Stone Pigs

undeniable underlying truths

This is a Free Country?

Posted By Alan Partis on December 31, 1995

I originally wrote this essay on December 31, 1995.  It is written from the perspective of Julius Caesar.  I think it is still relevant today.

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When I was the ruler of Rome, oh so many centuries ago, life was grand. I got to do whatever I wished and everybody around me heeded my every command without question.  Afterall, I was the emperor.  If I wanted to make a new law, I could.  If I wanted to do a favor for a friend there was no stopping me.  My resources were endless because I was the richest man in the land.  As I said, life was grand.  Unless, of course, you weren’t me.

No, looking back on things, I don’t suppose life was very good for everybody else.  Let’s see.  There was a group of people who worked with me everyday who weren’t allowed to say the word ‘no’.  There was also the group of women with whom I consorted who also weren’t allowed to say the word ‘no’.  Come to think of it, very few people were allowed to say ‘no’.  Oh, a few people tried, but they ended up being imprisoned as slave labor.  You didn’t know we used slave labor?  Of course we did.  Everyone did (and still does to a large extent), but that’s a story for another day.  In fact, there was a litany of things that you weren’t allowed to say, especially in my presence.  Freedom of speech was something reserved solely for me.  Like I said, life was grand.

Freedom of religion wasn’t much tolerated either.  You see, we practiced polytheism — we worshipped many gods.  There were some Hebrews in our lands, and they worshipped their own god.  But as long as they didn’t hassle me, I pretty much left them alone, although I understand we actually nailed one of them to a cross.  He espoused another religion, saying that he was the savior of all men and the son of the Hebrew god.  I guess there were things other than ‘no’ that you couldn’t say either.  Killing him didn’t do much good because they say he came back from the dead a few days later.  So after that, we just used these Christians for entertainment with the lions in the Coliseum.  Life for me and the lions was grand.

Financial freedom?  Oh, now there’s something  I know about.  I had so much money and wealth that there was nothing I couldn’t have.  The money had been in my family for years.  We mostly collected it by levying taxes on the working people in the land.  It was a great scheme.  You worked hard all day at an honest job and at the end of the day, you gave some of your money to me.  And with the thousands of people working, I took in some pretty serious income.  The funny thing about it was that most people gladly gave to the tax man.  You see, I usually spent some of the money on building roads (with slave labor) and I built a powerful army to help keep law and order.  I heard stories that some of my soldiers took advantage of their positions and did some raping and pillaging of their own, but I mostly just let that stuff slide.  Because of that kind of thing, there were always a few people who would refuse to pay taxes or spent their money on other things before I could get it.  These people were easy to deal with; I just threw them in jail and used them for more slave labor.

If we fast-forward several centuries to the “New World” and the formation of the “home of the brave and the land of the free” we find that some rich old white guys decided that ‘freedom’ was something that was very important to the human spirit.  Without certain ‘inalienable’ rights, man could not be free.  So they formed this new government (under which you now live) that guaranteed several freedoms, not the least of which was the freedom to speak your mind without fear of repercussions from the government.  In these United States, you would be free to ‘think’ whatever you wished without consideration as to how ‘Big Brother’ would react.  Not a bad concept I suppose, but certainly a far cry from the life that people in my great Roman Empire led.

From my vantage point beyond the grave (I am dead you know — medical insurance in my day wasn’t what it is today) I get to survey everything that goes on in this ‘free’ country and I don’t think you folks are anywhere near as free as you are led to believe.  Let me give you an example.

Just recently, a young man by the name of Anthony Lightfoot in Concord, New Hampshire who is 50% Caucasian, 25% Negro, and 25% Native American pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of another man, Morris Whitaker, who I presume is 100% Negro.  Anthony’s crime?  He said, or rather wrote, some things to Mr. Whitaker.  Mr. Whitaker is the treasurer of the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association and Mr. Lightfoot was a student at Dartmouth College who would have graduated this past June had he not been suspended from the school for his crime.  Here’s what happened.

Mr. Whitaker’s organization sent at least one letter to Mr. Lightfoot presumably to solicit donations for the Black Alumni.  Mr. Lightfoot responded at some point with a letter in which he employed a stereotypical white-supremacist response that he would lynch Mr. Whitaker and rape and shoot his wife if he received further correspondence from the Black Alumni group.  Oh, and the FBI said that the letter contained racial slurs and obscenities.

That’s it.  Those are the facts and they appear to be undisputed.  Now clearly Mr. Lightfoot would have been quickly imprisoned in my beloved Rome had he made similar remarks to me, but this isn’t Imperial Rome.  This is the US of A, the “land of the free!”  You have free speech?  I think not.  There is no evidence that Mr. Lightfoot ever tried to carry out his obviously hollow threat, so how, exactly, were Mr. Whitaker’s civil rights violated?  They weren’t, in my opinion.  But still, Mr. Lightfoot has been sentenced to five year’s probation and fined $225 for sending “racist hate mail”.  He has also been ordered by the judge to be tested for drugs, get mental counseling, and to immediately sell the gun he owns.  It would appear that Mr. Whitaker and the judge are going to spend a good deal of time and money seeing to it that Mr. Lightfoot is prevented from liberty and the pursuit of happiness.1

Gee, why don’t they just throw him in prison and use him for slave labor?  This is a free country?  Life sure WAS grand.


1 Anthony Lightfoot ultimately committed suicide 4 months later according to this article from the Dartmouth College paper.


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