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).