I thought it important to highlight this because it needs to be seen.
Authoritarianism can be found in many different places, but in the end, it all looks the same. To show you an example, I want you to check out what Dallas, Texas, Judge Eric Moye recently demanded of salon owner Shelley Luther in order for her to avoid a jail sentence.
Moye told Luther that if she admitted she was wrong and selfish for violating lockdown orders and opening her salon and issued an apology to the elected officials whom laws she violated, then she would walk free.
“I have much respect for this court and laws,” Luther said. “I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I’m not going to shut the salon.”
Judge Eric Moyé asked Luther if she would make a statement admitting she was wrong and selfish. Listen here… pic.twitter.com/6JMukC3v76
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 5, 2020
I couldn’t help but be reminded of something I had seen very recently…in communist China.
According to the BBC, when Dr. Li Wenliang first began blowing the whistle on the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus, Chinese authorities scooped him up and forced him to sign a letter admitting his wrong and making him say that he lied about the virus:
Four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter. In the letter he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”.
“We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice – is that understood?” Underneath in Dr Li’s handwriting is written: “Yes, I do.”
Wenliang, unlike Luther, caved. He can’t be blamed, however. The Chinese authorities will do far more severe things for defying them than American authorities will. Regardless, the similarities are fascinating.
Both authority figures demanded a profession from the accused of having a change of heart. They wanted them to confess from their own mouths that they agree that they did something wrong and that their character was somehow flawed in some way. Luther was accused of being selfish while Wenliang was accused of being a liar, and both were ordered to agree with that. Both were promised punishment if authorities were defied in this manner any further.
America may have laws that prevent government and other authoritative bodies from going too far but rest assured, it’s the same flavor here as it is there. At no point should we cave to people like Moye. We should never set an expectation from American authorities that we’ll blindly do whatever they say in order to avoid trouble.
Defy. Never let the would-be dictators here think they could ever be like the actual dictators there.