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I got an email from Southwest Airlines today with all sorts of info about how Southwest is honoring and supporting the troops, for the Fourth of July.
Fair enough. But what I am constantly amazed at is how these “patriotic” holidays are observed ONLY by honoring the military. What about other people who have more directly defended our liberties, such as civil rights lawyers and the parties in civil rights cases, and, yes, even the parties and lawyers in criminal procedure cases?
These people often fight without fanfare, alone, and even as outcasts. Ultimately, though, they fight for all Americans’ freedom from oppression.
Many Americans don’t seem to know that the Constitution protects our rights from infringement by OUR GOVERNMENT. The right of free speech, religious freedoms, freedom from unreasonable search, etc., are rights the Constitution keeps our government from infringing.
The Constitution wasn’t written to limit other governments, or private parties.
Sure, the military protects our borders, but we have not been under the danger of enslavement by a foreign power for years (yes, due in part to our powerful military). But whether we have freedom inside our borders is not entirely up to the military.
So how about, this Fourth of July, we all celebrate those who STAND UP TO OUR OWN GOVERNMENT and protect ALL OF US from a too-powerful government?
That’s freedom. And of course, that’s what the Fourth of July was really all about.
Hey Southwest ? and other self-proclaimed patriotic corporations ? how about truly celebrating the Fourth of July by honoring civil rights litigants and civil rights attorneys, many of whom work for peanuts (and you know a lot about peanuts)?
(We can add journalists ? real ones, not empty suits ? protesters, artists who push boundaries, etc.)
And, Southwest, if you really care about freedom, why not fight against the massive intrusion and dignity-robbery that the TSA carries out daily against your customers at U.S. airports?
Brian J. Foley is a law professor. He is the author of the forthcoming humor book, “A New Financial You in 28 Days: A 37-Day Plan” (Gegensatz Press) Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit his blog at http://brianjfoley.net/