September 25, 2008

Oregon Campus Lynches Life-Size Figure of Barack Obama


We still have some in America who think that lynchings are a legitimate form of expression. Officials of a small Christian university say a life-size cardboard reproduction of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was hung from a tree on the campus, an act with racial undertones that outraged students and school leaders.

George Fox University President Robin Baker said a custodian discovered the effigy early Tuesday and removed it. University spokesman Rob Felton said that the commercially produced reproduction had been suspended from the branch of a tree with fishing line around the neck. In other words, someone on this campus thought it a good idea to lynch the Black man running for President.

Taped to the cardboard cutout of the Black senator from Illinois was a message targeting participants in Act Six, a scholarship program geared toward increasing the number of minority and low-income students at several Christian colleges, mostly in the Northwest.

The message read, "Act Six reject."

About 1,800 students are enrolled at the campus in Newberg, southwest of Portland. It also has centers in Portland, Salem and Boise.

The odd thing is that law enforcement says that even if they find the ones who did this ... it may not even be a crime. It seems that intimidation of voters and students should be a crime of some sort ... perhaps even a hate crime.

What say u?

13 comments:

clnmike said...

Well, I dont want to blame the students, it may have been an outsider. But I also cant see this as a crime either, I think it is covered in freedom of speech or expression. And unless there was a vote going on around the time in that area, I wouldnt consider it intimidation of voters.

Villager said...

Mike - If you paint a swaztika on a Jewish synogague ... methinks that the law enforcement folks would be involved. Do you agree? If so, what is the difference in this case? IMHO, It is not freedom of speech to paint swaztikas or to feign a lynching.

I wonder what other villagers have to say on this matter?

JLS said...

Mike, I hardly believe that this act is covered by free speech. That amendment is limited by when the said "speech" could incite violence or harm, which is EXACTLY the case in this instance.

I guess the only problem is that if it was a McCain hanging on the tree, it would hardly even be newsworthy.

IMO, we as a people should be beyond the silly stunts. Obama's historic run is coming a short time after things like this were commonplace. Even if Obama doesn't win, he does represents the future, a multi-cultural America.

Travis said...

Most days I barely recognize the country I live in as the United States of America.

Los Angelista said...

This makes me sick and incredibly angry. I was just talking about the history of the Klan today with my 4 year-old and 7 year-old and telling them how there are still racist out there and they don't all wear hoods. There should definitely be a police investigation. Beyond a doubt!

teamowens313 said...

Villager,

When you scream "Fire!" in a crowded theater, that'as not freedom of speech. Lynching a black presidential candidate in effigy is not freedom of speech. To be honest, I'm not sure whether or not it's an actual crime because I'm not a pro when it comes to the law, but I'd have to think this is a very serious matter however you want to look at it.

And come to think of it, since the campus is private property, the school probably could press charges under something related to desecration of private property or something like that. Not that they will, but I'm pretty sure they could move in that direction if they chose to take it seriously.

SjP said...

You have got to be kidding me! Seems to me that if this incident were truly investigated and the culprits found that they should be charged with not only a hate crime but intimidation and threatening the life of a US official. This is simply horrible...it truly makes me sick.

Villager said...

JLS - I appreciate your comments. However, if Obama loses to McCain then I worry if our country will ever elect someone other than a white man for POTUS...

Travis - Some days are rougher than others. That is why we have to keep doing our best to uplift ourselves and ensure that America lives up to the dream...

LosAngelista - I hope that LEOs in Oregon do what must be done to find the culprits that did this evil deed...

Keith - I agree with you ... it is wrong and someone must do something to make it right. Hopefully, this story will have a better ending than it does so far...

Sojourner - Amen. Don't get sick ... just keep doing what you do on your blog to uplift our peeps and to educate others that want to be educated...

unmitigatedword said...

I'm torn on this one. The effigy was undoubtedly a shameful and racist display. But at it's best, it's freedom of speech (regardless to how deplorable it is). At it's worst, it's a mere threat that can only carry with it a charge of harassment.

So when teamowens says "Lynching a black presidential candidate in effigy is not freedom of speech.", I'd say it is. Lynching actual people? Now that's a different story.

- Andre

Villager said...

Andre - When I see things like this I imagine what it would be like for a swaztika to be painted on the image of John McCain or Sarah Palin and placed in plain sight at a college campus. Would it be taken with the same grain of salt as we see with this lynched image of Barack Obama?

unmitigatedword said...

"Would it be taken with the same grain of salt as we see with this lynched image of Barack Obama?"

Not likely. But I guess it's hard to legislate against racism. Unless there are some serious (and I mean SERIOUS...as in a complete overhaul) modifications to this idea of "free speech", this won't be the last time we see racism rearing its head in this form.

Iya said...

Hmmm, I, too, d not think this act is covered under freedom of speech. However what it demonstrates is that those of us who pray need to keep Obama and his family covered that angels will remain camped about them.

Villager said...

Iya - Prayer is important to give added protection to Barack Obama and his family...