Ohio’s the First State Smart Enough To Connect Pro-Hamas Protesters With the KKK

BobNoah / shutterstock.com
BobNoah / shutterstock.com

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost penned a letter directly to Ohio college students about their pro-Hamas protesting on campuses across the state to warn them. Not about what a horrible decision they were making in supporting terrorism, but about how an Ohio law written to target members of the KKK could also be applied to their protests.

“Ohio Revised Code 3761.12 makes it a felony to commit a crime–even a misdemeanor, such as trespass–with two or more other people while wearing masks. The statute in full reads: “No person shall unite with two or more others to commit a misdemeanor while wearing white caps, masks, or other disguise.”

The letter continued, “A violation of this “anti-disguise” law is a fourth-degree felony punishable by between six and 18 months of imprisonment. Those guilty may also pay up to $5,000 in fines and spend up to five years on community control. (See Ohio Revised Code 3761.99.) This punishment is significantly greater than misdemeanors that typically follow minor infractions that accompany student protests. I do not wish to see anyone’s First Amendment rights abridged, nor see anyone surprised that they violated the law.”

A warning like this isn’t intended to get the students to test the law and see how it plays out in court. Rather, he’s warning them so they don’t hate their future when they find out a felony like this prevents them from getting their dream career. Going so far as to remind them that the First Amendment protects them from the government and not their fellow students, it’s clear he wants them to make intelligent choices.

Yost’s letter had a section suggesting protesters stop being cowards and hiding but rather own their stance with unmasked faces, and he’s right. If they want to be the face of change and do what they think is right, then they need to stop being scared and embrace whatever happens. Sadly, they lack the intestinal fortitude to do it. Hopefully, his letter at least gets them to end the semester without a record.

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