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Guest Post: Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Major USMC – Paves the way to malicious censorship in the modern Reich.

pictureToday’s post is bound to be controversial for some. I stand with our police and our military, and I find the student art that was taken down from the Capitol tunnel offensive and downright abhorrent.

That said, I’m also an Army vet, and much like the writer of this piece, I find the efforts to remove this high school student’s work abhorrent to the very principles we, as members of the U.S. Armed Forces have sworn to defend.

I’m always fond of telling the perpetually offended to put on their big boy and girl panties, and suck it up. There is no right to be protected from butthurt via government force.

As of two days ago, the painting was re-hanged in the tunnel of the Capitol, and after several attempts by other lawmakers to take it down, it remains there.


By Dave Hardin

Duncan Hunter ripped down a picture that was hanging on the walls of the Capitol building and was selected as the winner of a national art contest. He found it offensive, but I doubt he understands the deleterious effect his actions have had on others and their freedoms, and as far as I’m concerned, Hunter should be far more mindful of unintended consequences his actions could have on others, including fellow Marines – people Hunter cannot hope to measure up to.

Let me have the honor of telling you about Michael Paradise. He served with the most outstanding unit I was ever deployed with, and he did it with distinction. I have served with Mike north of the Arctic Circle, when our days were mostly night with -17 degrees temps. I have witnessed him standing ready to face our enemies in Beirut.

marineBack in the day I did some boxing. Not many were willing to step into a boxing rink, but Mike Paradise was the exception. He had the intestinal fortitude to stand toe to toe with any Marine, and he took me on. This picture was taken of Mike a month or so after our boxing match on our way to Beirut.

Mike was known to max out the Marine Corps physical fitness test – a minor detail nobody mentioned to me at the time. So, for a brief moment in his career Mike had the honor of beating up on this old Sergeant to the applause of all. I have heard his version of that event and I promise you he is far more humble than he should be.

Mike knows exactly what it feels like to be deployed into the unknown and be willing to stand in the face of tyranny, because he was among the last Marines who were sent to Beirut.

Fast forward a number of years.

Mike has been a teacher for the last 17 years. He is an art teacher, and he has spent the bulk of his adult life teaching young minds the art of free expression. I have the great honor and privilege as a Marine of stating that I was beaten up by an art teacher. That always brings a smile to my face.

Some of Mike’s high school art students participated in a program that selected their work to be displayed at the Capitol building in Washington, DC. He participated in, and supported a program, that is the finest example of our right to free expression. In the end, a painting done by a student in a neighboring school won the competition.

You know what happened next.

People got offended, and Duncan Hunter acted.

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter has removed from display in the Cannon tunnel the controversial student art contest painting of police-community relations in Ferguson, Missouri, that depicts police officers as animals.

This is appalling.

Congressman Hunter not only ripped down a picture created by a high school student from the wall, but he dishonored those who served to protect our right to free expression. He attacked the life’s work of another Marine. He attacked one of my Beirut brothers and he shamed the sacrifice those who came long before him.

All because people were offended.

The wall on which that picture hangs does not belong to Hunter, and neither did the picture. That wall belongs to us – all of us – and that picture belongs to a 17 year old high school student. That wall and what hangs on it is protected by Marines who served this nation long before Duncan Hunter could read or write.

Personally, I find the picture that was selected to be displayed offensive too. It depicts what happened in Ferguson from the perspective of bias and hate.

I have the right to be offended, but I have a right to hear and see that which others are free to express. I have a right to form my own opinion on it. So do all Americans… its what weaves the very fabric of America.

But what we do not have the right to do is demand that which offends us be removed by government force.

What defines us as Americans is our right to be offended, but at the same time respect and even defend another’s right to do exactly that. Being American demands that we defend the rights of others to scream at the top of the lungs that which we have spent a lifetime opposing.

Where does this kind of behavior stop?

Will the Congressman now go to the Library of Congress and burn a mass of books he finds offensive?

egaBecause if that’s the case, before Duncan Hunter starts goose stepping down the hallways of our of the Capitol ripping down artwork put there by my fellow citizens, he should turn in his EGA (that’s Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, in case you were wondering). His conduct was unbecoming a United States Marine, and as far as I’m concerned, he disgraced the Officer Corps.

I have several friends who know Duncan Hunter personally, and I reached out to my fellow Marines for an explanation. All I have heard so far are crickets. If Duncan Hunter has constructed an echo chamber of people who will not tell him when he is in the wrong, please let me be the one to kick in his door.

I am very aware that he has worked hard for veterans. He has done good work on those issues, but it appears he also created an environment in which people will not confront him in fear of losing his support.

So let me be the first to say…

Marine, your actions were wrong. You tarnished the EGA, and now you need to suck it up and make this right. You have an obligation to stand corrected and do it with dignity and honor. So do your duty, and make this right.

Because at the moment, Duncan Hunter, you are not worthy of standing in the shadow of the likes of Michael Paradise… Teacher.

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40 responses

  1. The thing is for freedom of speech/ freedom of expression to actually work- you have to support the right of others to promote views that you are opposed to.
    You especially have to support the right of others to say stuff you find offensive,and for example-to display artwork you find offensive.
    Many of our own views are offensive to someone as well- and that is the point- we all get to voice our opinions and hold our own views of things. We are not all supposed to all be alike or think alike or believe in the same things.
    If I find something offensive it is because I find it offensive- not because someone else decides what is and is not offensive for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Freedom of speech/expression does not require that you agree with what is said, written or visual. It does not mean that you have to like it, or listen to it or look at it. If you don’t like it, ignore it. If you don’t want to hear it, find another channel or program. If you don’t like the sight of it, you are not required to look at it.

    If you recall the early 1990s, Annie Sprinkle got government grants from the National Endowment for the Arts so that she could have sex shows in central NYC, while her ‘admirers’ videoed her twat. I don’t object to her public display of Dah Stoopid, because it’s her privilege and right to be Stoopid. I do object to the NEA funding it.

    People have created offensive artwork, theater, literature, poetry, and whatever other venues there are for millennia. Artemisia Gentileschi was brutally punished for having the nerve to be a prominent female artist in the Reinaissance, but her work which, was aimed at scolding those who punished her, has withstood the test of time and distance.

    No one is forcing anyone, including Mr. Hunter, to look at that painting or like it. He is completely out of line. What’s next? Is he going to sponsor book burnings? What a twit!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Well said, Dave. Freedom of speech means sometimes you have to face things you don’t want to see. Art is intended to evoke emotion and reaction, and it’s not always a pretty picture. While I don’t share the artist’s viewpoint, It’s his viewpoint and he’s depicted it very well. I just hope the anger the young man feels can be channeled into something good for himself and his community. Kudos to Mr. Paradise and his young student.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. By doing this, Duncan Hunter has emulated the perpetually offended snowflakes. He doesn’t like it, so it must be hidden, removed, destroyed. He doesn’t like it, so it must be silenced so that his worldview remains pure of anything that might conflict with his thinking. He’s behaving like the enemy.

    What he SHOULD have done is say, “I find that depiction of the events in Ferguson disturbing because I believe it is hateful and divisive, not to mention factually inaccurate. However, unlike our ideological opponents, I do not believe in silencing or destroying those with whom I disagree.”

    That would have been a slap in the face to the perpetually aggrieved snowflakes to show them how a mature American reacts to something he or she disagrees with. Instead, he descended to their level and validated their behavior.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. It just keeps coming. Now several other Congressmen have taken it down after the painting has been put back up. Photo op with cameras and all. This is scary shit right here. They actually think its their building.

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/cops-pigs-painting-rehung-capitol/

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I supported taking down that disgusting picture, but I have to say that you convince me that I was wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. IS this particular piece of art any more disgusting that Robert Mapplethorpe’s obnoxious photographic displays of self-hatred? Look him up. He hit a lot of raw nerves. He went to enormous lengths to put his self-hatred on public display in revolting ways, and while nobody said “take it down”, a great many people voiced their anger at having his crap thrown in their faces.

      No one is forced to view or approve of what this kid did, any more than they were forced to view Mapplethorpe’s “art”. At the same time, no one forced it to be hidden in a box in the closet, to deny its existence. If Mapplethorpe was not censored, why should this kid be censored?

      i ask again, is this piece of art any more offensive than Mapplethorpe’s?

      You can’t say ‘Okay’ to one offensive example and forbid the display of another.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What I found most offensive about Mr. Mapplethorpe’s work was that public funds were used to support his work. I object to paying for his display of self-loathing.

        Liked by 4 people

  7. Same logic applies to flag burning.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You MAY be right – but then again, if I hung up a picture of the KKK lynching Blacks in Mississippi in 1930’s as art, would anyone want to rip THAT down…….?

    …be honest now…..not much different….just one’s perspective….after all it IS historically correct….

    …and would YOU fight to the death for MY rights to do that…..?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d say most people would want to rip it down. I’d want to rip it down, but I wouldn’t. It’s just as protected as this young man’s art.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, I absolutely would and have. I am Atheist, moreover I am Anti-Theist and yet I constantly fight to protect the rights of my neighbors to worship as they choose.

      Like

  9. ” he should turn in his EGA (that’s Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, in case you were wondering). His conduct was unbecoming a United States Marine”.

    I’ll second that. I find the picture extremely offensive, just like I do burning the flag. But that young man has every right to his view whether I like it or not. I took a oath to defend his rights, it didn’t come with a expiration date. Hunter should be shamed for his actions. He dishonored the Corps and for that I will now consider him a ex-Marine.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I took a oath to defend his rights, it didn’t come with a expiration date.

      It also didn’t come with a lot of exceptions; there’s no “except that unpatriotic shitweasel over there.” (You know this, I know; I point it out for the benefit of others who seem to think there IS such an exclusion.)

      About to date myself. I didn’t realize “EGA Graphics” had two meanings. Pictures of the USMC emblems and the graphics card that preceded VGA.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I love this. All you guys willing to Go To The Wall so some kid can hang some REALLY offensive crap on the wall. Would you do the same for me if I hung some REALLY offensive racial slurs/pictures outside the Black Congressman’s office? How about I just paint the N-word on his door in an artistic way…..

    Get real !!!

    Like

    1. You have that right. And I have the right to laugh at you when you’re ticketed for vandalism and facing a civil rights lawsuit.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “So THAT’S a “Civil Right” lawsuit..? …but PIG POLICE isn’t…….

        OK, and not ON his front door – perhaps just hanging an ‘artistic’ sign hanging on the door across the hall facing his door.

        Y’all are SO-two faced. Either you WILL stand up for individual ‘rights’ – or you won’t……..

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        1. What individual right is violated by having the painting hang in the tunnel?

          Liked by 3 people

    2. How about I just paint the N-word on his door in an artistic way…..

      That’s called vandalism, and it’s illegal.

      Would you do the same for me if I hung some REALLY offensive racial slurs/pictures outside the Black Congressman’s office?

      If you won an art contest and the prize was to hang your art outside the Black Congressman’s office? You fucking BET!

      False equivalence won’t fly here. YOU get real! Those of us who have served in the Armed Forces know exactly what we’re defending.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. First, Nicki, from your picture I am going to say I’ve spent more time in the military than you been alive! Don’t flatter yourself – and your mature thought process that assumes to speak for all the military……

        Is the ‘authority’ to hang it because it won an art contest? Either YOU will fight for MY freedom to put an artistic derogatory picture about a class of people on the wall – or you won’t. You REALLY can’t have it both ways…..even tho’ you’d probably like to.

        But as for me, and my house, we did NOT fight for derogatory crap like that to be put up in the Halls of Congress – we fought for individual rights – AND responsibility……..and I don’t see any responsibility here.

        Like

        1. First, Nicki, from your picture I am going to say I’ve spent more time in the military than you been alive! Don’t flatter yourself – and your mature thought process that assumes to speak for all the military……

          First, I’m not sure, but I think I should be flattered by that! LOL Second, considering how many veterans have commented here and the veteran who wrote the piece, I’m not speaking for all the military. They’re speaking for themselves.

          Is the ‘authority’ to hang it because it won an art contest? Either YOU will fight for MY freedom to put an artistic derogatory picture about a class of people on the wall – or you won’t. You REALLY can’t have it both ways…..even tho’ you’d probably like to.

          Wrong assessment. And again, false equivalency. When you put something up in a public space just because you want to, chances are it will be taken down. Period. If you vandalize someone’s door, that’s illegal. If the award for your effort – no matter how offensive – is to hang it in the hallway of the Capitol? It’s legal and has been cleared. I would defend to the death your right to not just paint it but for it to hang there, but not your right to hang your shit anywhere you want – other than your own property. Like it or not, there are rules when it comes to public spaces, because all of us taxpayers own it. The kid who created the painting, if he’s not working part time while in school, his parents likely are, and they’re just as much taxpayers as you are. So your offense should win over his right to have his Congressperson award him with a place for his painting? Sorry nope! Now, if you want to argue that taxpayer funded spaces shouldn’t be used for art at all, OK. Do so. But then you’ll have to be tolerant when other taxpayers object to religious art being displayed in public places and have it taken down, because no art should hang in public spaces. It gets a little ridiculous.

          But as for me, and my house, we did NOT fight for derogatory crap like that to be put up in the Halls of Congress – we fought for individual rights – AND responsibility……..and I don’t see any responsibility here.

          So you only fought for stuff that you don’t find offensive? Got it.

          Responsibility? For what? We berate Special Snowflakes for shutting down anything they find offensive. How are you any different?

          Liked by 5 people

    3. Just because you are offended doesn’t mean you are right.

      I find this kid’s view of the police abhorrent. I used to work for a police department (full disclosure: not as a cop, as a dispatcher). The cops I knew were dedicated professionals who did a tough and dirty job because it has to be done. I think that broad-brushing all cops as “racists” or “thugs” or “murderers” or “pigs” is just as stupid and wrong-headed as broad-brushing any group.

      Progressives love to hate on cops, but if you took the things they say, did a find-and-replace from “cops” to “black people,” they’d lose their minds. The fact is, some prejudice and bigotry is “acceptable.” It all depends on who’s the target. It’s a shitty double standard, but it happens every damn day.

      All that being said, he absolutely has a right to his opinion. And he absolutely has a right to create art based on his opinion. And if a legislator who represents him wants to hang that art in the halls of Congress, that legislator also has that right. Those of us who disagree with it absolutely do not have the right to stifle or silence their expression of their views.

      In fact, doing so is exactly the wrong thing to do, for a host of reasons. Whenever you attempt to silence someone, all you’re doing is telling the world you’re afraid of what they have to say. What we should do instead is use facts and logic to blow holes in their stupidity. Proving someone wrong is infinitely preferable to just muzzling them.

      But more to the point, by attempting to silence speech we disagree with, we become more like our ideological opponents. They’re dragging us down to their level. And I categorically refuse to become like them.

      You do you, though. Have fun with it.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. The over the top name, the pure hatred in the screed. This is some leftard troll. May be the same shithead that goes by Fee-fi-fo-fum on Disqus. It uses the same racist rhetoric and even the same writing style.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. The term you are missing is ‘context’.

      Like

  11. Hunter knows better. That’s what makes this so irritating. BTW, I thought his father was the best of the presidential candidates in 2008 so naturally his campaign never got off the ground. What were the GOP electors thinking? Short shrift to Hunter Sr but nominated a Class A jackwagon like McCain. Cheesh!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Nicki, et. al., This whole ‘thing’ is about sensibility on the part of both the do-er and the see-er. Yes, the Black guy has a ‘right’ to hang ANYTHING he wants to on ‘his’ wall (the one right outside ‘his’ office. So does the White guy. Including KKK lynching Blacks, n-words…whatever. But why? Why does the Black guy put shit like that out in public – and then wonder why the White guys gets pissed? And why does the White guy dress up in a sheet and burn crosses, and wonder why the Black guy gets pissed?

    What (in this case) the Black guy doesn’t understand – or PROBABLY doesn’t care about – is THAT action does NOTHING to cause us to all get along. IMHO, race relations have gotten MUCH worse between Blacks and Whites over the last several ( 8) years. And things like THIS do nothing to help that.

    It’s just Stupid. Just like hanging a similar – but reversed roles – picture across the hall from a Black Congressman’s office. Just Stupid.

    This is NOT about snowflakes – couldn’t be further from my mind. It’s about sensibility and common courteousness. Some people have it – some don’t.

    Like

    1. I agree with you on all counts. We lack decorum. We lack genuine human interaction. Race relations suck. There’s nothing false in what you’re saying.

      But this has nothing to do with Black guy and what he has hanged by his office. The picture won a national art competition. I don’t know who the judges were, but it won. The prize was that the kid’s art would hang in the Capitol tunnel. And no one – especially not a legislator who is also a veteran and ostensibly swore to protect the constitution (all of it – not just stuff he agrees with) had the authority to remove it.

      Would I say that about racist art that won the same competition? Yes. No matter now offensive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In a perfect world – where ALL Americans arm-up to protect our Constitutional Republic, I’d agree across the board. But we don’t. The vast majority expect people like you and me and those on this forum to ‘take care of business’ outside the borders – so they can do crap like this. There IS no sensibility in that…..

        And this won? …by judges? – who also have no sensibilities. Betcha I could use the KKK National judges to pick a real piece of crap to hang across the hall…..

        That is NOT an excuse for being Stupid.

        Like

        1. In a perfect world – where ALL Americans arm-up to protect our Constitutional Republic, I’d agree across the board. But we don’t. The vast majority expect people like you and me and those on this forum to ‘take care of business’ outside the borders

          What on earth does the percentage of people who join the military have to do with this? The kid either has the right to produce the painting and then the right to have it hang in that location if he wins the contest…or he doesn’t. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t change because I did, or did not, ever enlist.

          Total non-sequitur.

          And this won? …by judges? – who also have no sensibilities. Betcha I could use the KKK National judges to pick a real piece of crap to hang across the hall…..

          I don’t know why the hell you keep bringing that up. It’s like you’re not listening to anything Nicki has said, or incapable of understanding the point. She’s already said such a thing would be within its rights–provided it could win such a contest.

          What I am seeing here is an utter inability on your part to do anything but rant, based on your feelings. Rational thought? No sign of it.

          Like

  13. Bully, Nikki……bully

    I have no problem with the painting being hung. I look at it this way; I get more pleasure from the congressman revealing his own negative nature and lack of character than any consternation I may feel from a high school student’s interpretation of current Police/Urban Youth relations.
    This speaks more to the mindset and feelings of Congressman Clay than anything else.
    “Hey, this submission is really gonna piss off my co-workers. Since it’s “art” (insert speaking truth to power qualifier here), let’s poke the bear.”
    Lacy Clay is the type of congressman a district gets when the voters choose tribe over truth. Ever hear of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”? ……tribe over truth.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. “…that the Architect of the Capitol concluded the artwork did indeed violate the rules. The painting will be removed on Tuesday…Tensions escalated over the last week to the point that Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said “we might just have to kick somebody’s ass” if another lawmaker tried to remove the painting. Pulphus’s artwork features a confrontation between two police officers closely resembling feral pigs drawing their guns at a protester depicted as a black panther. Adding to the furor is that the location in the tunnel is near a Capitol Police security checkpoint…[former Sheriff Representative Reichert, R-Wa) called the painting a “slap in the face to the countless men and women who put their lives on the line everyday on behalf of our safety and freedom” in a statement on Friday.”

    From TheHill.com:

    Multiple GOP lawmakers personally removed it over the past week.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/314306-cop-painting-to-be-removed-from-capitol-complex-next-week

    Like

    1. And this proves you right how, precisely? It doesn’t.

      The lawmakers had no right to remove it. None whatsoever. They don’t magically get that right retroactively because of what the capitol architect is doing.

      I don’t know the rules, but the capitol architect *might*.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Steve, I didn’t post this to ‘say I was right’..THAT is not the issue.

        My issue was we should ALL have some sensibility on what we push out into the public arena. I don’t believe the Black Congressman did – any more than a ‘winning entry’ KKK picture would, either. Both bad.

        And I NEVER said anyone has the right to rip it down. Did you see where I said that? I was merely stating my opinion that the picture was crap – and shouldn’t be there, anymore than the inflammatory anti-Black (contest winner) picture should be, either.

        Like

    2. And if it violates the rules, I’m all for it being removed. That appeal should have been submitted and allowed to take its course, instead of Duncan Hunter just taking it upon himself to grab it and remove it, because it was “offensive.”

      And for the record, I’m glad it was removed. But I’m drawing a distinction here I’m hoping you understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From what I’ve seen, that’s unlikely…though he did sound halfway reasonable in his response to me.

        Like

        1. Steve, I notice you did not respond to my question to you, above. ‘Reasonable’ – yes, I hope to think I have been in trying to equate the Black Congressman’s crap to any other crap (offensive by nearly all standards). Yep, they both have the ‘right’, but neither have the ‘sensibility’ of a society where we all just try to get along.

          Probably what has ‘set me off’ is the magnitude of the BLM issue – with the blaming of all the Black shootings on the cops – which is probably less than 1/2 of 1% of the Black shootings. THAT is all BS, and everyone knows it – but they continue to perpetuate the lies by pictures and issues like this one.

          Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful life….

          Like

  15. Hunter needs to suck-start a rusty chainsaw blade.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. […] painting – you know, the one Duncan Hunter removed because his tender labia got chafed at the controversial subject matter – was removed, […]

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