“Watch What You Say . . . “

See No Evil

Happy Hump Day, Y’all!

So far, how has your week been? Me … I AM … I am feeling very grateful! It’s my birthday week … though it is officially on Sunday, the 13th of July! Many many folks have already started wishing me a Happy Birthday, but, if you haven’t, you can wait until Sunday! No worries!

Have you ever seriously thought about what you say … BEFORE you say it? Do you ever think that you can say whatever hurtful, harmful … even racist or sexist thing you want to say?! Who are you … again?! Trust me, over the years, I have learned to purify my thoughts … about people … places … and things! Even MYSELF! But most folks don’t get that! What you say about OTHERS is a reflection of your true self! In come the “big mouths” who yell and scream and talk about everybody … EXCEPT themselves! “Oh! We have freedom of speech in America!” “Oh! We have the ‘stand your ground’ laws to back us up!” Or … “I am a policeman, I say what I want!” … “I am a lawyer/public defender ….” YOU just got fired for a racist rant on Facebook!!!

Here in Broward County, the Public Defender, Howard Finkelstein, has just fired two “public defenders” who posted rants on Facebook about “Palestinians”. Now before you get your panties stuck all up in that place, keep in mind that I am not judging nor taking sides. Yet, I am saying what I think, too … not just reporting on a story surrounding ethics! It is interesting how some people just say anything about anyone anywhere and anytime! Did I miss anything?! These two “assistant public defenders” represent “the people”, and, that is ALL people! So, can they just start talking about folks as if they are “untouchables”? (No pun intended here) I had the pleasure of meeting Howard one day several years ago when I had more business in the Broward County Courthouse than I’d like to admit! I had a problem with “law enforcement” representatives who were just doing what they wanted … as if they were untouchable. They worked for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and, were doing whatever they wanted to do! After seeking legal help in various law offices, I went to Howard and he told me that the “monstrosity” I was dealing with is difficult to challenge! I had to “eat” some months of my life that they literally took away. The ramifications of that “theft” has been one of the greatest challenges in my life … comparable to graduating from Princeton University … if not MORE challenging!!!

These two “men” ranted on Facebook comparing Palestinians to “cockroaches” and “the swine that they don’t eat” as if there would be a great number of people “liking” their hostility, in particular, their public display of hostility … WHILE being assistant “public defenders”. Some of you may remember different pieces that I’ve written where I applaud my father (RIP) for teaching me to respect others, and, not … NOT to say any and everything that came to my mind!! Some people talk about LeBron James as if they “know” him or as if he is a “bad person”!!! Oh my!!! Wouldn’t some of us like to have HIS problems … like … where will I play professional basketball next season!!? Some folks can’t even play basketball, and, if they grew up in his circumstances … fatherless and in a home with a single mom … would NOT “make it”, according to society’s values, the way he did … and is still doing! Now, don’t get me wrong … I don’t worship ANY human being, but I do find the good things in people who have accomplished good things in their life to emulate and “talk about”! “Any old dog can bark!”

Howard Finkelstein is a most reputable person whose job is extremely difficult in the controversial Broward County Courthouse! Yet, he sought to educate all those under his department yesterday to inform them of their code of behaviour even if they are “assistant public defenders” and who work for the public defenders office! I think most of them got it … “Watch what you say …” You can complete that sentence any way you like!

Have a great Hump Day and a wonderful rest o’ the week, me lads and lassies!


John I. Cook

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