TULSA, OK.- We have to admit…we are a little bit torn on this one…extraordinarily little.
On Saturday night at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Trump suggested that anyone who burns an American flag should go to jail for at least one year.
We understand this, obviously. Don’t worry, we aren’t torn on whether or not the flag should be allowed to burn.
As an organization that is unabashedly pro-police and pro-military, we understand the meaning of the United States flag and all that it stands for. We also appreciate and embrace our constitution.
We know the Supreme Court has ruled burning the American flag as free speech. The only place where we’re torn is that we know that with the makeup of the current court, with Chief Justice John Roberts having gone rogue, such a law has no chance of passing constitutional muster. And that’s a shame.
During times like this, we get sickened when we see little punk anarchists who light the flag on fire or who stomp on the flag. How many Americans have given their lives for that flag since we fought for our independence from England in the 1700’s?
At his rally, the president scorched “left wing anarchists” for tearing down statues of American heroes such as Thomas Jefferson or Christopher Columbus. The president spoke to an incident that happened in Portland, Oregon, that bastion of left-wing lunacy where a group of insurrectionists took down a statue of George Washington, wrapped a flag around it, and set it on fire.
Business Insider reported that during the rally, Trump singled out Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, saying:
“We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag, you go to jail for one year…we ought to do it. They talk about freedom of speech, and I’m a big believer in freedom of speech, but that’s desecration, that’s a terrible thing.”
The Supreme Court ruled in a 1989 case Texas v. Johnson in a 5-4 decision that burning an American flag was protected free speech under the First Amendment.
The case stemmed from a case where a man named Gregory Lee Johnson was prosecuted for violating a Texas statute against flag desecration. The incident occurred outside Dallas City Hall during an appearance by President Ronald Reagan.
Johnson’s conviction was overturned by a Texas appeals court, which led to the state appealing to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in Johnson’s favor.
There was a separate SCOTUS decision in 1990 where the high court ruled that federal legislation outlawing flag burning also violated the constitution.
That case, United States v. Eichman, struck down a 1989 law called the Flag Protection Act, which made burning or destroying an American flag a federal crime. Because you know, free speech.
According to The Hill, earlier this month President Trump told a conference call of governors that burning the flag was a “disgrace” and also at that time pledged to support an “anti-flag burning” law.
“We have a different court and I think that it’s time that we review that again. Because when I see flags being burned—they wanted to crawl up flag poles in Washington and try and burn flags but we stopped them,” Trump told the governors, according to audio of the call obtained by CNN.
“They weren’t able to do it. They would’ve done it if we didn’t stop them. I think it’s time to relook at that issue, hopefully the Supreme Court will accept that.”
Not while John Roberts is sitting there as chief justice since he’s apparently been drinking the liberal Kool Aid.
Let’s contrast the American flag burning with what happened to a man who burned a “pride” flag hanging from a church in Iowa in June 2018.
Adolfo Martinez was sentenced to 16 years in prison after being convicted of arson in the 3rd degree in violation of individual rights, harassment in the 3rd degree and reckless use of fire or explosives. Martinez had pleaded guilty to the charges, however likely had no idea that he would be going to jail for 15 years.
In fact, Courtney Reyes, the executive director of One Iowa, a LGBTQ organization said that, “True justice should always strive to be about rehabilitation, reconciliation and healing communities.”
She said that her organization, while appreciative of the seriousness of the crime, doesn’t believe a long sentence “accomplishes any of those goals.”
“We will continue to strive for a justice system which values restoration over punishment and helps individuals like Adolfo Martinez understand the harm that they’ve cause.”
We are trying to understand why burning an American flag is considered an expression of free speech, while the burning of a pride flag is not? Perhaps sometime down the road, the Supreme Court can answer that question. There is no information as to whether or not Martinez appealed his conviction.
We are battling over the very soul of our country. We are fighting for our families. And we’re on the brink of losing America.
This editorial is by Kyle S. Reyes, the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today. It’s a modern refresh of a previous editorial he wrote… and touches on the desperate tipping point America is facing right now.
While you were fighting over who among you was more “woke” and which company to boycott … we lost our country.
While you were arguing with coworkers over who would leave the country first if Trump/Biden were elected, the “American Dream” perished.
Don’t believe me? Then perhaps ALL is lost. And I can prove it all to you through the eyes of a child.
The screens around our house in the past couple of weeks stand in stark contrast to what’s in front of them.
The television … the laptops … the iPads … the cell phones … filled with images of the riots. The violence. The hatred.
Just a few months ago, when everyone was working from home – or unemployed – signs were put up around the community thanking police. People cheered and put out Tweets and Facebook images of first responders doing “birthday parades” for little kids.
Now, angry Americans are taking over police departments, shooting cops, pelting them with bricks and bottles of urine and demanding that we abolish them. The images are on certain channels – others ensure you just see the “peaceful protestors”.
Broadcast on the same tv stations are the sounds of tone-deaf leaders. Of anger. Of hatred. Of hurt. Of fear. Of race-baiting, dividing rhetoric and alienation.
In front of those screens run our little daughters.
They are the greatest blessings a young family can have. Filled with innocence, love, joy and our hopes for the future.
What brought a lull in that media noise?
Hearing our pastor give a sermon.
He usually preaches about love. Faith. Hope. But there was a different dynamic in this message.
There was a different energy.
This time, he talked about the end of times.
He’s far from being an alarmist. Just the opposite. But this particular service, he spoke deeply and heavily about being prepared. “For we know not the hour … ”
He wasn’t trying to frighten people. But he also understood that he couldn’t be tone-deaf to the deep concerns of his flock.
It’s hard not to be afraid. It’s hard not to have an underlying anxiety. It’s hard not to wonder and pray over whether your children will have the same opportunities you did.
Growing up, I paid close attention in history class. And I’ve always felt a very deep sense of patriotism. I’ve always felt great respect for my country and believed that if, God forbid, we ever faced World War III, America would once again triumph.
Perhaps my fear, and the anxiety of so many others, is that we were wrong.
We were wrong because of one simple line that I believe may have been written wrong. It should have read, “One Nation, Divisible After All.”
Have we ever faced a time when our country was so polarized? Have we ever faced enemies so dangerous? Have we ever been on such a precipice that a frightening and painful energy radiated through each of us, tying us together in some disturbing, unifying, powerful and yet simultaneously divisive way?
I’m angered to see that we live in a country where we have gone soft. We’ve become hypocrites, and we’ve become pansies.
We forget that our grandfathers stormed beaches to protect freedom. Instead, we demand that the freedom now come in the form of a shelter from hearing words we don’t like.
Our friends and family alienate us because of who we vote for.
We try and put companies out of business because how DARE they not support the Marxist organization Black Lives Matter.
We doxx people and put their families in danger because they dare to support law enforcement.
We don’t question it when ‘leaders’ tell us to stay away from church. Stay away from family. Stay away from friends. Wear a mask. Don’t worry about not having a job. And we don’t bat an eye as the country rapidly marches – or rather sprints – towards the socialism that’s the destruction of a nation.
We give out trophies to kids who come in 8th place. Eighth freaking place. And then we let them take over part of an entire city – Seattle – and play house, allowing rapes and murders to happen in the city while police are kept out.
We dig up the graves of people who have been dead for a hundred-plus years because they had something to do with the Confederate flag, and that offends someone NOW. Then we destroy statues and give “get out of jail free” passes to the people who did it. LITERALLY get out of jail free passes. We have celebrities and politicians starting funds to bail criminals out of prison.
We allow politicians to hijack the country and spend our tax dollars chasing their personal agenda of impeaching a President simply because they don’t like him. Then we have the party that’s supposedly the same as the President who sit around silently while the country burns. It seems as if both parties forgot what they were supposed to be doing and whom they are supposed to be representing.
We pick sides and parties and teams and defend them to the ends of the Earth, ignoring the facts, pointing the fingers and hoping someone else will cover the cost of our skyrocketing and borderline pointless health insurance.
We talk about the number of homeless vets who we have to feed and clothe and house when it’s convenient for us to leverage them like pawns in a game – yet tomorrow, so many will forget to feed and clothe and house them.
We ignore the simple facts about our dangerously open borders and the lack of a vetting process for refugees, then we stand in horror as ISIS attacks and we ask our politicians how they could have let this happen. And then, of course, we put a fast lane in for more to cross the border.
We put in place more gun laws to prevent the bad guys from doing bad things. Because for some reason, we believe that bad guys give a damn about laws and that giving them an open shooting range on a military base or school campus will somehow protect our citizens. But then we completely ignore the massive problem of mental health in this country. We’re more worried about the tool than we are the person.
Hell – not only do we ignore the problem of mental health – we double down on it but crashing our economy, putting millions out of work and then confine them to their homes.
We cry out that police are our enemies … and then we beg them to protect us from the likes of ISIS.
We are talking about DEFUNDING police while telling them that they do a lousy job training. Because the solution to that is making sure they have less money, right?
We have a massive audience talking about ABOLISHING police.
Let that sink in.
We celebrate court rulings with rainbow flags that speak volumes about how far we’ve come and how inclusive we are as Americans … then we tell our neighbors to remove their American flags and stop saying “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah” because it offends us.
We send billions of dollars overseas to help the homeless in impoverished and war-torn nations while we cut the funding for our own food banks and homeless programs.
We get into fistfights about “under-inflated balls” while gorging ourselves on beer and wings at football games … while millions of Americans wonder how they’re going to pay their mortgage and put food on the table for their families.
We fight tooth and nail over whether someone dying of stage four pancreatic cancer should be allowed to use medical marijuana while drugs like heroin are running rampant in our schools.
Schools that apparently kids will have to wear masks in, if they ever reopen.
We teach kids that there should be no boys section or girls section at the store, but our kids notice that we won’t sit down with our neighbor for a beer because they have a different skin color and we’re too busy fighting over what is and isn’t racism.
We hold massive rallies demanding $15/hour for flipping burgers … but we sit quietly on the sidelines when our men and women protecting our country who make $11/hour aren’t getting paid because Congress is debating their funding.
We’re told if you go to a protest over the government shutting down your business, you’ll be arrested because it’s a health threat. We’re told if you go to a Trump rally, you don’t care about making people sick. We’re told if you go to a violent riot and torch buildings, you’re a social justice warrior.
We’re terribly focused on what matters to us as individuals. Marriage. Cell phones. Birth control. On and on and on. We’re so worried about what matters to “me” that we forgot that in order for us to have a “me” … we have to first have an “us.” A safe “us.” A unified “us.” An “us” that can at least find some kind of middle ground.
Tomorrow is a new day. So tonight, before bed, we pray … just a little harder, perhaps, than we’ve prayed before.
We put our daughters to sleep and shut off the television. The internet. The phones. The iPads. All screens but the black and white monitor where we can see nothing but innocence.
And for a moment, just one fleeting, precious moment, we’re once again one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
We hope you’ll consider getting in the fight with us. Here’s what Law Enforcement Today – the largest police-owned media outlet in America – is doing.
We at Law Enforcement Today want to make our stance very clear.
We strongly and firmly stand behind the Second Amendment, companies that keep civilians and law enforcement officers safe through products and innovation, and the men and women who serve and protect our communities and our country.
We are launching a new series of options to help our partners and other patriotic businesses to be able to connect with consumers. While we can’t replace Google, Bing or Facebook – we sure can provide options to ensure that these companies and our brothers and sisters have a voice.
We welcome with open arms companies that openly support law enforcement, and we are proud to offer them options to get their products to market.
We started noticing the problems a couple of years ago. Social media was scaling back the reach of content that it didn’t believe people should see.
Not that there was anything offensive about it. We’re talking about pro-police videos, stories about patriotic Americans and more.
And from our perspective, that created a huge problem. We have some of the greatest warriors in the world. Yet their voices and their stories were being buried.
The mainstream media, on the rare occasion that it would tell some of these stories, would give you only a piece of them. They’d cram as much as they could into a 90 second segment, slap their bias on it and that was it.
We needed to fix it. And so we are.
Law Enforcement Today (LET) is proud to announce the launch of LET Unity – a new home focused on bridging the gap between civilians and civil servants. We’ve merged with The Whiskey Patriots to massively expand content, rolling out hundreds of videos to members.
Many of those in our focus groups dubbed it the “Netflix of the law enforcement community”. But the truth is, it’s so much more.
The first officer in the door at the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Emergency responders from the Parkland shooting.
The bomb squad that responded to the Aurora movie theater massacre.
Survivors of the Dallas five killings.
The first Marine Guard hostage in the Iran crisis.
The CIA agent who started a counter human trafficking company.
World War II veterans.
And so, so much more.
The membership is less than the cost of two coffees a month, and those who sign up for an annual membership will get some surprise bonuses in the mail. We decided to charge a nominal fee so we could take all of the proceeds and reinvest them into capturing more of these stories. The majority of our content producers for Law Enforcement Today are active, retired or wounded law enforcement officers. The revenue we make helps provide for their families and helps bring a TRUE voice about what’s happening in America.
On top of that, we’re opening up the platform to some well-known podcasters who are going to be joining the team with some incredible content soon.
We have a problem in society. Censorship has created an existential threat to democracy. But even worse is the risk we run that some of these incredible stories of patriotism, hope, faith and our Sheepdogs would be lost.
We’ve launched a series of content with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) to share the stories of survivors. We will also be dropping a weekly law enforcement focused newscast that addresses some of the most important topics in the country… and helps bridge the gap between those who serve and those whom they serve.
On top of that, we’ll soon be rolling out a series of private discounts and special promotions to members only as a “thank you” for being a part of the family.
You can also download the app to watch the content right from your iPhone.
We hope you’ll join us in this journey, knowing that your membership is going to give a voice to those who have been silenced for so long.
If you are one of the many companies out there that’s being censored – or you’re worried about what’s to come – don’t hesitate to reach out today. I can be reached at [email protected]
We will not be silenced. You shouldn’t be either.
God bless you all, and God bless America.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.