I previously blogged about Street Vibrations and the club-on-club shooting in Sparks, NV last month at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino which left dead the HAMC San Jose Chapter President (Jeffrey Pettigrew).
It happened at a Pumpkin Festival in “the family city.” Yes a Pumpkin Festival. Two members of the Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry were asked to leave the street fair by the Manteca Police because they were wearing their motorcycle vest with ministry patches on the back. They were told it was due to the shooting in Sparks, NV.
Keep in mind that the Christian Motorcycle Ministry is a non-profit ministry. Not a street gang, or are they really even a motorcycle club. Their purpose is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the biker world, a section of society, that many have chosen not to associate with. The ministry has been operating for 21 years without problems.
Isn’t profiling against the law? The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Cohen vs. California, 403 U.S.15 (1971) that individuals have the constitutional right under the First Amendment to wear clothing which displays writings or designs. In addition, the right of an individual to have freedom of association has long been recognized and protected by the Courts.
What’s next? I suppose, motorcyclists will be asked to leave events because they are wearing a H.O.G. emblem on a vest or people wearing a Harley-Davidson t-shirt or one from their favorite Sons of Anarchy television show. I find this whole situation discouraging.
Photo taken by author in Hood River.