Free Speech vs. Vandalism
Mona Eltahawy Egyptian-American journalist was arrested in New York yesterday for spray-painting over an MTA sign that proposed that "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
People like Eltahawy have trouble arguing honestly against the ads because -- despite descriptions you'll hear in the media -- the statement they make isn't at all controversial.
Most people I know are in favor of civilization. Not so much in favor of savagery. It helps keep our insurance rates down.
Had Eltahawy spray-painted her message on a blank wall, it still would have been vandalism. But at least it would have been truer to the spirit of free speech, in which you don't win an argument by erasing what the other side has to say.
Far better, Eltahawy and her friends could simply have purchased advertising -- as they had done before -- to make their own case. Instead, she chose to break the law. Hence, the handcuffs.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist