As reported in the DailyMail on December 30, 2019:
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on Monday approved the firing of all the prison guard trainees who were seen making a Nazi salute in a class photograph that was made public earlier this month.
In addition to the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Academy cadets, three staff members are also slated for termination following the release of the official report concerning the incident that has been completed by West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy.
Four other academy instructors have been recommended for suspension without pay for failing to report the photo.
“As I said from the beginning, I condemn the photo of Basic Training Class 18 in the strongest possible terms,’ Justice, a Republican, said in a statement on Monday. ‘I also said that this act needed to result in real consequences – terminations and dismissals. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated on my watch in any agency of State government.
We have a lot of good people in our Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. But this incident was completely unacceptable. Now, we must continue to move forward and work diligently to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”
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The response to this transgression was a perfect example of zero tolerance.
Zero tolerance – a policy of total intolerance applied to certain crimes, misdemeanors, behaviors, words, or symbols, resulting in a disconnect between the gravity of the offense and the severity, certainty, and inflexibility of the punishment.
Such policies pre-existed political correctness, but they multiplied in the postmodern era, a time of enhanced awareness of the rights and sensitivities of oppressed but politically powerful minorities. Inherently authoritarian, they are either acceptable or unacceptable based on one’s socio-political orientation. Many are a subjugation of individual rights for a higher collective good. Some examples follow:
Law enforcement. Unpunished minor crimes like littering, drinking in public, jaywalking, unsolicited windshield washing, “jumping the turnstiles,” and public urination had become common in pre-Giuliani New York City. During his tenure as mayor (1994-2001), Rudolph Giuliani eliminated those crimes using a policy of zero-tolerance policing, under the theory that enforcing the law at the misdemeanor level would reduce crime at all levels, which it did. New York City became cleaner and safer, a lingering effect which persisted despite relaxation of his policies by subsequent administrations. His methods were criticized for their disparate impact on the homeless and blacks, but they were offset by his record of equal treatment of white-collar, white criminals.
Hate crime. Any crime against a protected minority is prima facie a hate crime and deserves zero tolerance, unless it is committed by the same protected minority, such as black on black, or gay on gay. This exemption includes those who themselves are victims of internalized oppression and hate their own minority, e.g., self-hating blacks, unless the self-hating minority is also a police officer. Hate crimes are prosecutable by Federal law (Civil Rights Act of 1964) and the protection of double jeopardy does not apply. A defendant can be found not guilty of a criminal act in a state court and still be prosecuted for the same act as a separate hate crime in federal court and sued by the victim(s) in civil court. Hatred of a minority is so loathsome that extraordinary judicial and punitive measures are obviously necessary.
Hate speech. Any speech that shows hate, dislike, or disapproval of a minority individual or group is unacceptable and subject to zero tolerance, as is the failure to denounce hate speech committed by another. An acceptable denunciation must be immediate, vigorous, and repeated. A delayed denunciation is unacceptable. There is no possibility of forgiveness or redemption for use of the despicable N-word—or for that matter any racial slur or its equivalent—even when used in the distant past. Appropriate punishment, upon accusation, is termination of employment or expulsion from school, followed by blacklisting, ostracization, and otherization.
Sexual harassment and assault. Any offensive and unwelcome sexual behavior of an individual or group toward another (harassment), or nonconsensual physical contact with a person of the opposite gender (assault or abuse), is addressed with policies of zero tolerance in any setting, but especially in the workplace, school, or military. Appropriate punishment is termination of employment, expulsion from school, discharge from military service, blacklisting, ostracization, otherization, and criminal prosecution (for assault).
Drug crimes. The ongoing “War on Drugs” primarily targets the use of illegal drugs over their possession, transportation, importation, and sale. Zero tolerance policies, both state and federal, have resulted in non-discretionary, mandatory prosecution and mandatory-minimum sentences under judicial sentencing guidelines. Those most affected are low-level users and first-offenders, with an unintended consequence of disparate impact on racial minorities and a marked increase in our prison population.
Firearms and knives. Since firearms are a major cause of serial killings, mass shootings, suicides, murders, and accidental deaths, a zero tolerance of gun ownership in the general population is appropriate except for police and the SWAT teams of government agencies. The ideal solution would be gun confiscation, but because of conflicts with the Second Amendment of the Constitution, this is not possible. Accordingly, there is a need to bring about an aversion to the prevailing “gun culture” through gradual indoctrination of children, beginning in pre-school and continued K-12. Any child who plays war games, the game of “cowboys and Indians” (which is also racist), brings a toy gun or real gun to school, draws an image of a gun, or points his forefinger like a gun at a teacher or classmate, must be physically subdued and disciplined, with the assistance of law enforcement when necessary. Because knives can take the place of guns when the latter are unavailable, the same zero tolerance policies are also applied to knives.
Climate change denial. Anthropogenic climate change due to atmospheric pollution by carbon dioxide emissions due to industrialization in developed nations is a fact proven by computer modeling and the consensus of 97% of climate scientists. Global warming will inevitably lead to melting glaciers and polar icecaps, rising sea levels, the submerging of islands and coastal cities, the desertification of arable land, and the extinction of polar bears and penguins. The survival of the planet requires zero tolerance for any denial or questioning of these established facts and projections. Any doubt or denial could delay the required countermeasures that must be taken in whatever time is left.
Swastikas and the Nazi salute. The swastika is a geometric symbol widely used by many cultures and religions throughout the world since antiquity. It was also used as the emblem of the National Socialists in Germany (Nazis) and has become a symbol of anti-Semitism, for which there is zero tolerance. For that reason, any intentional display (as in graffiti) or inadvertent (such as doodling) of the detestable swastika is prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism and treated as hate crime or hate speech to the fullest extent of the law. The Nazi salute, with the right arm extended forward at a 45 degree angle, even when in jest, is equally offensive and unacceptable.
Holocaust denial or questioning. The twentieth century had many genocides, including the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor in Ukraine, dekulakization in Soviet Russia, the killing fields of Cambodia, the firebombing and nuclear bombing of major cities in Japan and Germany, and the Holocaust (Shoah), all of which have been certified by accredited historians. Of these, the only one questioned, by clearly anti-Semitic revisionist historians, is the Nazi murder of 6,000,000 Jews, known as the Holocaust. Clearly, a zero tolerance policy against Holocaust denial, or questioning the proven number of victims, became necessary. In some Western European countries, Holocaust denial or questioning became a criminal offense, punishable by imprisonment. This approach is not possible in the United States because of the freedom of speech guarantees of the First Amendment, though other remedies are available via the usual hate-speech countermeasures.