Obama Election Brings Us Offer Of Free Public Hanging
Ken Germana of Bonner County, Idaho, believes he is exercising his free speech rights with the sign on his property that reads “Free Public Hanging”, something he’d like to offer not just to Barack Obama but also to Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry. Generous.
Germana said he poses absolutely no threat to Obama, but admits he would not lose any sleep if harm did come the president-elect’s way. He said he made the sign to protest hypocrisy in two high-profile incidents involving effigies of Republican vice president nominee Sarah Palin and Obama.
The Palin effigy was erected in Los Angeles and the Obama effigy was put up at the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. Both incidents made headlines in the run-up to the general election, but Germana maintains they were treated differently by authorities and the press.
In Germana’s view, nothing was done to the creators of the Palin effigy, while those who were involved with the Obama effigy were arrested.
“If other people can make political statements, so can I. Just because I don’t live in California doesn’t mean I don’t have my rights, too,” he said.
But is this First Amendment-protected speech?
The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force said it is outraged by the display.
“Everyone has the right of free speech, unless it advocates the killing or hurting of someone or incites violence, which violates the doctrine of human rights,” Christine Holbert, president of the task force, said in a statement.
Holbert called the sign “hateful” and said its content is not protected under the First Amendment.Click here for reuse options!
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