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Poll #1287020 Goose & gander

Hanging an effigy of Barack Obama

Free speech
Hate crime

Hanging an effigy of Sarah Palin

Free speech
Hate crime
  • Current Mood: curious curious
I'd have figured that the act of hanging a black man has greater connotations of racial hatred than the act of hanging a white woman has connotations of gender hatred.

Neither demonstration is particularly tasteful, IMO.
Neither demonstration is particularly tasteful, IMO.

And yet, which one has actually been seen?
I imagine the fact that there have been actual hangings of black men in living memory, and not just depictions of them, makes showing the Obama-lynching demo a triggery proposition.

Although it doesn't excuse the networks if they've been blaring the Palin image on the screen every five minutes (as I imagine they have). Then again, this is the modern news: maximum dwama for minimum airtime.
Well, my point is that there hasn't been an Obama effigy, there has bene a Palin effigy, and people are really fairly blase about it. And folks keep wondering, 'what would these same people be saying if it was Obama instead?'

Personally I find the whole idea of 'hate crimes' ludicrous.
I thought there was an Obama effigy stuck up a few days ago - could have sworn I spotted an article about it, but buggered if I remember where. I presumed that was why you brought up the free speech vs. hate crime issue: because there'd been one demo-lynching for each side.

Okay, so what would you call such an act, if not a hate crime?
Okay, so what would you call such an act, if not a hate crime?


Especially since the freaks in the Palin case are calling the effigy "art".
There was one in a front lawn in Iowa, and the owner's reason for hanging it was that he refused to vote for a black man. The figure also had a swastika painted on its head.

I think you have to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe it's an expression of free speech until they say otherwise. The man attached to the Obama effigy was making a direct comment on his race and heritage, not his political views. That's a hate crime. The same thing would be true (in my opinion anyway!) if those responsible for the Palin effigy said the impetus for creating it was because c*nts/b*tches shouldn't be in office. If it was an attack on her being a woman and not her positions as a politician, then I think it's crossed the line into hate crime territory.
I don't know that I would agree that's a hate crime, though. What IS the crime? Making people uncomfortable? Being racist? I don't believe any of that is in the penal code.
That's a good point. I'm not sure how you would go about "punishing" acts like this or even if you should. While it's someone's right to have free speech, in a residential area, this really might not be an appropriate display of that. If a KKK rally is held in a park (and they are in my area), it's your decision not to go there and experience it. If your next-door-neighbor has a hanging effigy from a tree with Nazi symbols, suggested violence, etc, you don't really have a choice not to look at it. That sort of situation is what bugs me.

So, do you believe that the term "hate crime" is legitimate in any circumstance? Are there times when demonstrations such as these become less an example of free speech and something more sinister?

This is a great discussion, by the way! :D I wish the media was brave enough to actually talk about this stuff instead of just plastering it all over the news.
I don't think the term is legit at all. The whole idea behind hate crime legislation is that (a) some crimes (if they are crimes) are worse than others because they are targeted at a specific minority and (b) something offensive can be classified as a crime (i.e. harassment or intimidation) if it is targeted at a specific minority. I think that's BS. If it's an actual crime, like murder, then it's a crime, and it shouldn't be considered worse if the victim is, for example, gay rather than straight. I don't care if the murderer killed the victim because he was anti-gay or because he wanted to rob him or because he was just in a bad mood. The death is the same, the crime is the same, and by making one type of victimization 'worse' society is basically saying that another type is more acceptable. As many folks have said -- "'Hate' crime? As opposed to a 'gee I like you lots' crime?" The vast majority of violent crime has something to do with hate... it's just that some types are less-PC than others.

*steps off soapbox*

This is a great discussion, by the way!

Aww thanks :)

:D I wish the media was brave enough to actually talk about this stuff instead of just plastering it all over the news.

Discuss? No way. Then someone in the audience might accidentally think, and we can't have that! Go back to your Obama infomercial and shut up, pleebs!