Scorn Valor: The deplorable absolutes from Bobby Seale’s mistrial and appeal

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Scorn Valor: The deplorable absolutes from Bobby Seale’s mistrial and appeal

The American judicial system witnessed the dissolving of segregation during the Vietnam War draft. African Americans, who served in wars leading up to Vietnam, did not receive equal honor for their time spent defending their nation. The African American community spoke up through its leaders.

One man, Bobby Seale, stood up to a judge who sought to destroy him in the name of prejudice. Judges like the one Seale faced oftentimes scorned the valor of its African American servicemembers in court and in the press.

Judges were responsible for over sentencing many who spoke out against the war. The man who received the worst punishment was Bobby Seale, who served in the Air Force in the ‘50s, speaking out through his Black Panther platform.

The Vietnam War draft sparked a heavy-handed blow to free speech by the federal government through the Anti-Riot Act of 1968, which cracked down on the African American press starting with the Black Panther by gagging Seale.

The federal government did all it could to ignore due process by indirectly administering a gag order that not only silenced Seale, but symbolically administered prior restraint, averting Seale’s Sixth Amendment right by assigning counsel without due process (Seale, 26-27).

Abuse of process happened the moment co-founder Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense received Honorable Julius Hoffman’s three-day torture standing up for his rights.

As an American prior service member, Seale used his platform to publicly speak on behalf of his fellows serving in Vietnam through his press speaking historical truth. Seale, as a social justice advocate, stood up to the federal government through jaded patriotism.

Seale was not a militant. He was a jaded patriot. Jaded patriotism resulted from scorned valor, which hardened the heart and soul of those receiving less than honorable discharges like Seale.

The scorned advocate of the ‘60s laid down their life to fight the system of oppression with rigor and might, instead of accepting defeat, who protected the people.

Abuse of Process

The First Amendment should never tolerate gagging any person who served in the military under any circumstances despite their discharge when appearing before a judge.

Those who serve deserve fairness in court and equal mobility. Scorn valor happens, which leads to oppression, and results in resistance. The riots of the ‘60s were the artistry of scorn valor.

The African American press spoke truth by spotlighting corruption instead of accepting abuse of process. Scorn valor fueled the jaded patriotism platform. Jaded patriotism turned pride into anger and the American people were left to deal with the aftermath.

Abuse of process happened when Seale was denied his liberty by the deplorable absolutes of contempt and prior restraint in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic Convention.

Judge Julius J. Hoffman’s balking from the bench with the “Chicago 8” was one that not only ended up in mistrial, but wasted time and money with appeal, which ended up costing the American people valuable resources pertaining the safeguard of the First Amendment (Alonso, 49-88).

Hoffman refused to honor the request to postpone his high-profile trial so that a political party attorney could be excused for gall bladder surgery and wait until a later date (Seale, 44-45). Hoffman committed the deplorable act of scorn valor with his mistrial in the case of United States v. Bobby Seale (1968).

Throughout history, judges like Hoffman would instruct Americans about their due process rights in one breath and then apply a loosely governed gag order for contempt flexing their muscle with the other.

Gag orders and contempt of the ‘60s did not require accountability that almost cost America the restriction of free speech. Physical restraint gag orders allowed judges free reign with Anti-Riot Act of 1968, enabling abuse of process without punishment.

The casualties of the war on free speech oftentimes intersect with the First and Sixth Amendment through contempt and gag orders. During the Vietnam War, America challenged the validity of dodging and speaking out against the draft with cases like Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).

Social justice became the platform of advocacy through civil rights demonstrations, by seeking justice as the protestor and peacekeeper, which challenged its government through jaded patriotism.

Jaded patriotism as an advocacy faced discrimination and degradation commonly found in the independent press, which reported about the African American post-military servicemember in court.

The press was the only means to spot infractions by judges. The independent press became the advocate for free speech and due process. Judges from the ‘60s viewed the African American servicemember demographic as second rate. Gag orders and contempt charges became a method to wield authority over the community and silence the African American press, which corrupted American history.

Judges like Hoffman simply viewed African Americans and the press as a threat, which enabled contempt prior to investigation through abuse of process.

Court authorities exercised their heavy hand during trials and blocked the press from reporting through prior restraint. The corrupting of the Constitution through abuse of process and prior restraint wasted America’s resources with unnecessary procedures, such as appeals.

The American justice system needs to invest in governing judges who prolong unnecessary trials like Seale’s. Ethically, Seale had every right to stand up to his oppressor, especially when the defendant spoke on behalf of an entire political organization during a time when the African American was forced to be seen and not heard.

Being African American in Times of War

The federal government during the ‘60s favored restraint and obedience. The federal government despised African Americans who spoke out against the war by categorizing them as “militants,” which allowed deadly force during riots. Celebrities like Muhammed Ali refused to fight in a war for a nation who treated his descendants as disposable casualties of war. Seale supported Muhammad Ali’s stance, who co-founded a party for self-defense.

The only casualty was the African American servicemember fighting a war for those who prejudiced them in wars past. Conscientious objection drove the heart of the Vietnam War Jaded Patriot during a time when segregation lifted, and the federal government enforced the draft. Tension rose to new heights and Americans were looking for change with equal rights.

Many evaded to Canada or sought asylum to other countries to avoid the draft. Scorn valor became their means to recover as refugees, who avoided society, instead of hanging onto hope of ever finding the means to end the draft. Their protector, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, defended them in the press by reporting about equity and fairness for African Americans on the home front.

The ongoing struggle with oppression in the African American community dealt with being treated second rate due to segregation from previous wars. Seale sought to set the record straight by standing up as the resistance, to a war that cost America its children, who were forced beyond their will to engage in the Vietnam conflict because of the draft.

The Black Panther Protection from the Draft

During the Vietnam War, veterans returned home from deployment receiving ridicule and shame from Americans. The Black Panther Party Ten-Point Plan sought to stop African Americans from serving in the draft, which played a major role with Hoffman’s perception and abuse of process.

Seale would not tolerate drafting African Americans in a war that mistreated his people, who spoke publicly to address his oppressive government. Seale used the Black Panther to warn the people of his discoveries as a party leader.

Seale did not waiver. Many would witness Americans waiting to spit on them and disrespect them while wearing the uniform. Scorn valor became their reward for their sacrifice. Degradation was their thanks viewed on the television set.

The argument, presented by the Jaded Patriot Press, reports from the scene of transparency, while profiling the misuse of American justice in the ‘60s with Bobby Seale. Through the jurisprudent inspection of Bobby Seale’s appeal and mistrial, the truth of jaded patriotism surfaces through the slamming of Hoffman’s gavel, who abused his prior restraint and contempt powers, which proliferated his unethical agenda.

Revisiting Julius Hoffman’s infractions to the Black Panther and the African American press avails scorned valor. Jaded patriotism presents the argument that the federal court committed several undermining acts, which sought to disrupt the Black Panther community in support of Seale, thus cheapening free speech through the independent press and unlawful actions to control the leader of the Black Panthers.

Hoffman used his authority to abuse the Constitution, through charges against the Anti-Riot Act of 1968, which enabled corruption and witnessed the unbecoming of judges.

The Jaded Patriot Profile

The jaded patriot profile of Bobby Seale clashed with the concepts of segregation, who stood before Judge Julius Hoffman with truth, and Hoffman did not respond with due process. Seale was armed with extensive knowledge of legal self-defense and demanded his judge stand down from contempt (Seale, 121-128).

Hoffman’s exchange with Seale would not give an African American their due process rights without prejudice. Seale’s contempt sentences created prior restraint of the African American press, and the Black Panther survived while its co-founder sat in confinement after mistrial (United States v. Bobby Seale, 1968).

Hoffman did not follow his sworn allegiance to act morally, as the moral agency of the court, and perpetuate Americanism in the presence of those who served, being the fulcrum of justice without prejudice. Hoffman was an immoral judge.

Hoffman’s first responsibility was to act in accordance with transparency and justice for all Americans in court. Hoffman was hired to be a man of virtue, not deceit. Integrity did not take the bench the day Bobby Seale asked to have his representation be his party’s attorney.

Seale scoffed at his judge’s “conspiracy 8” media hyperbole, while sitting in his chair pondering how Huey P. Newton would move the party forward while Seale sat in jail (Seale, 121). The trial disrupted the communication of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

Bobby Seale went all in for the sake of preserving free speech.

The jaded patriot did time for no committed crime because his judge sought to throw the book at him. Judge Hoffman did not act with maxim, which would honor “A general rule or pattern or behavior that one act in accordance with” (Burner, Raley, 343).

Had he done so, the Doctrine of Double Effect would have proven him solvent based on the good effect being the postponing of the trial. Philosophy Professors Dr. Richard Burner and Dr. Yvonne Riley, authors of “Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases,” define Dr. John Rawls’ Doctrine of Double Effect as: “When an act will lead to both a good and a bad effect, it is permissible to perform that action only if all four of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Moral Principal Condition: The act cannot itself be of a kind that violates a principle, for that would make the act wrong.
  • Means-end Condition: The bad act cannot itself be the means for achieving the good effect.
  • Right Intention Condition: One must intend only the good effect, not the bad effect.
  • The Proportionality Condition: The good effect must be at least as great as the bad effect (Burner, Riley, 183-184).

“We must clearly distinguish between the act itself—what someone does—the intention, and the two effects. Condition one applies only to the act; condition three to the intention, and conditions two and four to the effects of the act” (Burner, Riley, 184).

When Hoffman issued contempt and paraded his courtroom through a trial that should have been postponed, Hoffman’s choice became the deliberate bad end. Hoffman’s reverence to both the First and Sixth Amendments were the good end.

Instead, Hoffman violated rule number three which states, “One must intend the good effect, not the bad effect” (Burner, Riley, 183). Hoffman flexed his authority with malice to make Bobby Seale submit stating, “Shut up sir” (Seale, 111).

The heated exchange began when Seale requested his lawyer, Attorney Charles Garry, stating clearly, “There’s just one lawyer that I want; no sub will do” (Seale, 111).

Had Hoffman respected decorum, he would have held himself accountable by considering principal number three of the Doctrine of Double Effect, representing the best interest of Constitutional fairness as a priority.

Hoffman went off the grid taking matters into his own hands, whose choice produced a bad effect by applying restraints to Seale. Meanwhile, the trial continues, and the bad effect decision maliciously administers contempt charges, which punished a man standing up to an authority of justice who was supposed to be fair and impartial.

Hoffman willfully committed the penalty of allowing the jury to weigh the evidence when the trial should have respected Seale’s wishes to allow his representative to appear. In retrospect, the infractions committed by Hoffman gagged both Bobby Seale and the African American press.

The jaded patriotism resistance became an underground medium communicating through the free press, which allowed for the African American press the ability to send papers to the troops who served. The press showcased protestors stepping back from freedom, instead of blindly following an unjust war, which was protected by the First Amendment, and the troops were made aware. Freedom fighters like Seale and Ali led the jaded patriot charge.

Muhammad Ali’s Supreme Court overturning of convictions provided the African American community with hope of being free from discrimination through the course of his draft appeal. Appeals awarded the jaded patriot with fervor to continue to speak truth in the African American press.

History displays the heart of the jaded patriot who does not step aside. They are a social justice advocate who deserve fairness in court.

Interested in reading more? Email centaurfivedelta@yahoo.com for the rest of the story.

Works Cited

Alonso, Karen. Headline Court Cases: The Chicago Seven Political Protest Trial, A Headline Court Case. Berkeley Heights, NJ, Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2002, pp. 16-89.

Boyce, Joseph. “Lawyer to Appeal Seale Contempt Case.” Chicago Tribune, 6 Nov. 1969 https://libproxy.uww.edu:9443/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/historical-newspapers/lawyer-appeal-seale-contempt-case/docview/169789744/se-2?accountid=14791 Accessed 11 Dec. 2021.

Burner, Richard, and Raley Yvonne. Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases. Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 183-184, 343.

Enstad, Robert. “Hold Seale in Contempt: He Gets 4 yrs., Mistrial Against 7 Will Continue.” Chicago Tribune, 6 Nov. 1969.

Gauthier, Ashley. “Good Judges, Denying Gags.”  The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2001, pp. 6-8. Untitled-2 (rcfp.org) Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Hoffman, Paul L. “The Gag Order in the O.J. Simpson Civil Action: Lessons to Be Learned.” Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review, vol. 17, 1 Jan. 1997, pp. 333-52. Google. The Gag Order in the O.J. Simpson Civil Action: Lessons to Be Learned (lmu.edu) Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Maraniss, David. They Marched Into Sunlight. New York, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks Inc., 2003, pp. 77-91.

Seale, Bobby. The “Trial” of Bobby Seale with Special Contributions by Julian Bond, Norman Dorsen and Charles Rembar. New York, Priam Books and Arbor House Publishing Co., 1970, pp. 7 -128.

Smith Camp, Laurie. “Applying Due Process to Gag Rules and Orders.” Nebraska Law Review, vol. 55, no. 3, 1976, pp. 427-39. Google. Applying Due Process to Gag Rules and Orders (unl.edu), Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Talbot, David. “Judge’s Hands Full Keeping Order in the Court.” Boston Herald, 7 Feb. 1996, p. 6. ILLiad – Transaction 2888971 (atlas-sys.com) Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

United States v. Bobby Seale (1968).

United States v. Bobby G. Seale, 461 F.2d 345 (7th Cir. 1972).

Zelezny, John D. “Communications Law: Liberties, Restraints, and the Media.” Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2011, 6th Edition, p. 163.