In Our View...Editorial….Fools names and fools facesThere’s an old saying that goes, “Fools names and fools faces often appear in public places.” It’s often used to decry those who utilize graffiti to get some message or other across by writing, spray painting, carving or otherwise defacing a building, rock, tree or other public entity.
There’s an old saying that goes, “Fools names and fools faces often appear in public places.” It’s often used to decry those who utilize graffiti to get some message or other across by writing, spray painting, carving or otherwise defacing a building, rock, tree or other public entity. It’s not only illegal and unethical, but it’s a mystifying phenomenon at best. Few, if any, of the folks who view the graffiti are impressed or swayed by it, and more often than not it has the opposite effect – reflecting negatively on the perpetrators themselves.
Cloquet has long had a problem with graffiti being spray painted on public buildings, bridges and underpasses, often bearing derogatory phrases, racial slurs or the names of gangs or gang-related slogans. They’re public “art” in its worst form and they seldom accomplish anything more than incurring additional costs to the city to have them cleaned up.
With a hotly contested election year currently under way, a new form of public desecration has begun to crop up. It has all of the negative attributes of traditional graffiti, but with an added twist – preventing other individuals the right to freedom of expression.
This week, at least three home owners in the west side of Cloquet had campaign signs in their yards defaced by spray paint. They were signs the home owners had specifically authorized for posting on their private property that served as a statement of their personal political endorsements. It’s a freedom of expression that’s as old as the political arena itself. To think that someone would trespass on their private property and assume the right to obliterate that endorsement is a violation of that basic freedom – and patently illegal as well.
Let’s hope this does not become a pattern leading up to November’s general election. The election booth is still the most powerful tool in voicing your political beliefs – not in denying someone else the right to theirs.