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October 16, 2007

But If It Had Been a George W. Bush Dummy...

it would have been "protected speech":

Chesla Flood couldn't believe her eyes. A hangman's noose circled the neck of a black-hooded, jeans-clad dummy suspended from the chimney of a house in Madison.

Flood called her mother, Millie Hazlewood, who reported the Halloween display to police. She wasn't the only one. Police went to the property at least three times starting Sunday, and even the mayor asked the homeowners to take down the figure.

At 8 last night, the family relented, saying they feared for their safety.

"It's no more like freedom of speech anymore," Cheryl Maines said. "My son had to take this down because these people have blown this thing out of proportion."

Before the figure was removed yesterday, Madison Mayor Ellwood "Woody" Kerkeslager said "the appearance and the suggestion (of racism) is there, and it's inappropriate."

At least four recent noose displays -- one each in Jena, La., and Philadelphia and two in New York City -- are drawing renewed attention to a potent symbol of racism, lynchings and the era of Jim Crow segregation.

The whole Star-Ledger article is here.

A hanging dummy is tacky and tasteless -- I know I wouldn't hang one in my yard -- but there's nothing inherently racist about it, especially during the Halloween season. And to my knowledge, New Jersey (where this happened) wasn't even a Jim Crow state; by 1949 it was one of 15 states with no segregation laws.

You know, blacks weren't the only victims of hanging. In fact, hanging used to be the preferred method of state-sponsored execution. Should the descendents of the four people hanged in the Abraham Lincoln assassination start complaining when they see things like this?

Pretty soon we won't be able to do anything for fear of offending someone about something, thanks to political correctness and a media that jumps on stories like this and worries them like a dog with a bone.

On a tip from Jeanette

UPDATE: Click here to see where someone on some chat forum claims I'm the daughter of this Cheryl Maines woman. That's quite interesting; I thought my mother's name was Marge. Has she been lying to me all these years? LOL!!!

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Comments

Personally, I would have apologized to the neighbor and expressed the truth - that I did not intend anything racist by the display, that it was part of the old gallows which you often see in Halloween displays. I would have then removed it since I knew it offended and hurt someone unintentonally. And that would have kept this out of the news.

The family could have handled this better. I think the tantrum they threw basically by saying they will no longer decorate for Halloween or Christmas will only hurt themselves and make them bitter. I wonder if they were under a rock with all the controversy at Columbia University with the noose and the Jena 6 - they should have seen this coming. Odds are, if these occurences never happened, their hanging man would have been ignored but right now, it is a sore point for many.

Yes, it is a shame that everything you do now needs to be thought through to the point of whom I am offending if I hang a Christmas wreath on my cubicle wall? I take great pains not to say Merry Christmas anymore unless I know 100% sure what faith a person is or is not. I do the PC eggshell walk daily - it does get a bit much after awhile but if I can avoid offending someone, why not?


Posted by: Jeanette at October 16, 2007 11:12 AM

I certainly don't advocate offending people on purpose, and I don't suppose this family set out to do that. Perhaps they should have been a little more tactful, and I agree: the sign they put up about not decorating anymore is a bit childish. But they were at the center of what became a ridiculous situation.

People have a right to hang their Halloween display on their property, and any other holiday decorations. I read elsewhere that some Wicca woman is going to protest a witch displayed at someone's house. Where does it end? And as for being afraid to say things like "merry Christmas" to someone for fear of offending, it's sad that it's come to that. If someone said "happy Hannukah" to me in December, I wouldn't throw a snit fit. Comments like that are meant in good spirit, and those who get offended are looking to get offended...

In America, the Constitution provides certain rights. There is no right "not to be offended." I'm offended by a lot of things I see and read. But making demands of someone else isn't going to solve the problem.

J, I know you and I are of similar mind in a lot of these instances; I'm simply expanding on my post here.

Posted by: Pam at October 16, 2007 11:22 AM

It's the price I pay of being a Libra, always weighing everything and being a lot of times being on the fence!

Posted by: Jeanette at October 16, 2007 11:33 AM

Watch out for the pointy parts! LOL

Posted by: Pam at October 16, 2007 11:36 AM

I cannot put up pictures of ghosts, because I'm afraid someone will think it's a tribute to the Klan.

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at October 16, 2007 12:51 PM

Pam,

I will be interviewing Salem's official Witch about this topic on tonight's BlogTalkRadio show. Details on my site at RadioPatriot.blogspot.com

Nice job with your post.

Andrea

Posted by: Andrea Shea King at October 16, 2007 01:37 PM

Moonbats live in a tiny world where nothing exists except excuses for privileged special interest groups to pretend they are oppressed. The idea that nooses don't only work on black folks probably never occurred to your average screeching liberal.

Posted by: Van Helsing at October 16, 2007 08:41 PM


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