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TinotopiaLog → Seeing Vandals as Idiots ( 4 Mar 2004)
Thursday 04 March 2004

Seeing Vandals as Idiots

Yesterday, I wrote that the very best way to get people to not do certain things is to associate those certain things with foolishness. We don’t have very strict laws against running around naked in the streets — in some places we have no laws at all against this — but almost no one actually runs around without clothes on. Why? Because nearly everyone would be embarrassed to do so.

Joe Louis Memorial, with white paint on itApparently someone has taken my recommendations to heart. In Detroit, two men recently painted the Joe Louis Memorial — a giant fist — white. The men say that they wanted to make an anti-violence, not a racist, statement. I’m not sure I buy that. Two white police officers were recently killing in Detroit, and the suspect is a black man. A photo of the two dead officers was left at The Fist, along with a note reading ‘Courtesy of the Fighting Whities’.

The story is in the Wall Street Journal. If you subscribe to the Journal online, click here. Otherwise, you can click here until next week. If you miss that, you can download a 376K PDF of the article here. And remind me sometime to write about accessibility of information online.

Anyway. Whatever the vandals’ motivation, at least one person is responding appropriately:

Like many of her listeners, Detroit radio talk-show host Michelle McKormick doesn’t buy such explanations. “Honestly, I think they’re just a couple of rednecks upset about the deaths of the cops,” she says. “They thought they were being clever, but they weren’t smart enough to think it through.”

It’s a start. If we can also apply this kind of contempt and scorn to people who, say, kill police officers, we’ll really get somewhere.

Posted by tino at 14:28 4.03.04
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