Sunday, April 24, 2016

Chalking vs. Graffiti

Hat tip The College Fix

Having just posted an article on graffiti problems at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where the alleged offender was arrested, now we switch to Georgetown University, which is dealing with a case of chalking (using chalk as opposed to spray paint).

So let's compare the two cases. Currently, there seems to be a minor wave of students at campuses around the country writing chalk messages supporting Donald Trump. That alone has officials and students in a tither. Such seems to be the case at Georgetown, where the messages said, "Trump 16", "Build the wall", and "Support Officer (Darren) Wilson".

First of all, there is a big difference between spray painting graffiti and writing something in chalk. With the latter, a little soap and water and it's all gone. At UC Irvine, where I have taught part-time since 1998, I see chalk messages all the time, usually things like messages on the sidewalk telling students the directions how and when to get to an event. It may be against the rules at some colleges, but it is hardly a crime.

With spray paint, on the other hand, somebody has to remove it, and you have to pay said person to perform the work, so it costs money to remove. There is nothing unreasonable about making it a misdemeanor.

As to the content. I argue that there is nothing "grossly obscene" about the Georgetown messages. You may not like Donald Trump, but he is a serious contender for the Republican nomination.  In spite of some inflammatory statements, I don't believe he is a racist. As for building a (border) wall, that is hardly obscene when a country has 12 million people in the country illegally. As for supporting ex-Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, I certainly hope someone is supporting him. His career and his life have been ruined because he had to shoot a thug named Michael Brown, who was trying to take his gun from him.  In contrast, the young man arrested in Wisconsin wrote, "The Devil iz (sic) a white man".

I rest my case.

No comments: