It never fails that in or around Veteran’s Day, someone decides to show the world what a total jackass they are. And this year doesn’t disappoint.
Meet Sufolk University law professor Michael Avery. Professor Avery is a member of the law school staff. He’s a Harvard grad who also studied at Moscow University from ‘68 to ‘69 (and that tells you volumes). He once gave a talk in Cuba (with Fidel Castro in attendance) entitled "The Hypocrisy of US Policy Towards Terrorism" (Fidel Castro plus US “hypocrisy” equals what for a line of argument about the United States?).
Another member of the law school staff sent an email around asking for support for deployed troops (including a law student from the school who is deployed) to include pretty basic stuff like “beef jerky, instant coffee, trail mix, etc”
Now if you don’t want to participate in something like that for whatever reason, what do you normally do? That’s right, you simply ignore the email. It’s a free country. Leave others to do their thing while you do yours.
Instead, our jackwagon decides he has to say something about the effort.
“I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings. I understand that there is a residual sympathy for service members, perhaps engendered by support for troops in World War II, or perhaps from when there was a draft and people with few resources to resist were involuntarily sent to battle.
That sympathy is not particularly rational in today’s world, however. The United States may well be the most war prone country in the history of civilization. We have been at war two years out of three since the Cold War ended. We have 700 overseas military bases. What other country has any? In the last ten years we have squandered hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary foreign invasions. Those are dollars that could have been used for people who are losing their homes due to the economic collapse, for education, to repair our infrastructure, or for any of a thousand better purposes than making war. And of course those hundreds of billions of dollars have gone for death and destruction.
Perhaps some of my colleagues will consider this to be an inappropriate political statement. But of course the solicitation email was a political statement, although cast as support for student activities. The politics of that solicitation are that war is legitimate, perhaps inevitable, and that patriotic Americans should get behind our troops.
We need to be more mindful of what message we are sending as a school. Since Sept. 11 we have had perhaps the largest flag in New England hanging in our atrium. This is not a politically neutral act. Excessive patriotic zeal is a hallmark of national security states. It permits, indeed encourages, excesses in the name of national security, as we saw during the Bush administration, and which continue during the Obama administration.
Why do we continue to have this oversized flag in our lobby? Why are we sending support to the military instead of Americans who are losing their homes, malnourished, unable to get necessary medical care, and suffering from other consequences of poverty? As a university community, we should debate these questions, not remain on automatic pilot in support of the war agenda. [all emphasis added]“
Shameful? It is shameful to support troops who’ve responded to an attack on our country and have given their lives to ensure those who planned the attack, executed it and then were given safe harbor by others were destroyed?
One of the things the Ivory Tower allows, mostly because of rough men who stand guard in the night, is that clowns like this can live in an alternate reality. And that alternate reality spawns stupidity that voices itself in email’s like Avery’s.
He’s one of those who would be sure to be a first in the crowd to yell “war is not the answer” without realizing or really caring that war has indeed been the answer that has safeguarded our freedom and liberty and freed millions from tyranny and oppression. And the flag? God forbid we show the flag or voice any patriotism or support for those who protect us.
No, that’s shameful too. How dare an American school display an American flag and show pride in being … American. Why that’s “excessive political zeal”. It doesn’t denote pride. It doesn’t denote support. It doesn’t denote identification with certain ideals that make us specifically American. No it is a “political statement” because, well, its just so large.
It takes a pretty isolated and insulated existence to make statements like Avery’s. The irony is that such cluelessness is actually founded in freedom and liberty. It is because of those rough men on the wall that Avery has probably never worried a day in his life about the existential threats those men guard against and, yes, kill, to afford him the opportunity to bloviate at will.
And his defense, of course, would probably be he’s just exercising his free speech. Again, ironically, those that protect him without his thanks or the good grace to acknowledge what they do for him daily, will nod their head and tell him to have at it.
Because they protect even the clueless and ungrateful. They understand that the freedom of speech they guarantee with their lives means even the most misinformed and obviously cosseted members among us have a right to spew their nonsense.
And Avery has exercised that right.
He now gets the other side of that right – others exercising their right to free speech and telling him what a ungrateful jackass he is.
So, please, join me in exercising your right to free speech and remind the good professor how rights are guaranteed and how they work.