MSNBC: A 16-year-old boy who police said made an announcement at Walmart ordering all black people in a southern New Jersey store to leave was charged with harassment and bias intimidation, authorities said Saturday.
When this story broke I thought “Huh?” and didn’t think much about it, seeing as it was so far away and unimportant. A week later, the story is back in the press and the kid has been arrested.
I would say I’m torn over this one, but I have to be honest: I’m not torn. But I do see two different issues at work here. The first one is that the kid was arrested. That’s fine by me. Actions have consequences and experience is a good teacher. Was a law broken here, by using the intercom? Maybe. Either way, while you have freedom of speech you have to take responsibility when you exercise that freedom. Certainly a reoccuring theme on this blog.
But then there’s the other issue that I see here, which begs the question: if this is the molehill, where the hell is the mountain and how big can that be? Either way, I expect to find Al Sharpton at the top of either the mountain or the molehill. I simply cannot believe this has made the national news. Twice. No one got injured. No stampede at the door. No stock prices were impacted. No one had threaten WalMart yet; why should they? For not keeping the mic locked up? For having an intercom system? “The kid acted on his own” and “we don’t know if it was premeditated”… oi. Would he have been arrested at all if he had yelled “FIRE!” into the intercom system? Not likely. And that is a dangerous thing to do to people not to mention illegal. What if he had said “All people wearing green leave the store?” What if he had said “All guineas leave the store?” “All the old people leave the Depends aisle?”
What the rollback price for over-reaction anyway?