People like her are incurious idiots who have no idea what it is like to be a good citizen in this nation. Here’s a hint for her though- avoid acting like an ass.
While many of us take time out today to be thankful for all of our blessings, there’s at least one household with a bit less to be thankful for. It’s being reported that on the day before Thanksgiving, Lindsey Stone and one of her colleagues were fired from their jobs. In case you somehow missed the story, Lindsey is the woman who managed to exercise her right to free speech in a manner so incredibly offensive that people across the nation took to social media demanding she be fired from her job. If your love of civil liberties has you feeling sorry for her, you might want to hold back on defending her here.
Lindsey Stone, the Plymouth, Massachusetts woman who posted a photo of herself giving the middle finger in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, creating a firestorm of Internet backlash and outrage, was fired from her job Wednesday…
The photo, which has been taken down, was first posted last month on Stone’s personal Facebook page, and showed Stone giving the middle finger while pretending to yell next to a sign that read “Silence and Respect” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery.
The picture in question (linked here with the offending digit blurred out) was enough to get people from all across the political spectrum up in arms. And I offer no apologies for saying I was among that group. But as the story unfolded, there were those speaking up in defense of Stone, such as Business Insider author Robert Johnson – a veteran himself – who argued that the young woman’s life shouldn’t be “ruined” over a “stupid Facebook post.”
But as outrage grows — leading to posts across the Internet and Facebook groups devoted to getting her fired — I feel compelled to defend her.
Stone was at the cemetery on an office trip. She’s pretending to be neither silent or respectful next to a sign that demands she be both. As in, “Look it says I can’t. But I am.” I get it. I remember standing on the wall of a deep gorge in high school that had the words Do Not Stand here painted on it. I took a picture of my shoe beside them. These are silly, immature, little rebellions.
More importantly, if Lindsey Stone wants to rip on the Tomb of the Unknowns, me, my service, or the hundreds of mutilated troops I served with at Walter Reed Medical Center, she should be able to do so without fear of retribution. Freedom like that is what we fought for, and respecting other opinions is part of what the military tried to teach all of us who served.
As part of his argument, Johnson points to an op-ed by Marine officer and Naval Academy instructor Aaron O’Connel. There’s too much to include here, but the basic thrust of the argument is that the national attitude toward our troops has reached the point where the “blind adoration of the military and its personnel is getting creepy.” They both also put forward the assertion that, “questioning institutions and individuals, including the military and its troops, is good and healthy.”
That last statement is obviously true. (And this is also coming from another veteran.) The military is composed of real human beings and some of them will, on occasion, deviate from the standards we expect or make poor decisions. Military policy is certainly up for public debate. But none of this changes what I see as the primary failing of both of these arguments when it comes to the specifics of Ms. Stone’s situation. There are two arguments here: one being the woman’s right to free speech and the other being the fact that the military is fairly subject to criticism just as much as any other institution.
On the first count, I don’t see anyone trying to deprive Lindsey Stone’s first amendment rights. If this had happened and the government – at any level – was trying to punish her, I fully believe that each and every one of us would be up in arms over it. But the government isn’t doing a thing to her. What she is dealing with is the reaction of the public and her employers by way of exercising their own rights to speech and action in response to an act she freely chose to perform and publish. We are all free to speak, but we also bear the responsibility for what other free citizens decide to say in response to us.
Here is my comment at Hotair. It speaks for itself.
I’m going to make this as simple as possible. If she was standing on the MLK memorial exercising her free speech by yelling the “N” word or making KKK signs, then nobody would even blink when she got fired.
But for some reason veterans, well certain veterans, feel it is their job to bash themselves. And as far as “veterans” having their opinion carry more weight, I might point out to you that John Kerry was a veteran.
Veterans means you served in the military. It does not mean you are representative of the overall military opinion. If my father, who was a lover of this nation and a veteran, had been standing beside her at the time she did that, he’d taken his belt off and beat her backside until she understood her error or couldn’t sit down for a week!
This is about having self respect, self restraint, and a sense of what it is to be a good citizen.
Stone is an example of a ignorant class of people in this nation who have no concept of, nor the desire to learn about the sacrifice her fellow human beings went through in foreign lands trying to represent our nation and our values.
That sign represents the man who fell on a grenade to save his buddies, or the soldier who ran back into a firefight to help a wounded soldier, or the crew of a Jolly Green Giant helicopter flying into a hot LZ trying to rescue a downed pilot they never met, only to be shot down and killed, just like the last two crews who tried, and those doomed men did know.
Or the female medic who lowered herself down line from her Blackhawk in Afghanistan to try and save a soldier wounded in a firefight. Bullets whizzing by her as she hung suspended in the air, only to find out he was already dead. Then she took his body back regardless of the danger.
Y’know, if Stone gets fired because she’s an ignorant idiot too freaking bad. Maybe she’ll get a little scared, a little hungry, a little tired, a little lonely, a little hurt that so many people called her names. And then maybe she’ll understand what it is like to be a soldier out there in a war.
Screw her and her sorry, incurious, Obama voting ways.
One wonders if her father had died, or her brother, or her sister, or her son if she would be so willing to throw the finger. Probably not. And had some widow “bitch slapped” her across the face at that moment, I would have applauded. Sometimes being an ass isn’t forgivable, even in today’s take no responsibility world, as Stone has learned.
Good. Trust me. Getting fired is far better an option that what would have happened had my dad or my grandad caught her!