A mural of President Obama that’s become a landmark in midtown Houston has been defaced and essentially destroyed in what looks like an act of political vandalism.I am familiar with this particular mural on Alabama Street between Travis Street and Spur 527 because I see it every time I drive into downtown. The mural has been defaced several times before; each time the owner has had it repainted and will do so once again.
Someone splashed red paint across the image of the president displayed on an outside wall of The Breakfast Klub, a popular midtown dining spot. The restaurant’s owner quickly had the damaged painting covered with whitewash, but pedestrians walking down the street could still see streams of paint streaming down the wall.
Meanwhile, a wave of Obama sign thefts continued in the upscale neighborhoods west of Rice University. One homeowner, a retired Navy veteran named Joe Santamaria, was so irritated after his second Obama sign was stolen out of his yard that he decided to post a warning notice in his yard.That's probably one way to handle it. But it's unfortunate that it happens to begin with (and to be sure, partisans on both sides are guilty of it).
The warning sign cautions sign thieves they’re trespassing and vows that if the sign is stolen, Santamaria will donate $1,000 to the Obama campaign.
Activities like defacing murals, stealing yard signs, tearing bumper stickers, and the like are illegal (last I checked, vandalism and trespassing were criminal offenses), as well as infringements upon another's right to free speech. But they're also weak, crude and rather pathetic forms of political intimidation.
Are the people who engage in these kinds of activities really so insecure in their own political beliefs that seeing an opposing political sign sets them off in a fit of childish rage? Are they really that intolerant of the beliefs of others, and of their ability to freely express themselves? Do they really think that by doing these kinds of activities, they're going to change the outcome of the election in any way (other than by, say, making their own side look desperate and thuggish)?
If you see somebody stealing or defacing political signs, confront them. Ask them what they're so afraid of and why they can't respect other peoples' property or right to free speech. Or call the cops and report their criminal behavior.
If you are somebody who steals or defaces political signs, GROW THE FUCK UP. You're just making yourself, and your side, look stupid.