Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Freedom to be Crazy

Crazy arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

The nondescript envelope was addressed to "Resident." My mom suggested I throw it away but I could not contain my curiosity. What's in it? I tore the envelope along the side edge, careful not to damage the contents. I pulled out a brochure.

This was no ordinary brochure. The title, "Favored Races" and the subtitle, "What if they had integrated?"immediately caught my attention. What is it? And do I see what I think I see? Yes. Upon reading the document a little more thoroughly, I discovered that it was a racist piece of propaganda sent by what appeared to be a local individual desiring to run for the Tennessee House of Representatives. Specifically, the political platforms outlined included discussions about how certain races were superior to other races and allowing for lesser "favored races" to breed with "favored races" would "have a more devastating effect on civilization than nuclear bombs." Specifically, the argument attacked Mexican immigration. Wait for it:

"Mexican immigrants are weapons of mass destruction." No joke. That's what the brochure claims.

It continues, "The Mexican immigrants are good workers and add to our economy you say. What did they add to the Mexican economy?" The ridiculousness of these and other statements removed my ability to be angry at this person (a Mr. James Hart, although his website does not work, surprise surprise). I should be angry at the racism, and maybe even compassionate at the stupidity, but ultimately I laughed at the sheer notion of the entire event. How did this individual make enough money to even get his ideas printed, much less be able to run for any level of public office in these States United in the 21st Century? His crazy completely removed the validity of his arguments. Sorry, dude.

While reading aloud some of the statements of this "candidate's" platform, my mom asked if it was even legal (I am sure the racist severity was making her uncomfortable... as it should). Yes. Crazy is allowed to say what he (or she) wants to in these States United (cue Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American"). In fact, this type of speech needs to be protected, as crazy or stupid or mean as it may be. That's part of being an American- having rights to use our words (or our brochures) to say inspirational things, to challenge mainstream ideas, to push innovation, or even to propagate stupidity.

God Bless the U.S.A. (Yes, I sang that part. Loud.).

With my blood pumping red, white, and blue this afternoon, I will take to the polls and exercise one of my most treasured rights as an American citizen. And while I tend to keep my political opinions to myself, I can honestly share that I will not be voting for Crazy.  

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