Pay for Your First Amendment Rights

The Monumental Gap between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Advertisements

The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

They were not even supposed to be there.

Long marked for exclusion, their physical presence was repulsive to the locals. “Modern” society being slightly more “progressive” in the ancient Middle East as well as being more visible to a global audience because of the Internet, made it slightly more difficult to bar them. The vile creatures could stand there, but the rightful hosts would deny them space, honor or acknowledgement. These interlopers may be human, but their essence remained a problem.

They would sing no song, carry no flag, and represent no people.

In 2017.

In the United Arab Emirates Judo competition.

On the Jewish Temple Mount in the Jerusalem.

Judo Grand Slam

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the Judo Grand Slam in October 2017. The competition was nominally supposed to represent the best fighters in the judo martial arts from countries from around the world. Not simply from around the world, but from COUNTRIES from around the world.

The official website from the tournament listed 47 countries that participated in the event. Alphabetically, after Hungary at number 21 was “IFJ,” which stood for the International Judo Federation. Not normally considered a country, it was a name assigned to a country loathed by the host country. That despised country is Israel.

Israel is not a recognized country by the UAE. Not only does the country not have diplomatic relations with Israel, Israeli citizens are denied entry into the UAE.

That posed a problem for the UAE which was hosting the Judo tournament. Would the tournament be considered a farce if it excluded many of the best competitors? Israeli athletes had become champions in many global judo competitions and they qualified to compete at the IFJ event. How could the host country of the event deny entry to those people?

However strong their desire, the UAE could not bar the physical entry of the Israeli athletes. But that would be as far it would go.

  • The Israeli flag, national anthem and the name “Israel” would be banned from the entire program.
  • The Israeli athletes would be the only ones to not have a flag on their uniform.
  • The Israeli athletes would not have their national flag raised nor anthem played when they won medals.
  • And the name “Israel” would not even be listed anywhere among the 47 countries competing in the global event.

The “human rights” groups that monitor the Middle East would be silent. Human Rights Watch? Nothing T’ruah? Zero. OHCHR? Couldn’t be bothered. The Carter Center? You kidding me? Jimmy Carter?

Those “rights” organizations have no breath to support human decency if it means defending Israel or Israelis. For “progressive” groups, Israel is solely the object of scorn and condemnation.

The Jewish Temple Mount

For 3000 continuous years, there has been a single place which Jews have revered as their holiest location: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jews had two temples there, and after the Second Temple was destroyed, Jews continued to pray in the direction of their holy temples. Until this very day.

At Israel’s founding in 1948, the surrounding Arab countries invaded in the hopes of completely destroying the new Jewish state. At war’s end, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan took over the western side of the Jordan River through the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. The Jordanians promptly evicted every Jew from their illegally seized land.

The Jordanians annexed the region in 1950 in a move that was not recognized by virtually the entire world. In 1954, the Jordanians gave citizenship to every person that lived or had lived in these acquired lands, but deliberately excluded Jews to make sure that the Jews could not re-enter their land, including Jerusalem.

Israel reunited Jerusalem in 1967 after the Jordanians attacked Israel again. It reopened the Old City for Jews to live, visit and worship.

Well, not exactly.

The Israelis gave administrative control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf shortly after the 1967 war ended. The Waqf has denied Jews the right to pray at their holiest site. Jews cannot carry Jewish prayer books nor Israeli flags.

The Jews can be there physically as human beings, but nothing more.

Kotel Plaza, the closest an Israeli flag can come to the Jewish Temple Mount

And human rights organizations reacted: they were appalled that Jews were even visiting the Temple Mount.

Ir Amim, a radical left-wing organization had the following to say about Jews visiting the Temple Mount in October 2017:

Over the Sukkot holiday, the number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound continued to rise: according to Temple activists, some 2,000 visitors ascended the Mount during the holiday. From Rosh Hashanah until the end of Sukkot, the number of Jewish visitors totaled about 3,000. These numbers, according to the estimates of the Temple Movements, represent an increase of 30%-40% in the number of visitors relative to last year.

More worrying than the increase in and of itself, however, is the evident change in policy by the police: Greater coordination and friendly relations have been witnessed between the police and Temple Movement activists. Larger and sometimes multiple groups of activists have been allowed to enter the compound, and restrictions on non-Muslim prayer on the Mount appear to have been relaxed. The police permitted a mass religious ceremony to be held, for the first time, near the Western Wall plaza, rather than within the Jewish Quarter as in previous years. Activists were also permitted to put up a sukkah, bearing the emblems of the Temple Movements, on the ramp leading to the Holy Esplanade.

These troubling changes in policy and relations between the police and the activists are undermining the spirit of the status quo on the Mount, if not eroding the status quo in practice.”

Ir Amim called it out: a small handful of Jews can be at Judaism’s most revered location, but they cannot be treated like everyone else.

Whether in Judo competitions or in Jerusalem, a small handful of Jews are reluctantly permitted to stand alongside every other human being on the planet. Still, they must be bleached of their Judaism and cleansed of their affiliations with the Jewish State. The racists, the anti-Semites and progressives know a good status quo when they see one.


Related First.One.Through Articles:

Israeli Olympians get their #IsraeliLivesMatter Moment

Dancing with the Asteroids

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

New York Democratic Committee Doubles Down Calling Pro-Israel Republican Candidate an Anti-Semite

Politics has always been an ugly business. It would appear that the Democratic machine in New York will stoop to new lows in broadcasting disgusting libelous lies to protect the shortcomings of their candidates.

In August 2017, the senior Democratic politician in Westchester County called County Executive Rob Astorino a “clever Nazi.” Almost no Democrats condemned the heinous remark of the staunchly pro-Israel Republican.

And no one seemed to care. So the entire Democratic machine got into the game.

Just two months later – two weeks before the election – the New York State Democratic Committee sent out a mass mailing to residents in Westchetser. The revolting text accused Astorino of placating anti-Semites.

Referring to an incident in November 2016 when a swastika and “White Power” were painted on a bike path, the Democratic committee claimed that Astorino said that the perpetrators had a point. That is a complete lie. The fact is Astorino stated that the graffiti was “vile,” “disturbing,” and would be prosecuted as a hate crime.

It is understandable that the Democratic political machine would need to lie to support George Latimer who owes over $40,000 in back taxes, who is challenging Astorino in the November 7 election. That is why one of the flier’s many lies claims that Astorino wants to raise taxes (even though he has never raised property taxes in his eight years in office, while Latimer wants to raise taxes) is not a surprise. Lying to cover the shortcomings of your own candidate while pulling down your opponent has a long history in politics. Have a problem with paying taxes and being on record for wanting to raise taxes – lie that your opponent raised taxes!

But to call your opponent a Nazi and anti-Semite? What could the Democrats be trying to conceal? Is Latimer a Nazi? Are Astorino’s pro-Israel credentials simply too much to overcome?

Did Astorino visit too many area synagogues where he stated his pride in representing such an ethnically diverse and Jewish county? Are Democrats nervous about Astorino’s trips to the Republican Jewish Coalition where he met with hundreds of like-minded pro-American and pro-Israel people?

Maybe it is because anti-Israel groups like WESPAC and Jewish Voice for Peace despise Astorino and actually like Democrat George Latimer. George Latimer visited and was welcomed at WESPAC events, while WESPAC protested against Astorino often.

Westchester is the eighth most Jewish county in the USA and voted for Rob Astorino, a pro-Israel Republican for County Executive two times in a row. So the New York State Democratic machine has opted to brand him as an anti-Semite. A Nazi. With outright and outrageous lies.

“Dear New York State Democratic Committee,

Is there no floor to vile slander? Don’t some red herrings reek even too much for you? Are your candidates that weak that you need to call pro-Israel Republicans “Nazis” and “anti-Semites?”

When I think that the Democratic party can stoop no lower, you are there to depress me again.

Sincerely – and definitely not faithfully,

A fading Democrat”


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

The Democratic Party is Tacking to the Far Left-Wing Anti-Semitic Fringe

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

In The Margins

A Country Divided

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

There are Standards for Unity

The Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is one that emphasizes unity more than any other Jewish holiday.

In addition to the commandment to stay in huts (sukkahs) over the holiday, Jews are commanded to gather four species and hold them together in commemorating the holiday. The four species are the lulav, the aravot, the hadasim and the etrog. The four different natural items are said to represent four different types of people. Just as the four species have different characteristics – smell & taste / no smell & taste / smell and no taste / no smell & no taste – similarly these items represent people with a different mix of good deeds and Torah learning. Just as it is necessary to hold all four of these species together to execute the biblical command, so it is with welcoming all kinds of people into our communal tent.

As such, the holiday of Sukkot is a demonstration of unity.

Many progressive rabbis emphasize the nature of unity during the holiday but overlook a critical component of the laws surrounding the lulav: minimum standards.

Each of the four species cannot be contaminated in any way. For example, the tip of the etrog must be intact; the hadasim cannot be dried out. If any one of the four species is damaged, the mitzvah cannot be performed.

So too there are limits to unity.

In theory, all types of people should be allowed in the communal tent. However, there are thresholds at which actions or statements render people unfit and unwelcome into the collective.

Hillary Clinton made a point of describing racists and misogynists as “deplorable,” during her presidential campaign. While she was right in stating that there are some people that are deplorable, she chose that label for 25% of the US population. That is and was an absurd libel.

Liberals have held on to Clinton’s claim post the election of Donald Trump. They continue to state that one in four Americans is a pariah. A disgrace. Unfit to wield a vote.

As such, liberals concluded that the 2016 election was flawed. Like a lulav with dried out hadasim, the process itself was compromised. They held placards that “He’s not my president,” and blamed the loss on a variety of issues like Russian meddling and late breaking revelations about her emails.

But at the core, it was really about their perception of the American deplorables.

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Similarly, for many pro-Israel Americans, there is a divide over acceptable approaches to Israel. Some left-wing extremist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, the New Israel Fund and J Street are viewed as beyond the pale for many in the pro-Israel community due to the groups’ approaches of punishing Israel economically and politically. They are the Jewish “deplorables.”

Does one in four pro-Israel Americans really support such left-wing extremist groups? Unlikely. Just as the number of racists in America is much lower than 25%.

America and the pro-Israel community are strong enough to manage a handful of “deplorables.” But it is incumbent on all of us to make sure that our society does not reach a tipping point where one in four people have such hateful views.

The fabric of decency and unity has limits.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Disservice to Jewish Community

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Selective Speech

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

A Deplorable Definition

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel

The New York Times has a long history of using a Palestinian Arab narrative in its articles about Israel. One of the anchors of such viewpoints was made clear in the October 10, 2017 article about Israelis and Arabs seeking peace through cultural exchange, entitled “Seeking Peace Through Backgammon and Music, Not Politics.”

The article highlighted several Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs that sought to engage each other outside of politics. However, The New York Times (intentionally or not) used a non-political article about peace to distance Jews from their holy land, while simultaneously anchoring every Arab as indigenous.

Every Jew in the article was described as coming from somewhere else, while every Arab was local: from East Jerusalem; Ramallah; Jericho; Hebron; and other locations.

Palestinian Arabs:

  • “Riman Barakat, an East Jerusalem-born Palestinian peace activist,”
  • “The king of Palestinian rap from the Shuafat refugee camp in northeast Jerusalem”
  • “An Armenian from Jerusalem’s Old City
  • “Palestinian hip-hop artists from East Jerusalem
  • “fellow rappers from Ramallah, Jericho and Hebron
  • “rappers like the duo Muzi Raps, from the Old City,”
  • “Raed Bassem Jabid, from the Palestinian neighborhood of At-Tur on the Mount of Olives,”
  • “The [Jerusalem-Armenian] band, most of whose members come from Bethlehem,
  • “Karem Jubran, a Palestinian from the Shuafat camp,”

Israeli Jews:

  • “Tel Aviv poet of Yemeni descent
  • “DJ Ramzy, whose grandmother came from Syria
  • “Zaki Djemal, an Israeli of Syrian descent

Not only did the article feature many more Palestinian Arabs than Israeli Jews even though the article admitted that all but a few dozen of the 2000 attendees to the event were Israelis, every Palestinian originated in a local town in the holy land. That was juxtaposed to every Israeli who originated from somewhere outside of Israel.

The Times will never educate its readers that more Arabs from around the Middle East than Jews from Europe moved to Palestine from 1917 to 1948 under the British Mandate. For the New York Times, the grandchildren of the Iraqi and Egyptian Arabs will be forever Palestinians, while the Jewish descendants that moved to the area during the 20th century will forever be viewed as colonialists.

More #AlternativeFacts from the liberal rag.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Nicholas Kristof’s Crocodile Tears

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don’t It?

Every Picture Tells a Story: Anti-Semitism

Every Picture Tells a Story, the Bibi Monster

The New York Times’ Buried Pictures

Every Picture Tells a Story: Arab Injuries over Jewish Deaths

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

Every Picture Tells a Story- Whitewashing the World (except Israel)

Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres

In Inversion, New York Times Admits “The Truth is Hard to Find”

Social Media’s “Fake News” and Mainstream Media’s Half-Truths

Israel’s Freedom of the Press; New York Times “Nonsense”

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

Losing Rights

There are some rights that are considered immutable, granted to human beings everywhere, while other rights are granted by a country’s laws or local society. But individuals and countries can lose those rights if they are deemed threats to society.

Individual Rights in the United States

Consider the right to vote in the United States.

While it was given to adult white men at the birth of the country, it took the passage of the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1870 for black men to get the right to vote. Women got the right to vote in 1919 when the 19th Amendment passed. To this day, citizens under 18 years old are still denied the right to vote.

The right to vote in elections is NOT immutable, as it is conditioned on a level of decent behavior. Many states rescind the right to vote for people who are convicted of a felony. Some states suspend the right while the person is in prison; other states ban the right to vote permanently.

The right to own a gun in the USA is also subject to limitations.

While the 2nd Amendment gave citizens the right “to keep and bear arms,federal law also rescinds such right for people in certain categories, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers and people with certain kinds of mental health issues. The government has opted to remove certain rights of the individual because of their threat to the well-being of society.

That principle relates to countries as well.

Iranian Quest for Nuclear Power

There are nine countries with nuclear weapons and 31 with nuclear power. Despite its prevalence, the world was alarmed when Iran wanted to pursue its own nuclear ambitions. Why did so many countries enforce severe sanctions on Iran, when it was just pursuing a nuclear program similar to many other countries?

As many people stated when the Iranian deal was being formulated and Israeli MK Michael Oren wrote on October 2, 2017 “The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t Worth Saving,” the problem lies with Iran itself. The country is a leading state sponsor of global terrorism. It is a dangerous destabilizing force, backing corrupt regimes and terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. Many countries correctly concluded that Iran is a bad actor that must be restricted from having weapons of mass destruction. It follows the logic of keeping guns out of the hands of felons by a factor of 7 billion.

The current Islamic Republic of Iran is unfit to handle nuclear weapons or even possess nuclear power. It must be satisfied with a conventional arsenal to protect itself and conventional sources of electricity until it can demonstate that it can be trusted with greater power.

Palestinian Arabs’ Quest for an Independent State

In 1975, the United Nations passed General Assembly Resolution 3376 which created the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP). Since 1977, the UN has celebrated on every November 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which echoed the CEIRPP call for “the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.

But the Palestinian Arabs have themselves undermined these “inalienable rights” based on their actions to date.

No “right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.” UN Resolution 194 specifically stated that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so.” However, the millions of Palestinians who want “to return to their homes” are not refugees, but descendants of internally displaced people. Further, the various wars, intifadas and stabbing and car ramming attacks prove that the Palestinian Arabs have no intention of living in peace with Jews in the region.

No “right to national independence and sovereignty.” While people can appreciate the desire of people to self-determination and being citizens of a country, that does not equate to people having a distinct country of their own. Many Arabs are now citizens of Israel, accounting for 20% of the country. Millions of Arabs have Jordanian citizenship, many having moved to Jordan from the West Bank. Millions of Arabs east of the Green Line (EGL)/ Judea and Samaria/ West Bank had Jordanian citizenship from 1954 to 1988, from when the Jordanians granted all non-Jews in the region citizenship until the Jordanian government rescinded it and any claim to EGL. The Arabs in Gaza were under Egyptian rule from 1948 to 1967.

The Palestinian Arabs have shown themselves unfit to have a country of their own based on a long list of actions.

  • Electing a Holocaust denier as President
  • Electing a terrorist group (Hamas) to the majority (58%) of parliament
  • Established laws calling for capital punishment for any Arab selling land to a Jew
  • Calling for a new country to be Jew-free
  • Denying the 3700 year history of Jews in the holy land
  • Almost a completely anti-Semitic populace (93% according to an ADL poll)
  • Using language such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” against the Jewish people who just suffered that fate at the hands of Germany and Arab countries around the Middle East
  • Wars and intifadas, and the incitement to murder Jews from 1920 until today

l
logo of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
showing the entire Arab world invading Israel

[the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade is part of the “moderate” Fatah party and features a logo with guns over the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. New rules by WordPress prevent it being inserted here.]

Like Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power and a convicted felon’s desire to purchase a gun, granting Palestinian Arabs a sovereign country would be a dangerous and alarming action. That countries would even consider pursuing such course while the Palestinian Authority works to bring Hamas into a unity government, would be akin to handing an automatic weapon to a serial domestic abuser who bought the apartment next door to his ex-wife.

The Palestinian Arabs can achieve their “inalienable right” to become citizens of either Israel, Jordan or Egypt. They are still a very long way of earning the right to sovereignty.

 


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

Is the Iran Deal a Domestic Matter (NY Times) or an International Matter (Wall Street Journal)

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

There’s No White Privilege for Prostitutes in Minnesota

The FBI recently released its crime statistics report of 2016. In contains a breakdown of Human Trafficking by state which includes “commercial sex acts” and “involuntary servitude.” One state stood out from all of the others regarding human trafficking: Minnesota.

State Population Sex Offenses, 2016 Offenses per MM
Massachusetts 6,873,018 3          0.44
Tennessee 6,705,339 55          8.20
Indiana 6,663,280 4          0.60
Missouri 6,123,362 16          2.61
Maryland 6,068,511 17          2.80
Wisconsin 5,795,147 35          6.04
Colorado 5,658,546 34          6.01
Minnesota 5,554,532 235        42.31
South Carolina 5,030,118 22          4.37
Alabama 4,884,115 NA
Louisiana 4,714,192 123        26.09
Kentucky 4,450,042 NA

Among mid-sized states of 4.5 million to 7 million, only Louisiana and Minnesota had over 100 cases of human trafficking, and Minnesota had almost twice as many as Louisiana. Minnesota had seven times the number of incidents as its neighbor (and similarly sized) Wisconsin.

Are there more women in Minnesota than other states? Greater poverty? More lenient laws about prostitution, whether on the streets or escort services? What could account for such a disparity?

The male/ female breakdown in Minnesota and Wisconsin is identical at 49.6%/50.4%, and the number of people in poverty in Minnesota is among the lowest in the country. Large metropolitan areas like Minneapolis-St. Paul have seen dramatic improvements in poverty, bringing it to the second to lowest of any major city in the United States.

So prostitution is not correlated to the number of women or poverty (terrorism is also not related to poverty, although the United Nations and the Obama administration often argued that it was).

Maybe it has to do with state laws regarding prostitution.

Every state has laws making it illegal to pay for sex (which many believe are completely illogical, including Amnesty International). However, the penalties for prostitution vary significantly by state.

Minnesota has relatively light punishments for the first offense (up to 90 days in jail and/or $1000. Afterwards it jumps to up to 1 year in jail and $3000 per offense. The penalties in Wisconsin are much steeper: up to 9 months in jail and/or fines of $10,000. That is a significant difference and would seem to suggest that penalties – not ubiquity or economic situation – correlate to human trafficking.

However, there is no broad-based correlation. Missouri has even more lenient penalties (30 days to 6 months and/or $500) with only 1/16th the number of arrests. Similarly, South Carolina (first offense 30 days and $200; second offense 6 months and $1000; thereafter 1 year and/or $3000) had 1/10th the number of arrests as Minnesota.

So a large number of prostitution-related arrests does not correlate to laws permitting the practice or the penalties associated with breaking the law.

Then what would account for the difference? How is Minnesota different than every other state that would cause such a disproportionate number of prostitutes?

A deeper look into the FBI tables may yield some clues.

In most states, the number of people arrested were disproportionately black. In Wisconsin, 77% of those arrested were black, in a state that is 80% white. Tennessee had an equal number of whites and blacks arrested (and a few Asians) in a state that is 73% white. South Carolina did not list the race of many of those arrested, but for those that it did, 83% were black in a state where 26% of the residents are black.

But in Minnesota, 69% of the arrests were of white people (in a state that is 80% white). It was the only state which had a somewhat proportionate number of white people arrested as resided in the state. Without the prosecution of white people, the statistics for Minnesota would more closely resemble the rest of the country.

These white people were not recent arrivals to American shores. While Minnesota may have a reputation of being home to Scandinavian immigrants (hence the NFL football team being called the Vikings), the state had 8.3% of the people being foreign-born with only 29.1% of those immigrants being white. That compares to Wisconsin with 44.7% of the foreign-born population being white.

So are there simply more white prostitutes and johns in Minnesota than everywhere else in the country? As the state of Minnesota uses a greater number of undercover cops to catch the buyers and sellers of sex, could they be actively selecting white people for arrests? As the MN police departments have shifted to viewing women as victims, are they more likely to arrest only men?

Quite possibly. It would appear that “white male privilege” in prostitution has hit a wall in Minnesota.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Misogyny of Treating Women like Victims

The Gender Diamonds

Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis