Racism and sexism do not explain the national indifference to the sad plight of Brittney Griner, the WNBA player imprisoned in Russia.
Thursday, a Russian court sentenced Griner to nine years in prison for attempting to carry a small amount of hashish oil into the country. A crime that would provoke a slap on the wrist here in America could dramatically alter the course of the 31-year-old two-time Olympian’s life.
Griner has already spent more than 150 days jailed in a foreign country. She’s a hostage in a geopolitical dispute between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the regime backing American President Joe Biden. Griner is a pawn Putin has walked across the chess board and plans to turn into a queen capable of forcing the United States into releasing terrorist kings.
America should be writhing in empathy for Brittney Griner. Instead, we’re mostly indifferent. Why?
The answer is complicated. Race and sex play a role, but not in the way Griner’s loudest supporters argue. In an attempt to pressure the Biden administration, Griner’s WNBA coach, Vanessa Nygaard, played all of the identity cards.
“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right? Nygaard alleged. “It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those things. We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”
The truth is the identity politics movement is the reason Griner is caught in a cold war game that used to be reserved for men only. She’s a victim of the feminist movement that states there’s no difference between Brittney Griner and John McCain, the now-deceased Vietnam War prisoner turned politician.
The feminist movement redefined the rules of engagement. We no longer protect women and children first. We marked Griner and other women as fair game. Now we will pay an inflated price for her release.
The United States has offered a convicted arms dealer for Griner and a U.S. Marine, Paul Whelan. That’s a really bad deal for America. It’s only being offered because Griner is black, gay, and a woman and the regime backing Biden is a slave to identity politics.
Russia knows this. That’s why, according to reports, the Russians are insisting that America sweeten an already bad deal. Putin wants America to involve Germany in the trade. Germany holds a convicted murderer whom Putin wants thrown into the Griner trade.
This is embarrassing. It partially explains the indifference to Griner’s plight.
The rest of the explanation resides in our own corrupt justice system. It’s difficult to muster outrage at the unfairness and harshness of the Russian courts when our own system has fully embraced a harshness and one-sided political motivation.
We’re no better than Putin and Russia.
Our courts and media have defined Trump supporters as insurrectionists and terrorists. We jailed a 69-year-old grandmother with cancer for 60 days because she attended the Jan. 6 protest. She took videos while trespassing in the Capitol. She did nothing violent.
A policeman murdered Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6 and has been lauded as courageous. She was unarmed. She posed no threat.
On the same day Russia sentenced Griner, our Department of Justice announced the arrest of four Louisville police officers for violating the civil rights of Breonna Taylor. What happened to Taylor is a tragedy. But her boyfriend shot a police officer before the officers fired into her apartment and killed her.
You can argue that her boyfriend thought the police were intruders. OK, but let’s say it was his next-door neighbor banging on the door and the boyfriend mistakenly thought it was an intruder and shot the neighbor. The boyfriend would be charged with criminal negligence. Banging on a door does not justify shooting whoever is on the other side of the door.
The boyfriend has faced no charges. Meanwhile the police officers who responded to being shot at are facing prison time.
Our court systems are a mess. There’s no consistent logic or set of laws driving what we see from our courts. This includes our civil courts.
I don’t fully comprehend what’s happening with Alex Jones. A politically motivated judge appears to be crucifying Jones in civil court because he uncorked a loony opinion on the Sandy Hook school shooting. Thursday a jury awarded two Sandy Hook parents $4.1 million in damages for Jones’ contention that the school shooting was a hoax.
I don’t have a problem with Jones facing consequences for spreading a myth that caused people to harass the parents of Sandy Hook. My problem is with the judge seeming to assist in the prosecution of Jones. It creates the appearance that she doesn’t like Jones’ politics.
When everything is politics, we lose empathy for all political prisoners.
The indifference to Brittney Griner’s plight is matched by the indifference to Alex Jones’ plight.