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Racist free speech

Matt Westerhold • Jun 7, 2014 at 7:39 PM

The man wearing the gorilla costume in downtown Sandusky during Ohio Bike Week on Thursday, carrying a sign that stated “Obama's real daddy,” isn't necessarily a racist.

He just acts like one.

He isn't necessarily a member of the Ku Klux Klan; he just acts like one, wearing a different sort of hood to hide his identity.

The man in the gorilla costume, which was adorned with a dildo hanging just below the waist, doesn't necessarily have some sort of penis envy; the appendage might just have been handy, from a private collection of virtual penises.

Gorilla man probably believes he is not a racist; he might not be associated with the KKK; he might not be suffering penis envy.

Instead, he might say he was simply exercising his First Amendment right to free speech by depicting President Obama as the son of a gorilla. The First Amendment gives him the right to express himself — anonymously — hidden behind a gorilla mask, or a white hood.

If that's the case — that he doesn't believe he's racist — then he's a racist who doesn't know he's a racist.

He doesn't know how offensive the suggestion is that a man is the son of a gorilla.

He doesn't know the history how ignorant people just like him — for the better part of history — depicted blacks as having tails. Many whites actually believed God created white people, and other people were descended from apes.

It's a belief many whites shared, as well as a trait many still have: A superiority complex.

Gorilla man is a holdover from that history. He probably watches biased television news coverage produced by people who share that superiority complex, and, like him, are ignorant of their own ignorance.

He probably doesn't believe in global warming; thinks President Obama was born in Kenya; called Obama a traitor for not securing the release of a POW, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; and called him a traitor again after he secured Bergdahl's release.

Free speech: Even people plagued with a superiority complexes and penis envy have a right to it; even ignorant people have a right to it.

But it's a two-way street. Some readers who commented under the article at sanduskyregister.com showed their matching ignorance to the gorilla man, while others took him to task.

"What is wrong with some people and why bring it to bike week?” one commenter wrote. “(He) must have a brain the size of peanut.”

Another commenter stated: “This ignorant low IQ moron just got his or her five minutes of fame. Probably waited all year for it.”

But the offensiveness of the gorilla's useless protest aside, there is a reason free speech is important, according to another reader who posted a comment.

“The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees free speech, it does not say 'if it doesn't offend you.' Freedom is never free, but to deny free speech, no matter how offensive, is a right that we must defend,” one commenter posted. “While I find his protest offensive, as an American, I will defend his right to speak."

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