Even in a free nation, political correctness can cross the line to the elimination of free speech. Such has been the case in the UK where there are a plethora of anti “hate speech” laws that dictate what may and may not be said.
Paul Griffith, 75, ran afoul of one of these Orwellian laws when he was asked to remove his shoes for a security scan at Stansted airport on April 1 while on his way to a week’s vacation in Malaga, British news outlets reported.
“I am not Muslim, am I?” Griffith quipped.
Unbelievably, that was enough to offend a security guard, causing him to call the police and accuse Griffith of using racist language.
“One minute I am queuing up to get on a plane and the next I am confronted by two armed policemen” he told the Daily Mail. “They said I had used racist language and took me to an office in the terminal.”
Authorities allowed Griffith to go on his trip but arrested him on his return amid charges of “racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.”
“When I got back I had to wait six hours before they interviewed me again, arrested me and said that I was being charged with causing racially aggravated harassment.” Griffith said. “I was photographed, had my fingerprints taken and they also took a DNA swab from my mouth. Then they said I would have to go to my local police station.”
Griffith was told he could accept a plea but he refused, insisting that he had done nothing wrong.
The case was scheduled for last Thursday but with 24 hours to go the charges were suddenly dropped.
“In order to successfully prosecute a charge of racially or religiously aggravated disorderly conduct, we first have to show that the language used was threatening or abusive and in these particular circumstances we could not show that to the high criminal standard required,” said prosecutor Frank Ferguson.
Griffith was still angry at the way the police handled this ridiculous case.
“It has been incredibly stressful – all because I asked a question and apparently dared to use the ‘M-word,’” he said.
This case illustrates all to clearly why Americans need to cherish and protect their right to free speech.
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