Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is Free Political Expression Dead?

Only if you may be a conservative, it appears.

As we all know, an effigy of Barack Obama was found hanging from a tree at George Fox University recently.

Effigies in Political Expression have been used since America was founded. Our Founders wrapped an effigy of King George in a Union Jack and burned it in the late 1700’s. Effigies of President Bush have been hung, paraded across country and even burned, not only in America, but also around the world.

An effigy of an American soldier was set on fire in Portland during an anti-war protest in March 2007 as well as an American Flag was set on fire as a protester defecated on it. This was written off as “rudeness” by the media.

While effigies can be offensive, it seems no one really cared until this one appeared of B HO. Automatically, it is labeled “racist” because Obamessiah is half African and officials from George Fox University immediately issued an apology to the B HO campaign.

No one has ever issued an apology to President Bush for all the denigration and effigies of him. That I recall no one has ever apologized for such an expression of Free Political Speech before, not even for burning the soldier in effigy in the Portland protest, even though protesters accompanied the effigy with the vile chant, “Build a bonfire, Build a bonfire, Put the soldiers on the top. Put the fascists in the middle, and, we'll burn the f**king lot.”

University officials called in the Newberg Police in “investigate” the effigy and it was reported to the Secret Service. The FBI has been called in too. Newberg Police Sgt. Tim Weaver admitted it wasn’t clear that any crime was committed early on.

Lt. Jeff Kosmicki of the Newberg Police said no state law was broken.

Brad Berry, Yamhill County district attorney said, “This behavior is reprehensible, but not all offensive behavior is criminal.” He also said the effigy seemed not to pose a direct threat and may fall within protected free speech rights.

Secret Service agent Ron Wampole said, “We are continuing to investigate but I don’t think it’s going to go any further. There certainly wasn’t any crime committed, I don’t believe.”

FBI spokesperson Beth Anne Steeled said the FBI is “looking into possible civil rights violations.”

Four students have confessed to hanging the effigy and are under “long-term suspension” and must perform “community service” as their penance, according to University officials. Yet, all say no crime was committed.

The leap is made that because of “America’s racist history,” when Blacks were lynched, as well as some whites, this effigy equates to those lynchings’ because B HO is half-African. Race is once again injected to stifle opposition to B HO.

The effigy contained a note labeling B HO as an “Act 6 reject.” Act 6 is a scholarship to benefit minorities and lower income students. Hence, the further leap of it was directed at the minority students studying at George Fox.

I see the outrage as manufactured, manipulating and another effort at stifling free expression, when directed against a liberal. There has never been this sort of outcry and investigations initiated if the effigy was President Bush, President Reagan or any other Republican.

In fact, according to University officials, “few people saw the effigy or were aware of it,” and the custodian that discovered it early in the morning took it down. Yet, massive attention has now been focused on it as authorities were notified and of course, Obama supporters spread it across the Internet.

They have turned a minor act of Political Expression in opposition to the Obamessiah into a racist act, as Democrats have been doing since they threw Hillary under the bus and chose B HO.

Will similar outrage be shown when the next effigy of Bush, McCain, Sarah Palin or any Republican be discovered?

Don’t bank on it. After all, they have “Free Political Expression.”

Apparently, Republicans do not.


Denise-Mary said...

And where is the outrage of Gov. Palin's face being superimposed on the painting of a nude hanging over a bar? I guess that's not outrageous to liberals, just their brand of humor.

LewWaters said...

Like I said, Denise, they have freedom of speech and deny us ours.

Anything goes with them and we must be held to a higher standard.

Straight out of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

Loozianajay said...

Excellent article. I'm growing increasingly troubled by this mass mania surrounding in the Obama cult. How on earth are these folks being punished when this is peanuts compared to what goes on during any other protest?

Loozianajay said...

by the way, i posted the link to this article at my site. I also voted for it at RCP.


LewWaters said...

Thanks, loozianajay, I appreciate that, the vote, comment and linking on your site.

What is scary to me now is seeing the video released of amll children singing praises to Obama, much like the Hilter Jugend of the 1930's.

Obama Jugend

Equally scary, "Get involved in KIDS FOR OBAMA! Studies have shown that kids can affect their parents and their siblings’ opinions and even change the opinions of older family members . . . including those of voting age."

Found at Kids For Obama

healtheland said...

Excuse me, but George Fox University is a private school. They can - and should - discipline their students any way that they see fit. Because other universities allow subversive or politically radical behavior on their campuses does not mean that George Fox has to.

It appears that the students in question were protesting the existence of a class based affirmative action scholarship program (yes it is class based because two of its recipients are white). So why use Barack Obama to protest a class based affirmative action program? Simple: because the ill - informed students believed it to be a race based affirmative action program.

So, these students should have gone through the proper channels and held their protest in a place and manner approved by the university officials. They would have never gotten suspended, and this would have never been a story. Instead, as these students at a Christian college decided to violate the writings of Paul in Romans 13, it appears that you would be best suited to use another story as an example of the outrage of political correctness (which by the way as a fundamental Christian I very much oppose).

LewWaters said...

Consider yourself excused.

Now, if I may direct you to George Fox Univerty's own guidelines,


"George Fox University recognizes the right of students and other members of the university community to express their views or peacefully protest against actions and opinions with which they disagree. The university also stresses a concurrent obligation to maintain on campus an atmosphere conducive to academic work, to preserve the dignity and seriousness of the university ceremonies and public exercises, and to respect the rights of all individuals."

While it may be a "private university," this is still America where freedom supposedly reigns.

It would appear to me they were protesting a presidential candidate they may feel is unqualified, hence the effigy of Barak Obama and calling him an "Act 6 reject."

That is supposed to be free political speech and expression which has not raised an eyebrow when it is a Republican like President Bush.

If these kids accept this "discipline," that is their business. But, deep in your heart, you know if they were similarly disciplined for an effigy of President Bush, the ACLU would be all over the university.

I thought univerties were supposed to be institution of higher learning, not higher indoctrination.

If you aren't willing to stand up for your liberties now and accept that others have the same liberties, and that you may be offended at times, then don't be surprised to wake up one day and realize those liberties are gone and replaced by some tyrannical dictator.

I await similar outrage from George Fox University officials and students the next time something similar is done towards any of the Republicans.

But, pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

healtheland said...

First off, it is revealing that you only chose to put the first part of your reply in bold. It is reasonable to concur that the students were suspended for violating the second part. Now on to the rest of your rejoinder.

"While it may be a "private university," this is still America where freedom supposedly reigns."

"If you aren't willing to stand up for your liberties now and accept that others have the same liberties, and that you may be offended at times, then don't be surprised to wake up one day and realize those liberties are gone and replaced by some tyrannical dictator."

You do not see the logical contradiction in those statements? You do not wish for George Fox University to conduct its affairs the way that it chooses. You wish for George Fox University to conduct its affairs the way that you choose to. That may be conservatism, but it is not freedom.

Listen, the first amendment only applies to the government. Private entities do not have to respect free speech. Private entities can - and should - censor speech and views as they see fit. Claiming that private entities should pretend as if they are a government agency would actually make this nation less free - and less conservative - because it would mean that instead of individual people setting their own standards according to their own religion, morality, or self - interest they should just emulate the state.

For example: I personally do not want my church to give people "freedom of speech" because that would allow anyone and everyone that opposes my religious views to get in my pastor's pulpit and express them. My church's not allowing Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens or Jeremiah Wright to speak does not deprive those fellows of their constitutional rights, because such people can go on government property or to any place of public accommodation and say whatever they want. Instead, forcing my church to allow those people to speak would deprive the members of my church of our rights. My church should have the right to do so just as surely as you have the right to delete this comment from your own blog.

Look, I am no supporter of Barack Obama. (I am also not a supporter of McCain, and even if I was his support for the bailout would have ended it.) But there is a higher principle at stake here, and don't let your frustration with ACLU activists or liberal university administrators cause you to forget it, because guess what, when that happens you give people like that exactly what they want without even realizing it.

LewWaters said...

Actually, it is more revealing that you ignore the part I bolded and that you initially made the automatic leap that the kids who exercised the free expression committed a racist act.

But, since you bring it up, yes I did bold that part as it states they have the right to protest. Nowhere do I see where they are to make any request to make their statement, as you first contended.

They did not march, occupy buildings, deface University Property or anything violent; they simply hung an effigy of a Political Candidate.

The real contradiction is that the University says, “to respect the rights of all individuals,” but these kids are disciplined for exercising their right. Of course, the bogus leap is made that they must be racist because they used an effigy of a Half-African person and labeled him an “Act 6 Reject,” not the group itself, to justify it.

While you may not support Obama, he is only another Politician and as such is open to scrutiny and protest, like any other. This canard rolling across the country that opposing him makes one a racist is old and tired, but an effective way to shame voters into voting for him, qualified or not.

That is not the American way and it seems you have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker, by joining the contrived outcry even if not voting for or supporting him.

I know full well that free speech is only by the government, but you neglect that George Fox already states students maintain the right to protest.

In this particular case, the effigy was removed very early and few even saw it. George Fox decided to escalate it by dragging in Police, Secret Service and the FBI, all who say no crime was committed, but ballooning a relatively minor incident into International News. Can you say, “attention getting?”

So now, since there was no crime, discipline is trumped up to appease whom? Is Obama’s skin so thin he cannot take a simple protest? Are the students so indoctrinated at George Fox that they cannot allow a minor protest against a politician who is Half African?

Isn’t that elevating a politician above what he should be, bordering on worship?

Now, if George Fox said no protesting, this would be different and I would support their decision to discipline the students. I do fault the students for not standing with their effigy as I feel someone should stand by what they do or believe. Running away is not in my book if you make a statement.

You are dead wrong that I desire George Fox to conduct their affairs my way. I think we have certain rights that are threatened daily and minor incidents as this being blown out of proportion to draw attention or prove no racial bias where none exists only helps remove those liberties we enjoy, even freedom of worship.

You may be right about frustration. It is very frustrating to see how liberalism has even crept into Christianity and watered down God’s Word to where Christians are actually going against God’s Word, thinking they are serving Him.

Please don’t preach to me about giving ACLU activists or liberal university administrators what they desire. They actually desire no opposition even more and expect people as you to just sit back and not interfere with their socialist agenda.

Part and parcel of that agenda is convincing people that a minor effigy of a Half-African politician is a racist act, instead of Political Freedom of Expression.

Angie Lee said...

It's the same old story, same old song and dance, my friend. It's the same old story, same old story, same old song and dance....

No one says it better than Aerosmith. *chuckle*

LewWaters said...

Yes, Allee, it just stays the same and will until more people wake up and realize how they have forfeited their liberties.

Angie Lee said...

Yeah, what was it Ben Franklin said about liberty and safety????? humph

Angie Lee said...

BTW... I stumbled on your blog by accident... from somewhere I don't remember now.... but I love it. :)

LewWaters said...

Glad to have you stop by, Allee. I appreciate your comments.

As for the Ben Franklin quote, most people use it exactly the opposite of what Ben Frnaklin meant.

I researched the quote some time ago and found a copy of the original letter it is lifted from online.

Seeing it in actual context and reading some history surrounding it was an eye opener.

“Those Who Would Give Up A Little Liberty To Gain A Little Security”

healtheland said...

Where did I call the students racist? Show me where I did so. That is what is so sad about this political climate: because I am defending the actions of the university, you have a built in set of assumptions about me, that I am some liberal Democrat with a racial agenda.

And it is you, sir, that is allowing the ACLU mindset to creep into your Christianity. Because where in the Bible does it depict Christians engaging in acts of civil disobedience and protest? Had Christians even tried such a thing in the Roman Empire, an absolute monarchy run in brutal authoritarian style, and moreover most Christians had no rights (the religion was illegal and virtually all Christians were either noncitizens or slaves) the entire lot of them would have been massacred wholesale over earthly matters that have nothing to do with saving men's souls from an eternity in the lake of fire. And where would that have gotten us? What good would that have done?

The very idea that causing all sorts of trouble over nonsense is the "Christian" thing to do came from the "civil rights movement" led by atheists and communists pretending to be preachers. Because these were leftist radicals pretending to be men of the cloth, it sowed seeds of subversion, strife, turmoil, division, etc. and embedded it into our culture. And guess who it harmed the most? The black community. Look at the illegitimacy and incarceration rates. Look at our inner cities, and even our black colleges. And guess what happened? The white community followed suit, because first you had feminists, then homosexuals, then the labor movement emulating the civil rights communists, and now the idea that you can defy and disrespect authority to get what you want because if you disagree with authority then authority is illegitimate is part of the national psyche. If you don't believe me, go be a public school teacher, even on a substitute basis, and tell me what you find out.

Look at our society today, and you will see why in Old Testament Israel, disrespecting your elders or the authorities was a crime punishable by stoning, because what is going on in our streets, in our schools, and yes on Wall Street is the result of a society where people have no respect for rules, civility, decency, or authority. We are like Israel in the times of Judges, or in the time of the prophets.

So no, I am not going to back a bunch of kids that violated their handbooks and were suspended for it just because Obama's support for late term abortions - and then lying about it when he was challenged - makes him an evil human being. We are always going to have to confront evil. The measure of our own adherence to the Bible is how we do so. Hopefully the students at this school will not chalk this up as a politically correct act of censorship by liberal university administrators and instead consider whether the Bible calls their actions right or wrong.

LewWaters said...

htl, you need do nothing in regards these kids.

But, apparently it escapes you though, due to your own piousness I imagine, that you condemn these kids for protesting, yet feel the need to come here and protest me.

While it doesn't bother me, it just gives me more chances to show the world the hypocrisy of many who claim to be "Christian," that you comment, you exercise your free will while condemning others.

Just one more example of an old prayer I once learned, "Dear Lord, please protect us all from your followers."