Friday, October 31, 2008

Dueling Effigies Warrant Double Standards

The passion that is felt for this election is unprecedented. We have the first black nominee for president ever, and the other ticket has the first woman VP pick for that party, second overall. This comes after the after a primary that almost produced the first female nominee for president ever. In addition, there is the dynamic of having a candidate that can win with a party that can't and the other party that can't lose with a candidate that can. To say this is a historical election is an understatement of gigantic proportions. Either way, a glass ceiling will be broken.

When emotions run this high, people do stupid things and lines are crossed. This past halloween season has brought up two good examples of this. In West Hollywood, California, a mannequin, with a Gov. Palin likeness, is found hanging from a rope attached to a chimney that has John McCain burning in it. In retaliation of the Palin effigy, two University of Kentucky students set up a halloween display featuring a dummy with an Obama mask hanging from a tree by a rope in Lexington. Both displays are reprehensible, yet only the Kentucky pinheads have been arrested or charged with anything. The UK student and resident were arrested for disorderly conduct in reaction to the display earlier today. These two need to have repercussions for their stupidity. However, where is the same outrage and consequences for the pinheads in Hollywood?

If Palin would've been black, the Hollywood men who put up the Palin display would have been charged with a hate crime. Instead, the authorities can't do anything to them. It is considered part of their right to free speech.

What about her race makes the act any different? Nothing should make it any different. It doesn't matter about which race or gender one is. Hate is hate. I understand that there is more of a sensitive history with lynching and black males, but the hatred for Gov. Palin is just as real and strong.

Why is it criminal to have a display of Obama hanging and not Palin? If there is a hate crime law enacted, why does it only apply to certain segments of society? If hate crime legislation is passed, it needs to cover everyone or none at all. "Separate but equal" laws are what got us into the problem of segregation in the first place.

Martin Luther King, Jr. would be equally as appalled by both effigies. He taught us to judge each other not by the color of our skin, but that is exactly what the law is doing. They are treating one act worse than the other just because one is black and the other is white. We will never be post-racial until we make the law equal to all of Americans.

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