p1ywood decries hoss violence against Mason and Russo

The following is a special letter to the talking Ed:

Dear Talking Ed:

I wish to comment on Mr. Roman Brice’s JibJab video that he posted on his Mile Square View Internet blog in mid-October, today as a matter of fact. My Councilwoman, Beth Mason, and I were on vacation with our respective families at the time, and so now is my first opportunity to react publicly.

In his video Mr. Brice depicts that he has always wanted the Councilwoman and Councilman Michael Russo engulfed in flames as if as many s’mores in a burning car. We presume it’s our car.

The United States Constitution allows each and every one of us to say the greatest, or the most appalling, words. Our First Amendment right of free speech is what sets this country apart from, say, Syria, where you can be shot in the street for calling on the president to resign, or North Korea, where if you complain about hunger you can go to prison for life.

But with our First Amendment right, comes a responsibility of the same order, especially if the speaker is a political leader, like Mr. Brice. We may all have sharp disagreements on political issues, but we should never suggest to resolve them by immolating our opponents. Mr. Brice’s horror show, available for all to see on the Internet, violated the most basic trust that the public puts in our leaders, to speak and behave in a manner that does not encourage or incite violence or over cooking.

Mr. Brice is a close ally of Mayor Zimmer and the council majority. He is a member of the Stable, on which he sits in a judicial capacity. His statements demonstrate that, at a minimum, he does not have the demeanor to judge his fellow residents, particularly if they disagree with him on political issues. I am appalled that neither the mayor nor the majority have lifted a finger to remove him from this position, nor have they said anything about his public hankering to use engulfing flames against my car, other than, in the case of the council majority, to laugh it off as a joke. The mayor herself has said not a word.

Mr. Brice says that his video was satire. But let me ask this: what if the same video was crafted by a high school student, who said on-line that he would love to immolate a teacher? Would we think it was funny then? Would we sit by and do nothing?


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