A couple choses to protest the Iraq war by hanging an effigy of a soldier in front of their Sacramento, California home. Do I hate it? Sure. Did it have me fuming the first time I heard about it? Of course. However that’s not what this post is about. It isn’t about whether or not the effigy is offensive, is in poor taste or is an example of hate speech. It isn’t even about whether Stephen and Virginia Pearcy—the couple in question--are merely asserting their free speech rights.
The subject matter is this: contacting a subject’s employer when that subject says or does something you don’t like. This blogger didn’t actually contact the Pearcys’ employers himself, but encouraged encouraged his readers to do so.
Unless a person is jeopardizing life, limb, liberty and/or property, contacting his/her employer--while not illegal per se--is a juvenile, tacky ploy and, according to a few lawyers with which I’m acquainted, possibly actionable. As loathsome as I find the Pearcys’ method of free expression in this manner, contacting their employers about it has ‘cheap shot’ written all over it.
On the other hand, the Pearcys should be reminded that free speech doesn’t go hand-in-hand with freedom from the consequences of that speech. They may be able to take all kinds of legal action against those who have torn down the image or otherwise vandalized their home decor, but I can’t believe that they didn’t know that they would catch all manner of flak for the effigy, if only from their neighbors. The cynic in me says it was an attention-getting ploy. A blogger can’t get too mad at that.
(Thanks to Digger’s Realm)
Cross-posted in edited form at In Search of Utopia