Ohio Attorney General is Playing with Fire
Student holding sign saying Let Gaza Live

Photo by Paul Becker

Instead of praising Gen Z for their courage, bravery and clear understanding of the US Constitution which enshrined, in its First Amendment, the guarantees of freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition, including protecting individuals' rights to free speech, and assembly in public spaces and settings, including public universities, the Attorney General of the Great State of Ohio sent a letter to Ohio's college presidents advising them that “prosecutors could use a generation-old law intended to curtail KKK activities to instead charge campus protesters with a felony,” as reported by the Columbus Dispatch

This First Amendment, if AG Yost needs a reminder, guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.  Our forefathers died to protect these sacred human rights. They were neither “left-wing” nor “right-wing,” neither Republicans nor Democrats, they were just Americans, pure and simple. These rights are used to push for social and political change. The First Amendment is for everyone, if Mr. Yost, who may be running for Governor, has forgotten. 

These principles are what brought so many to this country, fleeing persecution from their native countries.  I suppose Mr. Yost is not happy about such. 

It seems history is repeating itself. Mr. Yost reminds me of an important encounter between Joseph Welch and Senator Joseph McCarthy during the June 9, 1954 Army-McCarthy hearing.  Welch, frustrated with McCarthy said that “until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness,” in response to naming a young lawyer who was active with the National Lawyers Guild, a “leftist” organization as claimed by McCarthy. 

When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him. In a momentous moment, marked in history as a turning point in the history McCathyism, Welch addressed McCarthy in an assertive manner: “Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild ... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

And I say the same to AG Yost: “have you left no sense of decency?”