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Thread: Does Forced Patriotism Diminish the Act?

  1. #1
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    Default Forced Patriotism

    http://gothamist.com/2008/08/27/did_police_eject_a_man_from_yankee.php


    Did Police Eject a Man from Yankee Stadium for Trying to Use the Bathroom During "God Bless America"?

    August 27, 2008

    From the inbox: A baseball fan says a uniformed police officer (perhaps off-duty but working security for overtime) forcibly ejected him from the stadium last night during the Yankees-Red Sox game. Why? He says all he did was try to go to the bathroom while "God Bless America" was played during the 7th inning stretch. His letter reads:
    "I attempted to get up to use the restroom, rather urgently, during the 7th inning stretch as God Bless America was beginning. As I attempted to walk down the aisle and exit my section into the tunnel, I was stopped by a police officer. He informed me that I had to wait until the song was over. I responded that I had to use the restroom and that I did not care about God Bless America.
    "As soon as the latter came out of my mouth, my right arm was twisted violently behind my back and I was informed that I was being escorted out of the stadium. A second officer then joined in and twisted my left arm, also in an excessively forceful manner, behind my back. I informed them they were violating my First Amendment rights and that I had done nothing wrong, with no response from them.
    "I was sitting in the Tier Level, and of course this is the highest level of the stadium and I was escorted in this painful manner down the entire length of the stadium. About halfway down, I informed them that they were hurting me, repeated that I had done nothing wrong, and that I was not resisting nor talking back to them. One of them said something to the effect that if I continued to speak, he would find a way to hurt me more.
    "When we reached the exit of the stadium, they confiscated my ticket and the first officer shoved me through the turnstiles, saying 'Get the hell out of my country if you don't like it.' "Nowhere on the Yankee Stadium ticket policy nor on any posted sign does it say that forced patriotism is a required element to attend a baseball game. Nowhere in the laws of this country would that begin to be defensible.
    "Furthermore, when the two officers returned to their section, Steve who was still in the stadium overhead one of the officers say 'We got to watch ourselves. One day we're really gonna get in trouble.' They were also spreading rumors with a fan with whom they were friendly that I had said 'This country sucks.'
    "I do not believe in God, nor am in support of this country to a degree of patriotic fanaticism. The fact that I wanted to use the restroom instead of standing through God Bless America should not be grounds for a forcible ejection from a baseball game."
    The man tells us he's left a message with no response from the Operations Office at Yankee Stadium. He's also contacted Norman Siegel, the ACLU, and filed a complaint with the NYPD Civilian Complaint Review Board. We're still working on getting a response/denial from Yankee stadium, but a regular attendee of Yankee games tells us, "This tip doesn't surprise me at all. Everyone has to stand, just like in school, and you'll get berated and harassed if you don't."
    Last edited by GordonGecko; August 27th, 2008 at 05:00 PM.

  2. #2

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    It's really not the time to be going to the restroom.

    It's last call for beers.

  3. #3
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    When will they revert to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"?

    Or do they play both?

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    That story is a little too neat ...

    Having the cops return to the very spot next to the ejectee's friend and basically admit they had committed a crime in a manner loud enough for the friend to hear it stretches credulity.

    Better ending would have been that the friend went to get a beer and somewhere in that area overheard the cops.

    Or as they were all standing at the piss trough.

  5. #5

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    I for one refuse to participate in any sort of mandatory jingoism.
    In the stadium context it makes one think of Triumph des Willens - and anything that brings that to mind is probably not good. You start doing things like this and the next thing you know you are invading countries that don't need invading. Whoops, we are beyond that point now.

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Loft, i agree that it smells too clean.

    It is possible that he was ejected, but I would wager that if he was, most likely that he was being unruly and disruptive whiel doing so.

    It did not say WHY he needed to take a piss so badly, but I would wager that he was drinking. When confronted, he may not have been the most cordial of conversants, and the cop may have taken him out because of his manner.


    Am I saying that this is impossible? No. Definitely not. But in general, cops are not all thugs.

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    What, NYPD has thugs? I can't imagine...

    http://www.foxnews.com/video/?player...Object=2736837
    (cop bodyslams cyclist to the ground and falsifies arrest report)

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Double post GG, we have already discussed this (the bike thnig) on another thread. The occurances of cop brutality in public are rare, as they are easily sited and refuted by multiple witnesses.

    Also, the idea that all cops are bad is kind of unfair to many of them that work hard for the job. So immediately believing that a cop, not in uniform, decides to throw out a guy from a stadium because he does not stand for "GBA" even though that is not even a national anthem, sounds a bit too cut-and-dry.


    Did I say impossible? No. But not probable that in NYC a guy was manhandled for not saluting.

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    Well we'll find out more about it in the days to come, I heard the story again this morning on the radio (WCBS) and the daily news has it now. Cops aren't all bad, and actually I donate to the PBA and support the NYPD. But the force does have a lot of goons that know they have a license to rough you up when no one's looking. In this case, there's going to be witnesses.

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The irony being, I would like those cops to be fined and fired.

    What happens 9 out of 10 times, even if they are convicted?

    They stay, the city gets sued, and we (the taxpayer) end up holding the short end of TWO sticks.
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; August 29th, 2008 at 09:20 AM.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Until I see the vid I'm chalking this one up to an Urban Legend.

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    I firmly believe that if you hate the USA you should not live here, but I also don't think one should be forced to participate in a show of patriotism, just like religion, one should be able to express their patriotism in their own way and if one is accidentally insensitive during a patriotic event, esp if a body function such as the need to use the restroom is the cause, then no problem, but if the guy were burning the flag or something he should be thrown out.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    And if he were peeing on the flag

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    If he were burning ANYTHING he would be thrown out....

    So I see where you are going with that AA, but try not to come up with such weird, ill-suited analogies and speculative situations to compare this to. It does not lend much weight to your position!

  15. #15

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    THE DEATH OF PATRIOTISM



    By LUKE O'NEIL

    American patriotism, long prized for its ability to inspire feelings of fellowship among adherents, was laid to rest on Tuesday night when a baseball fan was escorted from Yankee Stadium after leaving his seat during "God Bless America." Signs of illness had plagued the once robust notion for some time. Patriotism is survived by its heirs, nationalism and jingoism.

    Patriotism once seemed easy to define, but malleable enough to encompass interpretation, allowing broad swaths of personal expression. In America, rigidly defined rules by which we express our love of country always seemed anathema to patriotism itself (e.g., saluting the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.) Until September 11th, 2001, when (we're told) everything changed.

    Like so many of our long-held truths, the attacks of that day muddied the political waters determining how we understood patriotism. It became quantifiable. American flag sales soared, yellow ribbon stickers on cars multiplied and "Support the Troops" became a ubiquitous motto. Patriotism began its gradual slouch toward "patriotism," and was reinvented as commodified performance art. Tiny flag lapel pins became a legitimate measuring stick for the merits of a presidential candidate.

    Perhaps this convolution of patriotism into an arms race of political theater manifested itself most at sporting events. Leagues have started games by playing the national anthem since major league baseball adopted the practice during World War II. After 9.11, many added "God Bless America" to the repertoire. It was a supersized value pack of American pride. More to the point, it gave us another opportunity to proclaim our pride in front of thousands. And yes, they were watching.

    It makes sense that in our sporting temples, where people are buzzed on competition, patriotism has been celebrated above all else. But unlike sports, politics and national interest have no defined boundaries. Their reality is arbitrary, messy and cruel.

    I experienced this firsthand at Gillette Stadium two years ago. Neglecting to stand for some display of nationalistic pride, I found myself demonized by a group of overly concerned citizens. Perhaps they took the name of the home team too literally.

    An unassuming, middle-aged woman transformed into a guardian of groupthink, and barked out marching orders: "Stand up. Why won't you stand up?" You'd have thought I'd denounced capitalism in French, then wrapped a bald eagle in an American flag and set it on fire.

    If being a sports fan means chronically renewing a loyalty oath, I'll pass.

    It could have been worse. I could have ended up like Bradford Campeau-Laurion, the 29-year-old Queens resident forcibly ejected from Yankee Stadium last week for committing the grave sin of walking to the bathroom while "God Bless America" played during the seventh-inning stretch. Post-9.11, the stadium created a rule restricting fans' movement during the song. Really. A true patriot, you see, knows his place. He understands that any American who "loves freedom" must sing and salute when commanded to do so.

    Shocking, right? While it's a practice glaringly antithetical to the freedoms we hold so dear, it seems incidents like this become increasingly common every day. It's hard to remember that freedom business we were all so proud of in the first place.

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