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Morality Police

During the last few weeks we’ve been hearing much about Iran’s Guidance Patrol, generally referred to as the Morality Police. The justifiable uproar is over the in-custody death of Mahsa Amini, a 22 year old Kurdish woman who was arrested by the Morality Police while riding in her brother’s car to visit family. Her offense was that she wasn’t wearing her hijab or wearing it too loosely.

Amini was arrested and, according to multiple witnesses, beaten in the head while in the back of a Morality Police van. The police, of course, deny that cause of death and say that she died in the hospital following a heart attack.

Iran’s Morality Police focus almost entirely on violations by women, although men and children are occasionally confronted. Infractions include not wearing the hijab, wearing it incorrectly, having too much hair showing from under the hijab, and cutting one’s hair too short or in a “western” style. Other interests of this goon squad include trans people, unmarried heterosexual couples holding hands in public (or even just walking together), wearing brightly colored clothes, torn jeans and high-water trousers.

Repercussions for violations can, and have, included beatings, fines, lashes in incarceration (called reform or re-education).

This is all so outrageous by western standards, right? At least, that’s what we want to believe.

Yet we’re just a stroke of a pen away from having morality police in the US. Actually, maybe we already have the beginnings of our own goon squads.

Just think about it. Gov. Greg Abbott (TX) is sending investigators to the homes of transgender youth to interrogate parents and decide whether to charge them with crimes for supporting their own children. In Florida and other red states the morality goons are banning books and threatening to criminally charge librarians for not removing books from public and school libraries.

On top of all of this, some governors and legislators are intent on monitoring your healthcare choices, social media and the location of your cell phone to make sure women aren’t exercising reproductive rights. Healthcare providers even face threat of indictment for supporting women’s rights.

American Morality Police? Yeah, we’re just one pen stroke away from having our own goose stepping goon squads here in the land of the free.

Just a random Wednesday thought . . .

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