Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If You Ain't Like Me, Go Hang From A Tree

If You Ain't Like Me, Go Hang From A Tree

Hang on here because what I'm about to say is going to leave you off your feet and I'm sure I'll make you dangle. But there has been a sudden rush in the amount of hangings going on.

Recently a West Hollywood resident put up a hanging Sarah Palin. This caused many to scream that it was a hate crime, which later turned to an outrage having crowds of protesters trying to block the effigy from being viewed by putting up blankets in front of it. The residents defense of course is that he has the right of free speech.

Even the definition of Effigy is a ridicules representation of someone used to point out
1.a representation or image, esp. sculptured, as on a monument.
2.a crude representation of someone disliked, used for purposes of ridicule.
Looks pretty clear cut from that. It goes back before our nation was ever founded and it's not with the intent of a hate crime or a threat. It's expressing your dislikes of someone's beliefs. So taking it away would be taking away freedom of speech and expression.

Hell, even the secret service was saying that the silly doll in a Neiman Marcus coat dress was not treating this as anything other than boys being boys according to Special Agent Wayne Williams. So this isn't an issue with the feds, but the local law is not singing the same tune. They want the effigy taken down and it looks like the resident will do what the city wants for the greater good. It's their first amendment right too express themselves. But much the same, you have the right to go outside and yell at people. It wont make you any friends to do that.

I bet it's going to come as no surprise that the McCain supporters responded in kind by doing their own hanging effigy for Obama. . . . Yeah. This is going to come as a surprise to some people, but a hanging black man is not something that people want to see. Something about race tension because of previous years of segregation and actual hate crimes.

This is going to shock you, but I think the Obama version, while touching the subject of race, is just as legal. So please, don't call the race card on this. It's your first amendment at work and unlike other rights we gave up after 9/11, I really don't want to lose anymore rights. The terrorist already called check, don't let them call check mate. The important thing to know here is that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

Again, just because you have the freedom
to say it, doesn't mean you should...

I lived in the South for a good year. I drove past "KKK BBQ THIS SATURDAY!" signs. As a minority, this made me sweat a little, but in all truths, this is not that. This isn't the racism that occurred for the greater part of American history. This is touching on hanging effigies of that from France when they beheaded and demanded change.

A burning or hanging effigy simply signifies that they disagree with the policies of the effigy. It's a form of protest. It's not the same as when racist got African Americans and hung them. To claim that they're the same is... well, it's demeaning to the suffering that all those who were victims of real hate crimes. It's a different meaning altogether.

I'm convinced it's the red pickup truck that
totally makes it... though yes, they'd be hosting
a clan BBBQ sometime soon...

If anything will come from this, it'll be that Chad Michael Morrisette, a professional window display designer, was seeking attention and got it by hanging a doll up with a Palin style dress. People will praise him, some will hate him. He gets his 15 minutes of fame and he gets put on an FBI watch list.

This one takes it a bit far...

So now the real question is should we have the right to this sort of freedom of speech? I say yes. It's really not up for question. Our nation was founded on the ability to say whatever you want. No matter if it ranged from logical and constructive to a better society to just about insane gibberish. The difference, and the line once crossed is when your freedom of speech crosses over to the point where it becomes a threat. Ol' Redondo Beach crazy up there with all the blood and what not.. that may be taking the effigy a bit far. So far that even McCain supporters were begging her to take it down. Who wouldn't? A knife sticking out of his neck? Yeah.. if the hanging him wasn't enough...

Don't take away our rights. We've had too many of them stripped from us in an effort to protect us from terror. We're only creating a situation where we're more terrified by how little we can actually do in this free country. It's your given right as an American to express yourself, including your distaste for someone's political views. But just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean you should.

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