Do you think America is a free country? Think again. Today we see radical unchecked state powers. What will become of our nation in the future? What can we do to save our Homeland? What can we expect from our life and a not free America? Join host Mike Donovan, Nexus Services CEO, and a funder of the nation's largest civil rights law firm as he discusses our new shared life in the United States of hypocrisy. Submit your legal questions and get answers from renowned civil rights lawyer, Mario Williams. Strap in you're about to have your eyes open to your new reality in a not free America.
The America that we are living in right now is not a free America. Welcome to another episode of Not Free America radio. I am your host, Mike Donovan, one of your hosts. My cohost Mario Williams is here. Hello, Mario. How are you?
Great. I am doing well today, Mike. How are you doing?
Good. Nice to spend another weekend with you, sir, talking about the law, civil rights and the craziness that has become the United States of America. And I think the place to start today is obviously in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Now, of course, one of our stations is AM 890 in Chicago, which obviously reaches the Kenosha area. And I have had pastors in my network that have been on the ground in Kenosha. What has happened there since the killing, two protesters and the wounding of another, lays open the real risk of a possible civil war coming to America. And I think that in order to start there and really talk about what happened in Kenosha last week, Mario, we've really got to talk about the police shooting that occurred in Kenosha that set forward the protests that led to the killings of those protestors last week.
And so when we think about that, weall think back to the Blake. And it seems like since the Kenosha protests, it's almost like old. It almost feels like it's another shock that we've now had another shock on top of. But the Blake shooting was something that shocked the conscience of America, because I don't think anyone understands and can understand shooting a man in the back while you're holding onto his shirt, which is what this officer did. Now. I want to know your opinion because although I disagree with you sometimes, I love you and you're an awesome lawyer. When it comes to civil rights and the law, you're the guy that I go to. So please, is there any justification for the shooting of Blake?
None, but I do want to address something Mike from a perspective of an African Americanor a black person, and I'm going to talk directly to particularly my white brothers and sisters out there that you know, that I feel akin to as a part of the human race. When you see something like that shooting where somebody is just walking or trying tosay, "Hey, I don't want to participate in giving a witness statement." And hey look, cops have a right to detain people who are witnesses. And then grab the back of a man's shirt because he's trying to get in his own car and then shoot him seven times in the back. He didn't die, thank goodness, but he is paralyzed. What happens from a black perspective, especially if you're in tune with history, is that you say, "Okay, Hey look. This makes no sense." So I'm really going to talk about how race comes into the minds of people of color.
So you look at that and you say, "Hey, that's so irrational and so crazy that you start wondering, okay, did race have any motivating factor at all to do with this?" Because the first thing that comes into mind of a person of color, when something just defies logic, it goes against all police training, everything. You say, "Hey race had to happen because would that have happened to a white person?"
Well, and I think that's right. Why otherwise, why otherwise? If it wasn't about his race, what on earth? We don't have police officers shooting people in the back, holding onto their shirts every day. Thank God, right? To your point, if it wasn't race, what was it?
Exactly. And so you say, okay, well let's let's resort back to the training. Okay. How are you trained? Were you trained to respond to a situation such as that in that manner? Absolutely not.
Then what happens is if somebody comes out and they leak some stuff about, well, I think he might've had a knife or something. Man, where's the evidence that you actually appreciated any type of objective, real threat to yourself to believe that this man had a weapon on him, or to believe that you could not have controlled this man in any other way than to shoot him seven times in the back.
But you know, you're exactly right. You're exactly right. And I think it's really important for people. You're speaking to white people and let me speak to them as well to say this. You cannot look at what happened to Blake and the shooting that occurred as he was trying to get away from the police officer and justify that. Now you can say he shouldn't have been moving away. You can say maybe he had a knife. You can say a lot of things that mitigate what that officer did for sure. That officer has rights too, by the way. So he should have his hearing. He should have his day in court. But you can't look at that video and then look at the video a few days later of a 17 year old protestor or a 17 year old militia member, Rittenhouse, walking toward cops in tanks with a long gun and being saluted, being waved to. You just can't. You cannot look at those two things and say, "That's fair."
If you are a white person who holds even racist thoughts and many white people do. All people do we're humans, we're not perfect. Let's stop pretending. Everybody has biases, right? Even if you're pretty racist, you still have to look at that and go, "No, no, that isn't okay. That doesn't get justified no matter what. It would never be okay for the police to react that way to this man in that town and in that very same town react the way that they did to that 17 year old protestor." You're exactly right. Mario, not only do black people see is race, but the white people who don't see that it's race are choosing not to see it.
And let me build on something that you and I talk about because we talk so much off air. So I want everybody who's listening to get in on a conversation that me and Mike have had yesterday. So let's make a quick distinction. Racism is by definition, the belief that you actually believe you're superior because of the color of your skin. Prejudice can be built in through stereotypes that people have against ... I've had this bad experience with this person. So it's not that I really dislike every member of that group, but I have a little prejudice against certain things because they trigger something into me. So when you see in this particular instance and you think about black lives matter, the reason why they say black lives matter too and they talk about racism, because the only way you could believe rationally, that that shooting was justified is to believe that that person's self worth was below yours. That's it. That's the only way you can say, "Hey, that's not a big deal." And then start trying to figure out a million and one reasons to justify something that's completely unjustifiable.
I think that's exactly right. If you were that cop, you were holding onto this guy shirt and you were shooting him in front of his children in the car, by the way, the only way that I would ever shoot this person, if I put myself in that police officer's position. And this doesn't have to be political, just put yourself in the position. If I pretend like I am in that cops position, there's nothing in my mind that makes sense about that decision. Not a thing. Now I could put myself in the mind of the 17 year old Rittenhouse, the kid who want-to-be cop want-to-be militia guy, he's all excited, which is ridiculous. He's there, he's attacked, he feels like he's attacked. In that kid's mind, he might've felt justified. He wasn't, he never should have been there, but that kid might have felt justified.
You would have an easier time gettingme to crawl into his mind and pretend that I could understand his fear much easier than you could ever get me to get into the mind of the officer that shot Blake to understand his. Because even if you thought he was going to drive away, the only reason that you would have shot him is if you thought he was going to take that car and run you over, which would not have been possible, or that he was going to take that car and run his family over, including his mother, which is stupid, or his sister, which is stupid. So if you can't imagine either of those things happening, which is what happened in that case, just look at it. Why would you shoot that man? You would shoot him because you didn't want him to get away. You would shoot him because he made you look weak.
You would shoot him to maintain power and control. And see that's what this is, it's about power and it's about control. And when I watched those militia guys taking water from those tanks-
I know right.
Let me tell you something. Ihave an affinity for people who organize around their second amendment rights or any right. Any constitutional right? So I have been protested by militia. I have had meetings with militia. I have friends who are militia members. I do not believe that it makes any sense for a militia member to be taking water from the police officer in a tank on an American highway. I'm sorry, man. Like that doesn't make any sense. Like Jerry Falwell going over to the abortion clinic for lunch or something. It just doesn't make any sense. Like why, it doesn't make any sense. It just doesn't make any sense. Does it make sense to you?
No, it doesn't Mike. And you know what, I gave some thought about another one about because we talk so much, like I was just saying, and so I think you're right. Like I haven't really, to be honest with you, I haven't seen all the video there is to see on the young man that shot the three people. However, I do know and I do agree with you that that is more of a sign of a real serious dividein a serious problem going on right now that is separate yet also in a strictly tied to the actual shooting of the young man, seven times in the back. And so you just have to understand because when you take a quick glance at this stuff and the way they characterize the 17 year old was like blue lives matter, very pro comp and all that kind of stuff.
Blue lives. Don't get me started on the blue lives matter.
Right? So people need to stop that. In fact, I can be honest with you. I'm a pro unionperson.
This is one of the areas you and I are [crosstalk 00:11:35].
No, no, no. I've come around to your side on this.
I'll come down to your side on this on police unions, because this is the problem because the policeunion is going to literally try to make sure that that officer who did what he did is allowed to resign instead of being terminated. I can promise you that.
That is allowed to collect his pension.
If they make him leave at all.
And fight and trust me, I believe that they need to come in and document everything, figure out what's going on, do the investigation, make everything the right way to lead to this man's indictment and conviction and that's it. Not to come in and do all those things as a manner and mechanism to try to get him all for what clearly was murder.
I agree with you and I'll go a step further and say that the performance of the Kenosha police has been horrifying. At every single turn it is so bad that they should be indicted. I think and the feds have the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice is in town for whatever that means. Hopefully they're taking it very seriously. Hopefully they're investigating this police chief and the prosecutors in and the officers because after the Rittenhouse shootings, the chief of police spoke to the media and you know if you haven't heard it, folks, you need to listen to this clip.
In it, he says people were out after curfew and they shouldn't have been. And then these things happen and a teenager shoots three people because he was responding to whatever was happening. I've never heard a cop say that. Okay. I work with people who are criminal defendants and prosecuted. I mean, these are the people I work with. Okay. They are wonderful. They are my clients. And then none of them ever get treated like that by a cop. None of them ever get the cop saying, "Oh, but don't rush to judgment." That's the cop's job. He rushes the judgment. Heliterally, that's his job. And then the prosecutor comes in, right. And then the jury
Now ask yourself this. Now, what was the name of the kid that shot the people in the black church?
Dylann Roof. Okay. Now what was so disturbing about that and was somewhat disturbing about what happened to, although I'm glad the 17 year old young male was not shot down by police officers or killed or anything and you know, and we're going to figure out exactly what happened.
I thinkhe was eating with them afterwards
That's right. Here's the problem and it goes back to what I was talking about earlier. Now, do you honestly believe, or can you say with almost a hundred percent certainty that if a black person was out there and shot three white people like that and white people are sitting at the side of the street, screaming, this guy just shot down those people. That cops would be passing this black person up, who has a long rifle waving at him and saying, and not doing one thing and that person would actually survive, without being shot, without guns being pointed at him and about to be shot.
He would have been shot 500 times.
Or do you think a black person could walk in or a person of color could walk into a church, have the audacity to pray with the church, then kill everybody and then get picked up without ever being shot at and then taken to go get a meal from McDonald's.
Yeah. Particularly Mario, if you think about that juxtaposed to your client, Leon McCray and Shenandoah County, Virginia. Black pastor had his gun, which he always does love that guy and he was at his property. People were trespassing. He tells them to leave and the police come and arrest him. And by the way, I'm a white guy. Okay. But so I say white, not pejoratively by any stretch of imagination. But these people, when I say white country, like racist looking people, I mean like Charlie Manson was racist looking cause he had a swastika carved into his head. Like these people are wearing American Confederate flags like tattooed on their body. They're yelling at this guy and calling him names. They're calling him the N word and stuff like that. And the cops come and arrest him, you know?
And Dylan roof shoots those people, they take him out to eat. This kid in Kenosha shoots these people and walks toward an army of police officers and tanks, and is not only not shot, he was not detained, he was not arrested. He was honored. He was honored because they were thankful he was there. And that's where I really need people to understand. This is where we go off the rails folks. We've been here a long time. We've been teetering on the brink of disaster with this stuff but this is where it goes too far. Because, now we're not talking about what actually happened, two things that never should have happened. The Blake shooting and the Rittenhouse shootings. They never should have happened. They did not need to happen. We just talked about that with Blake.
Also with Rittenhouse, they didn't need to happen. So we have two crimes that didn't need to happen. They are now the focus of half of the country, either side, now corralling around. Each juxtaposed next to a political presidential election of the most extreme order we've ever seen.Guys, folks, white people, black people, I don't care. You are living in perilous times. The future of this country is not guaranteed. We may lose everything and you may see people you love being shot in the streets. That's what happens in a civil war. This has gone far enough and if we don't call it back now, we won't be able to. Folks we are going to take a quick break. We're going to be right back, stay with us.
Welcome back to Not Free America radio. Mike Donovan here, Mario Williams.
Craziness in Kenosha, man.
Yeah it is.
When we started this show, one of the things that you did that I really, really liked is you started by saying, "Hey, I want to talk to white people as a Black person. As an African American, I want to talk to white people." I thought that was really powerful. It got me to thinking, "Maybe I should do the same thing." So let me speak to African American people in our audience, Black and Brown people, minorities across the board as a white person. Now, I like to think of myself as somewhat woke, if only because I've had my own experience as a young man in jail, and then certainly built a company, and then funded law firms to help thousands of people who are similarly situated.
I don't think you can go through that experience and not be somewhat woke to the experiences of people who generally are in that area of life. And unfortunately, the criminal justice system disproportionately affects Black and Brown people, and we know that. Having said all of that, I'm a white person. I grew up in a pretty rural area, and I didn't know any African Americans until I was a teenager as a matter of fact. I do understand what's happening here, but I think it's important for Black people to understand that when a White person on social media is defending this teenager, it can feel like a complete racist attack on you, because you can't imagine how that could ever be justifiable. And by the way, you're right. It's not justifiable, but you have to understand the way bias and the way protectionism affects how people react to things.
Bias is a powerful thing, because if I'm biased against you, it'sgoing to affect everything I do and every... Even if I'm trying not to let it, it's insidious. So bias is a real problem, but worse is when you have a belief that you have to do something bad to someone to protect yourself or your stability, or you have to accept that something bad is happening to someone because it is the only way you're going to be safe. That is where we are. We are in a situation where we have White people in this country, who like me, look at what happened to Mr. Blake and his family and say, "That is wrong. It doesn't matter what other facts you may say exist. That is wrong. It never should've happened." Every single White person in the country should be able to say that, and any White person who can't say that is basing that fear on stability.
What I mean by stability is the risk that if we begin to open Pandora's box, that we'll never be able to manage what's coming out. That's been this country's war internally since our founding, since the Civil War and reconstruction, the depression, our World Wars, the 1960s and beyond. We have consistently been fighting this fight to be the people that we were designed to be in our declaration of our own independence, or in the constitution that stitched together the fight, the valor, and the purpose of America, which was to bring wayward people who were hated and disaffected together and build something amazing out of it, and we did that. But we did it in such a way where we continue to commit the sins of humanity in how we treated our FirstNations people, for example.
There's nothing in humanity that is all good. We're binary. There is good and bad and everything. Life begins painfully, and it will certainly end painfully. And it is a collection of painful experiences that are stitched together by magical, amazing, wonderful experiences. The measure of a person's life, if you're living it right, is to live for the moments where you're up and understand that the moments when you're down are the things that help you understand how good you have it otherwise. If we understand that as a basic reality, then we won't be designed to have to fight, to have to take unreasonable positions from a stability perspective, but that's what's happening right now. White people in this country are lookingat this, they're looking at this Blake shooting, or they're looking at this Rittenhouse shooting, the shooting of these protestors, and they're not analyzing this based on whether this makes sense.
They're not analyzing it based on whether they'd want it to happen to their child in either case. They're not analyzing it the way we as human beings normally analyze things. They're analyzing it with the precept, the question that says, "Based on what I believe, what might I lose?" Do you understand? If Ibelieve that our police in Kenosha are racist, and if you don't, Kenoshans, you're not paying attention. That chief of yours, he is a racist. I will tell you, he reeks of... Who cares if he's a racist. He's a cop, and he believes that police are all powerful. And he doesn't believe that you have a right to hold them accountable for their negative behavior. Who cares if he's racist? He's a monster, because we've given him power, unchecked power, and then you Kenoshans, my White Kenoshan friends, you're unwilling to hold them in check for that power, because you're afraid of what might happen in your town or in your communities or in your neighborhoods.
If the cops aren't there... White people, you know that what the police are doing in this country is wrong, and you know that if it was happening to you, you'd never stand for it. But you also know that if you stand against it, who's going to be there to make sure your neighborhood's okay? Who's going to be there to make sure you don't lose things? You want to be able to call 911 if someone's following you around and get a cop to come out and be nice to you. And the fact that that happens is something you really like. And the fact that it doesn't happen to my friend, Mario, because when he calls the cops they're not nice to him, is something I'm just going to accept. You know, why? Not because I'm okay with the fact that Mario is treated badly.
No, no. It's because I don't want to be treated badly too, and I really hope that changes for him one day. Ireally do, but it's just not that important to me, because I don't want it to happen to me. I don't want it to happen to my kids. That's what this is. Black people, if you understand that, would you please forgive us? Forgive us and understand. The one thing that's going to save us, if we are going to be saved in this, the one thing that will save us is our empathy, our empathy.
And I want to say something about that, Mike.
Please. Yeah, please.
I want our listeners to think about the following very simple, straightforward thing that I'm about to tell you, and imagine how hurtful this is. So when you have a law enforcement officer or a person of color shot and killed or injured significantly, the number one thing comes out... Let's talk about Black on Black violence in Chicago. Okay. So then you say, "Okay, well that's a whole different subject matter." We can talk about that. We can talk about intra-racial violence being nearly equal, raw numbers, statistics, all this kind of stuff. But what's really extra hurtful and really speaks to the point of what people of color are trying to get at and want everybody to understand, and it would be hurtful to any race or any ethnic group, is that if you didn't have something caught on video, and you are a person of color, there's a 100% success rate for getting away with murder.
When you believe, and you understand when you see somebody's knee on somebody's neck for eight and a half minutes, somebody choked out over 25 cent cigarettes, somebody shot in the back seven times senselessly, and you have to say, "Hey, man, that person's my color. And if we didn't have a video, there's damn near a 100% success rate that they would get away with that." Means that when you're stopped by law enforcement, and there is no video, and you get seriously hurt or someone you love gets killed, you know you don't have a shot.
That's right. You're exactly right. And you talk about that in the context of getting pulled over and getting shot. You and I have some experience with this in these Fourth Amendment cases that I fund and you very successfully litigate. I had a couple of cases up on the Fourth Circuit, one that got overturned, and another that hopefully is about to. But when we talk about these Fourth Amendment cases, and particularly this drug dog alert and Varner v. Roane, one of your cases out of the Western District of Virginia, for example... I've had a lot of conversations with peopleabout things, and a lot of times we talk about cases. I'm talking about cases that we're working on, Mario, and a lot of the cases that we're working on involve people who got in trouble. That's how the case started.
And so you talk about these abuses that the police commit, and I've had people, serious people, come to me and say, "Okay, Mike, but all the people that you're talking about are criminal defendants, or they did something or they..." Whatever, here's what you need to understand, folks. Wecan all look at the Blake shooting and go, "That shouldn't have happened," but you know what you're not looking at on the evening news? You're not looking at the kid who gets chased out of the corner grocery store because they don't like the way he looks.You're not looking at the kid who gets denied help by the school guidance counselor, because she thinks as a Black kid, he's not worth it, who then goes and does something else.
You're not thinking about the things that happen every day that are reflective of the things you see in Blake or Rittenhouse and the reactions there too. The way that if you just think about a police officer grabbing a white man's shirt and shooting him in front of his children in the car, I don't think so. I don't think so. No one would be talking about whether he had a knife, and no one-
No way, man.
Those kids would be in... We'd have them in treatment. This is ridiculous, and you know it's ridiculous.
And you know, Mike? I'm just beinghonest with you. And if there was no video, and the person was white, they'd stand a far better opportunity of getting a full and fair investigation, and holding somebody accountable. Because if you need video, just to even believe you could hold somebodyaccountable for killing you or someone you love, that is a major problem. And it speaks towards your belief or the person's belief that you and your race of people or ethnic group are less than that other ethnic group or race.
But it's important forpeople to know... You're right, but what I want people to understand is something that I truly believe, which is that this is not at all about race. It looks like it is. It looks like a perfect... This is about race. This is a race issue in America. You look at that, it looks true, but it's not. It's not about race. It's about class. It's about whether you belong or you don't, whether you have power or you don't. It is always, and it has always been about that. And so what I mean to say, is this. If you are very much more likely to encounter negative police if you are a Black or Brown person than if you are a White person, that is 100% true and 100% wrong. But if you encounter the police and you are seen as an enemy of the police... Hey, let me tell you from some personal experience that police don't care if you're white.
At that point, you become an enemy of the police. The problem is that Black people are being seen as an enemy of the police by police. Do you understand? As we ratchet this crisis up more and more... In the Rittenhouse video for example, when you see that kid with a long gun walking toward those officers not being stopped, not being shot, not being arrested after he just shot three people, is there any doubt that police in Kenosha, Wisconsin see Black people as the enemy? Clearly not that white kid, not the kid with the green fatigues that's there to help them. But you see, this isn't about race because it's about money and it's about power, and race is a part of that, for sure.
That's what I would say.
Yeah, of course. It becomes-
It's about both.
Well, the problem is if you are a Black kid stuck in the system, it doesn't matter what I'm saying. It's all about your race. But in order to solve it, we have to understand that it isn't just about getting police to not be racist. In fact, most police aren't racist. Most police are good people, but the leadership in the police state in this country is racist. And it's ran by liberals in the police union, but they're not real liberals. And you know they're not real liberals. Maybe they are, I don't even know what liberal means anymore. They're not real progressives. They're regressives, because they want to live in a world where the police have the ultimate power and authority. How dare you question me? That is the attitude from the police state in this country, as is evidenced by the fact that they're openly hostile to being called on the carpet for issues that are clearly problematic, that have clearly led us to this issue, to these issues of violence, Mario. The police that brought us here.
I absolutely agree with that, Mike, definitely. I think people forget about class. And if you go travel around the rest of the world, when it's not as diverse of a culture that we have as far as ethnic groups and races and different things, class sticks out.
It absolutely sticks out. Now, in this particular instance, I do think just like you said, it's about both, but you can't forget about the class aspect of it. Because when you really think about, and you go way back in history... And me and you talked about this. You have a situation where indentured servitude was predominantly... Well, I wouldn't say predominantly, but had a lot of White people in indentured servitude. But it was elite using law enforcement saying, "Hey, look. Well, let's do this. We're going to get rid of indentured servitude. We're just going to keep slaves. So you all don't band together. Don't come together. Don't unite with people of color over here with slaves. And you feel like you're a slave because you're indentured servant and all that. Let's just go ahead and say at the very least, you're better than this group of people."
And that got dictated down from the top, just like you said. And it was enforced by law enforcement who basically through history of just being kind of... Well, I don't want to say thugs or anything, but they definitely have been the right hand enforcement-
It's thuggish behavior.
-of people with money and power to command and control those who don't have money and authority or power.
And it becomes a continuum, because it's true that a very, very small number of people hold the power, and that's typically the way it works. So it's because a very, very small number of people hold the power, there's a continuum where people have to be placated. In other words, the people who control everything have to control enoughof the people on the continuum that they can maintain control. So how do you do that? Well, if you have people that are... You generally as a police state have a disdain for everybody, but you have more of a disdain for certain groups of people. You're going to allow privileges. See, these aren't rights. You don't have a Fourth Amendment right in the United States of America against unreasonable search and seizure. You have a privilege. That privilege exists if that cop wants it to for you.
And if hedoesn't because you have qualified immunity, you can't sue him anyway. I mean, the reality is yes, people who are Black or Brown are affected a lot worse, but we have to all understand that if we don't all start about the process of stopping police misconduct and police hubris and police arrogance, then none of us are going to be able to overcome it ourselves. In other words, on the continuum, enough of us, the [inaudible 00:17:39] as Harvey Milk used to say. The [inaudible 00:17:42] have to get together so that we can save the United States. Folks, we'll be right back. Stay with us.
Welcome back to Not Free America radio. Mike Donovan here... Mario. My book is coming out next month. Well, October, October 27th.
I can't wait.
So the whole process of writing a book... And it is my first major publication. I've written articles and things like that, but this was my first book, and I will tell you it was hard. It was hard. I always imagined, sitting down and writing it, how hard could it be? It's a collection of my own thoughts and experiences, right? I could do it in a couple of days. Wrong. By the way, to anybody out there who's thinking, "Hey, I could take a couple of weekends and write a book," no you can't. It's a very, very long process. But I am happy that I did it because a lot of the things that we're talking about, Mario, are really addressed in the book.
Yeah, of just how can we all get past this? One of the things that's really hard in human experience is that nothing is independent. We love to think of ourselves as independent. Independent seems to be something we yearn for, but in reality, independence is scary, it's lonely, and it's death because life is about that spirit, that energy, right? And so we have to really connect with people and understand that we're not going to be able solve every problem in order to be able to walk forward in liberty and freedom and with respect of one another.
In other words, there's no amount of reparations that are going to take away what happened to black people in this country. There's none. There's none that's going to happen. And there's no amount of apologizing that's going to get it done. And quite frankly, that's been part of our problem. We apologize with voice and we do something else in action, or we just don't care. I think in order to get it back to where we need it to be, it's got to be less about what I expect of you, and I think it's got to be more about what I expect of me. So if I believe that I can live my life the way that I want to and that I have that right, then I have to believe that you have it too. We are selfish creatures, but we are part of an interdependent web of existence. You just can't deny it. What other people do affects me. So if that's true, then the best way I think going forward is to decide that I should be able to do what I want to do with my life, and Mario Williams, you should be able to decide to do what you want to do with yours.
And I think that's the question that really begs to my mind on vaccinations. And I know folks will remember from last week that you and I have had dust ups on these vaccination questions. I think we actually agree a lot more than we disagree on, but the issue of the vaccinations, you're quite right. The only way that we've grown life expectancy in this country is to have medical advances and have confidence around those medical advances. And it's true that vaccines have saved our country in the past. And it's also true that a COVID vaccine may in fact in the future. But independent of all those things, if I have the right to decide that the government of the United States of America cannot plunge a needle into my skin, can not cause a foreign substance to invade my body, if I believe I have that right and I believe you have that right, we're all free. If I believe the government has the right to plunge right needle in anyone's arm for any reason, if they have that right to do it to you or do it to me or do it to a homeless person or do it to a child that wants public education, then we're not free. If the government can plunge a needle into my arm against my wishes, which is what Jacobson versus Massachusetts said they could do, then I'm not free.
And that's why, Mario, I came to you last week when the governor of Virginia, Governor Blackface, and announced that, well, his public health director announced that pursuant to the law in Virginia, that Virginia would require residents of the Commonwealth to receive the COVID-19 vaccine that doesn't exist yet. And so as a Virginian, I guess that impacts me, right? I am not yet able to make a determination about a vaccine because it doesn't exist, perhaps highlighting this silliness of such a conversation-
Kind of political stunt.
Right. And a political stunt, but getting past that. Okay, so let's assume that there is a vaccine. Moderna Labs is one of the ones in the United States that are now in their trials. They ironically couldn't find enough African-American people to participate. Perhaps that's because African-American people are woke enough to know that when the government plunges needles in your arm, it isn't always a good thing, right? Perhaps the African-American community remembers the syphilis experiments and things. Well, maybe the government of the United States doesn't always have my best interest at heart. And if you live in a liberty privilege or you believe the government does, then I feel sorry for you because one day you're going to have a very, very bad day when you realize that that reality isn't true. Perhaps that day will come when the military comes to your house and decides to plunge a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into your arm.
By the way, in case you didn't know, the Moderna vaccine is new. It's a new kind of vaccine, not alive or dead virus vaccine that they put in your body to create antibodies. No, no, no. This is something much, much cooler. This is a genetic manipulation vaccine. This vaccine codes yourselves to change the cellular make-up of your body to make it possible to fight COVID-19. That sounds like a neat idea, but I'd rather not try it with me. Okay? I mean, listen, there are people who will volunteer for that. Good. Wonderful. I'm glad there are. That's not me. I am a pretty courageous guy, in a lot of ways. You show me a person being hurt by a corrupt cop, I'll be there. I'll walk up to the cop and tell him he's wrong. I'll put myself in danger to stand up for a meek or weak person that I believe God has put me on Earth to fight for. Needles? No, it's not my thing. I become a baby. I become a child. I've had to go to the hospital.
I went to the hospital for a stomach illness a couple of weeks ago and they needed to take my blood. And I mean, literally, you have to strap me down. It's a neurosis. I can't help myself. I'll jerk my arm up. I'll grab the nurse. You don't understand. You're not going to plunge a needle into my arm, unless I know I need it, unless I'm 100% comfortable with it, and it's on my terms. You're not going to show up on my doorstep and tell me I got to come in. You're not going to send me an appointment card and tell me that I got to come down and do it. I'm an American. I'm a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I'm governed by the constitutions of both that Commonwealth and these United States. They both guarantee certain rights that I have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, chief among them life being the question here. I should have the right to take that vaccine or not, shouldn't I?
Yeah. You know, Mike, that's what is so interesting for our listeners to think about that. As you said, people have been trotting out that early 20th century Supreme Court decision, Jacobson, but what they have to understand is in that case, the concept of substantive due process was not even around, nor was it fully developed. That was an issue where a guy said, "Hey, I just have the liberty to make my choices." And the Supreme Court said, "Well, liberty doesn't really involve this issue. It typically and generally means you get to live and go where you want to go." So with the substantive due process it comes down to currently as the law has evolved and said, "Hey, look, you can't have situations like naked detention. There are certain situations where you can't force-feed somebody who's on a hunger strike," and things that protect the government from forcing, or I would just say violating your right to your own body integrity, your physical integrity. So then somebody has to say, "Okay, now currently, what is the threshold that has to be met for me, whether or not you're injecting water into my veins, whether or not you're injecting something that you say is going to heal me or hurt me? What is the threshold for the government to be able to unilaterally say, 'Hey, I get to invade your physical integrity'"?
That's right. And what does it take for the government to be able to be in that sole position? And what have I done to abdicate to lose that right? What have I demonstrated to the government that is [inaudible 00:09:23] that I shouldn't have the right to make a decision? I mean, if I have a heart attack, I have a right to go to the hospital or not, right? I could die on the street if I want to. Right?
And here's the thing, Mike. All that Jacobson stuff was dealing with, I believe it was smallpox.
That's right. Smallpox.
And at the time smallpox was prevalent and soaring and it was spreading, but now-
Yeah, exactly. But let's say that the science on the corona, COVID, by the time the vaccine comes out is showing that the death rate is way down, infection rate is way down, it's not soaring, we've accepted the fact that it's going to go through our population, but the numbers are declining, not inclining. At what point do you say, "Okay, well, the science doesn't justify at all..." even if I was a person who said, "I'm a team player, and I'm going to take one for the team," and say, "Okay, man, this is for the common good." But at this point, the way the science looks to me, I don't want to have the government mandate that they can violate my physical integrity. And at what point do you take that choice away?
That's right. At what point and why? What requires it? And I think that's really where this gets to an interesting question because the idea that we would have to give away our rights because we're in crisis seems silly when you consider that the rights were guaranteed through a war that was the most fundamental epic crisis of our history. It seems to me that our founders kind of had the idea that the rights were important in times of crisis, not just when the government believes that has the right to assert. In fact, we should assume that anything, anything that the government would use as tyranny, it would believe it had the right to do. A government, a regime, any dictator, whoever, who's going to do something is going to believe he or she has the right to do it. That's the point. We have our own right to decide what's good for us.
Mario, when I decided to file a lawsuit against Virginia to help sort of fix this for me and for others, I know that I'm going to be attacked as an anti-vaxxer. And I'm not an anti-vaxxer. All my vaccinations are up to date. I can show you. I've got my high school records or elementary school records or whatever. I don't come from a family of anti-vaxxers. And my kids are vaccinated because I choose to vaccinate my kids because I think they have that right. And because the vaccines that I am using are vaccines with risk, but I know what the risks are. And there's a large body of people who've received the vaccines, and I can make a determination about that. None of that is true here. And I think the sad thing is, is that people who generally just want to be a little more conservative with what they put in their body and a little more sure of whether it's safe are going to be lumped into a category of name calling of lunatics, right?
And it's selfish.
And selfish. But, see, isn't that what happens when medical stuff becomes political stuff?
And that's the point, Mike. So it piggybacks into what you said, and what our listeners need to really understand, there's a big difference between wearing a face mask and social distancing for six feet, and the government being able to make you stick a needle in your arm.
That's exactly right.
And then if you don't do it, you're selfish, even though you can point to data that says, "Hey, look, this is actually justified even if we take into account the science at the time that you're trying to make me do this." So it's complicated and you just can't blow somebody off and say, "You're selfish and you want to kill people and you're a anti-vaxxer," all this kind of stuff, when you haven't really thought about the longterm effects of allowing the government to actually invade your physical integrity in that way.
That's right. That's exactly right. And if the government can make that decision for you now, what can the government do? And it's important to understand that we are obviously, this weekend, we have the Neuralink announcement, which we'll talk about next week. With everything going on in Kenosha, I really wanted to focus our Not Free America program on the burgeoning civil war in our country.
But I think that the Neuralink announcement and some of the advances in medical technology are going to make questions like this even more relevant, Mario, in the future. For example, if scientists, if Neuralink, if scientists are able to create some kind of brain modification that's actually workable that either create some kind of elevated intelligence... I think Elon talked about being able to have the hearing of a dog. I'm not sure why I'd want that, but yeah, that might be interesting. But there are things that... They surgically implant this thing in your ear. I don't like needles so already I'm probably tapping out. If I'm suing the governor because I don't want to take a vaccine, a new vaccine, I'm probably not going to want to put a machine in my ear bone. But for those of you that are willing to take such a risk... The advances in human evolution cannot be overstated. I mean, imagine all the things that you employ a computer to do, and imagine being able to do those through thought processes. Everything that you have your computer do that you would eventually be able to think and get it done.
Now, if you could imagine if that ever comes true, if we were to transport ourselves into the future, we'd believe those people were magical. Just like if people thousands of years ago transported themselves into the future now, they'd think we were magic. But the problem with the establishment of law and the rule of law is that it matters for a really long time. And so if we let the government plunge a needle into my arm today, then what happens, say 50 years from now, when buying and selling is only a possibility if you have a Neuralink transmitter, right? The only way to pay for something at Walmart is to think it. But guess what? I didn't hook my brain up to Elon's system, so now I can't buy anything. And I'm not picking on Elon.
By the way, Elon Musk's reasoning for doing this is because he believes that AI is going to overthrow humanity and this is our only hope of being able to compete. I didn't make that up, folks. And he might not be wrong. Let's face it. We are developing artificial intelligence at an extraordinary rate. Now we're talking about augmenting humanity. I just think that we need to be thinking about these really weird, interesting stories and asking ourselves, how does 50 years in the future look if we allow the government to plunge a needle into our arm for a COVID-19 vaccine today? What types of advances in medical technology are going to be forced upon us? And are we willing to do that?
And you touched on something really important, Mike, when you said, "Hey, be careful about what you're justifying legally right now because it can go further in the future." And just real quickly to say, remember, if you start justifying... It's real simple for the listeners to understand this... If you start justifying things as being constitutionally permissible, then it's very hard to come back from that later on with future judges because that's not something that just stays in Georgia or Florida. That's the Supreme Court of the United States, and that applies to our entire country replicated a million times over in the future.
That's exactly right, Mario. That's exactly right. And the best way to think about that and how it affects your life is any right you're willing to gamble away for somebody else is a right you won't have in the future. Because precedent matters, folks. Precedent matters. We are in a crazy time.
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Buy the book.
But also take some time to connect with us. If you have legal questions, if you want Mario to answer your questions, send it over. Love you guys. Thank you so much. We'll see you next weekend. Stay safe.
Stay safe, everybody.