Thursday, November 6, 2008


This is in today's edition of the Mount Desert Islander, my hometown weekly newspaper:

Racist effigies appear
by Mark Good

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND - Election night here was marred by the discovery Wednesday morning of effigies depicting a black man found hanging from telephone lines in Tremont and Bar Harbor.

The cardboard effigies, which some officials believe are a response to the election of Barack Obama as president, were removed Wednesday morning.

Maine State Police received a report at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday that a cutout figure of a black man was hanging from telephone lines near Seal Cove Pond in Tremont. Trooper Alden Bustard responded but was unable to remove the figure because it was too high off the ground. Fire chief Brad Reed agreed to use a fire truck to take the figure down. In Bar Harbor, a similar cutout figure was found hanging from telephone lines near the intersection of Route 102 and the south end of the County Road. A Bar Harbor fire truck was used to remove the effigy.

Hancock County District Attorney Michael Povich said the person or persons responsible could be subject to a civil action and criminal charges.

"At a minimum they could be charged with disorderly conduct," he said.

In criminal cases, the aspect of a hate crime could be considered an aggravating factor during sentencing, Mr. Povich noted.

Dawn back talking now:
How nasty and petty and shallow and mean can people be? Well, I guess the depths of that reservoir have yet to be plumbed.

Less than two hours after America elected its first ever African American president, some knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, cousin-fucking asshole pulls something cute like this. Yessireebob, I bet the boys back at the bait shack are gonna have a real good hee-haw at that.

But what is particularly chilling is the fact that this brilliant piece of political commentary could not have been pulled out of a redneck's ass in the 90 minutes between when the networks called the race and when the first call to police came in about the cardboard black man in a noose. That means that Billbob, or whatever the fuck his name is, had to prepare for the event in advance, making the cutouts, painting them black, tying the nooses (they're not easy, I've done them) and figuring how much rope and weight would be necessary to get the thing in the air and sufficiently wrapped around the lines so as to be a pain in the ass to take down, all probably done very quickly and from the back of a pickup truck. I am sure it must have taxed our hero's little pea brain to calculate such things, and to make TWO of them, plus figure out where to put them.

I am sure the schoolchildren who rode past one of the effigies on the bus in the morning were proud of their neighbors for such a display. I bet the black kids especially thought it was clever and funny.

I am so pissed right now as to be nearly be beyond words. I have some kind of flu-bug thing that is making my ears and throat sore, and despite the fact that my community, my county, and my state voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, one or two wingnuts have seen fit to throw a wrench into the celebration of a historical milestone with this holdover from a much darker time. My head is throbbing, my muscles hurt, and now I'm mad. Bleah. Fuckers.

Perhaps tomorrow I can write something meaningful about forgiveness or charity or something. But not today. Not yet.

I have a neat list of topic ideas for this once-a-day-for-a-month blog thingamajig, but "hate" had to be added and then bumped to the top for this thing. All of my ideas are pretty heavy topics, so if anyone wants to offer some lighter fare for me to chew on during November, please do leave a comment to that effect. Otherwise, I'll be working my way individually through the seven virtues and the seven deadly sins (with apologies to Peter Sagal).


Anonymous said...

I see no particularly pressing need for you to get all haired up about forgiveness in this particular circumstance. This is, in my not-so-humble opinion unforgivable total asshole behavior. No excuse. If you can figure out a way to get your blood pressure down, that'd be good, but forgiveness? Nah, don't bother.


Queenie said...

I am sick and ashamed. I can only take solace in that this is aberrant and not prevalent behavior. Isn't MDI just a stone's throw away from the site of the Underground Railroad??? Go figure. Wouldn't this news article make a fabulous discussion topic on hatred and tolerance in our schools? We should be so lucky...

Queenie said...

Let me clarify, a discussion topic in our schools on hatred and tolerance...I did not mean to imply this disgusting act was done by teens. I'm sure it was a whiskey-drinkin' guy in an orange vest driving a pickup with his hunting rifles proudly displayed in the back window, empty beer cans on the floor and a pot pipe in the ashtray, and his partner, slim, who couldn't get it up the night before and is sick of his mother nagging him....ooops tmi

Tobias said...

You spoke of sin the other day. Well, I have some of my own thoughts on sin that I'm yet to puzzle out--but one thing is clear to me, hate IS a sin. Hate is a poisonous vacuum of sin. It is something I doubt we will ever be clear of.

What gets me is what you brought up--this HAD to be premeditated. Tell me that whoever did this did not, for just one second, check themselves. They didn't stop and feel, deep down, that what they were doing was hateful and wrong, and showing at least some signs of mental instability? That is the scariest part of all.

Joy T. said...

I'm not a sheltered person at all yet I feel like I just climbed out from under a rock when I read this post. I'm appalled and shocked this is still happening in this day and age. The ignorance of people constantly amaze me. And I would like to beat them about the head. Um. Just came over to say thanks for the visit to my blog. Now I get all riled up and want to beat people. Most excellent. Love those deep topics. I'm gonna have to come back! :o)

Joy T. said...

*smacks self in forehead* AND because I was so riled up I forgot to say a huge thank you for the quick recipe you left in my comments. Which I will be trying very soon. Wow I bet you're so glad you stopped by.

laughingatchaos said...

Because I'm unforgivably behind on blog reading, and have already talked to you about this topic, I'm simply going to thank you for taking on the deadly sins and virtues. I thought about writing on those at one point, but decided I couldn't do it justice. I'm glad you can.