After the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, four unidentified students at North Carolina State University spray painted racist comments in the “Free Expression Tunnel.” The students admitted to doing it and the university police, state and federal authorities have not charged the students with any crimes at this time.
However, students at the university are calling for a “Free Expression Tunnel Hate Crime Act” in order to prevent/punish actions of this kind in the future. The NAACP are also calling for “Hate Crime” legislation.
I find this entire incident disturbing on several levels:
1. Does anyone else find it screamingly ridiculous for them to want to censor comments made in the “Free Expression Tunnel”? Name it the “Free Expression, But Only If You Agree With The Majority , Tunnel.” What kind of idiot thought bitching about what was written in a tunnel with that name was a good idea? If the tunnel is NOT for free expression, don’t name it that.
2. No one reporting on, commenting about, or involved with this stupidity has yet mentioned that elephant standing in the big, fat middle of the “Free Expression Tunnel.”
3. I dislike the entire idea of a “hate crime” being legislated differently than any other crime. What this boils down to is that people want to legislate thought and feeling. When a citizen of this country can be prosecuted for what they think, we have ceased to live in America.
What ever happened to agreeing to disagree? Every time someone with a different point of view speaks out, people want to run to the legislature to have a law passed against it. We have come to the point that we believe we have a right NOT to be offended by what we consider wrong thought.
Now, let me just say that I totally think that what was written was reprehensible. It shows the ignorance, intolerance, and stupidity of the individuals involved. That’s my personal opinion. They wrote their personal opinion. I, for one, don’t want to limit they’re ability to express their opinion because when I’m successful at doing that it opens the door for someone else to limit MY ability to express my opinion. I feel that I have that right because I still live in America (for now, anyway). One of the foundations our country was built on was that of free speech for every citizen.
I do like the NAACP’s idea of diversity training. But, again, that’s just me. If I choose to become an informed, educated, sensible human being then that’s my right. If you choose to remain an ignorant ass, that’s your right.
I have a very personal reason for not wanting this kind of hatred to spread. I wish people could get over the idea that the melanin levels in our skin mean something about our character. That’s my own personal little pipe dream. As long as we have people who’s self esteem is only raised by lowering someone else, we’ll have people who dog out others for whatever reason they can find.
I think we need to lose the Law Mongering mentality and grab a clue here. Our new President-elect is a man of mixed race! The majority of this nation elected him. People will grouse and fuss and argue and bitch about him just like they have every other president we’ve ever had. The Bush’s were dogged out because they were Texans. President-elect Obama will get dogged out because he’s mixed. Learn to live with it.
One last thing: Be careful what you wish for. All of these laws that people want to make up concerning “hate crimes” can’t be implemented to cover only what YOU want them to mean. Eventually each and every one of you who want them will be subject to them yourselves. Then YOU will be the one who can’t say what you think or believe or feel.
At that point you will no longer live in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”.