Friday, October 31, 2008

In Effigy: Hang Sarah Palin? Get Publicity - Hang Obama? Get Arrested

If you hang an effigy of Sarah Palin in the middle of your neighborhood for the whole world to see, you will get plenty of free publicity and lots of attention for your "controversial" statement...
On the other hand, if you happen to be a collage student pulling a fraternity prank and do the same thing with Obama, you get arrested with an ugly, scary-looking criminal mugshot to go for the whole world to see.Of course, I think that hanging effigies are stupid, ugly, and should be socially unacceptable; but I do find the double standard here glaring to say the least.


  1. since no one has commented (you were indexed on cnn), I'll bite.

    I completely agree that hanging effigies, regardless of who they are of, are distasteful and are kinda a nasty thing to do.

    Also, with the limited amount I'm seeing in this story, I don't think the two people with the Obama effigy should have been arrested (though the school should give them a stern talking too if they did indeed put it on public land).

    However, I might be able to offer some insight into why the reactions were so different.

    There are two critical differences between the two displays (from an emotional standpoint, legal is a different matter).

    (1) The Palin display included both Palin and McCain, so while one could make the argument that it included violence against women, the display it'self was gender neutral in its unpleasantness.

    (2) While anti-feminism is still an issue in this country, hanging was never an image associated with the backlash. However, hanging is a classic image for violence against blacks and so the emotional impact is different. It is the difference between 'generic violence against woman and men' and 'this is something that has been done to blacks in this region within the memories of living people'. That changes the message significantly.

  2. Of course, I agree with you about the "emotional" aspect, but laws should apply equally to all.

  3. @Matrix

    Agreed. I am always displeased when I hear law applied based off glurge or such.

    Though in this case, the legal situation is different too. The 'theft' part sounds like BS, but the fact that one was on private property while the other was on public property changes things.


Please keep it clean. Comments do not reflect the opinion of this blog and are the sole opinion of the commenter. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason. Of course, opposing views are welcomed.

Auto-flagged and monitored IP addresses:
Teksavvy - IP 76.10.141, Onterio, Canada.
Charter Communications - IP 68.188.68. Ballwin, Missouri