Talk to the Hand
Michelle Bachmann, who objects to evolution on the grounds that "a grain of wheat plus a starfish does not equal a dog," popular YouTube videos such as “stupid Americans,” and right-wing Americans’ obsession with Obama’s apparent adherence to Islam dominating the perception of Americans abroad.
I can’t take it anymore. I shut down my computer, pour myself a glass of whiskey, and go to bed. It’s 11:04 p.m.
Harvardians were outraged. The Crimson article covering the post immediately shot to the top of the website’s most read list. The editors of The Voice initially edited and later took down the offensive passage about Asians, amending the post to include the following: “We deeply apologize if this article has offended some of our readers…we have removed the inappropriate content because it is not in line with The Voice‘s mission of promoting satirical, yet inclusive, content.”
In December 2010, Antonio Depina, a homeless man, was arrested for exposing himself in public and urinating in front of several strangers, including one young child, in Harvard Square. For many of us, hearing stories like this is the rule, not the exception. We have all laughed at the man holding the “$ for beer plz” sign. Surely many of us have considered posing for a photo with the cutlass-wielding pirate positioned by the MBTA station. Some of us have even paid the homeless to duck into liquor stores during freshman year.
The categorical condemnation of the Pussy Riot controversy was the right course of action for individuals and governments of Western nations to take. But Western nations taking the moral high ground on this issue don’t have a leg to stand on, given their own limitations on freedom of speech and instances of government abuse of legal authority. Rather than just criticizing human rights violations in other countries, we should see them as an opportunity to reflect upon and amend our own limitations on human rights. Our rightful denunciation of Putin’s repression needs to be taken one step further.