The Brittney Griner story has been one which tears at us from two sides. When we hear about an American being detained in a foreign country for offenses which are considered minor here in the U.S., we often become sympathetic, depending on the infraction, of course. And when we learn that the country holding that prisoner is an archrival or enemy such as China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia, our sympathies become that much stronger.
In the case of Brittney Griner, however, things aren’t that simple. Griner, who has been detained in a Russian prison since her arrest at a Moscow airport for possession of cannabis oil – which is a serious crime in Russia – has now pleaded guilty to the charge and is facing up to ten years in prison. That’s a horrible situation, no doubt. But when Griner was living here in the states she had nothing but disdain for her homeland.
Griner refused to even enter sports arenas until after our National Anthem was played. She parroted the left’s rhetoric about various social injustices. And like so many others on the left, she would holler about imaginary systemic racism to anyone who would listen. Apparently, it never dawned on Brittney Griner the irony in her trashing our country despite being a gay black woman who earns enough money to make her a multimillionaire for playing a child’s game and being celebrated for her sexuality and skin color.
Which brings us to Griner’s current situation.
The USA Today interviewed David Whelan, the brother of a former U.S. Marine named Paul Whelan who is currently being held in a Russian prison on charges of espionage. Here are some of the key points from Whelan describing the living conditions, including a hole in the ground for a toilet, of his brother’s existence behind Russian bars:
“David Whelan said prisons in Russia are run in one of two ways: by the guards or the gangsters. The better jails for prisoners are the ones controlled by guards. Torture, murder and abuse are commonplace in the system, David Whelan said.
Prisoners who haven’t been sentenced yet typically receive one hour of sunlight a day, David Whelan said. The other 23 hours are spent in the cell.
‘Prisoners have to maintain the cleanliness of their cell, and so it was at first quite filthy, since the previous occupant had not seemed concerned about cleanliness,’ David Whelan said. ‘You are allowed a weekly shower and a daily walk.’”
The whole predicament sounds terrifying, and unsurprisingly the calls from many on the left to bring Griner home are growing in frequency and in volume. Just about every leftwing media outlet is writing an Op Ed on a daily basis calling for Biden to do something. Clowns like Al Sharpton are playing the race card to encourage intervention by our government, and Griner’s basketball coach is blaming some fictitious double-standard. And the pressure is mounting on the Biden Administration to act.
Unfortunately for Brittney Griner, there’s not much Biden or anyone else in the U.S. can do. Russia is a sovereign country with its own criminal justice system, and Griner broke their laws. That’s it. They don’t make exceptions just because you’re famous, or because of your skin color or sexual preferences. That’s not how it works. Which again brings us to our dilemma: Should we feel sorry for Griner and support calls for Biden or others to do something to bring her home? Or should we forget about her plight and say, “Serves her right for disrespecting our country?”
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No matter our opinions, there are two aspects of this episode that are perfectly clear. First, the punishment Griner is receiving for her crimes is severe, and whatever lessons are intended to be delivered to her are being applied loud and clear. And second, the entire story is extremely sad. Griner had a good life here in America, and it’s taken such an extreme situation to show her how great her country is. Let’s hope the lesson is finally getting through to her.
By Jess Lawson
Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.
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