High school teacher Debbie Polhemus took her own stand against free speech yesterday when she covered pro-Israel advertisements in a Washington, D.C, metro station with yellow sticky notes. Polhemus was not arrested or cited for vandalism.
In a similarly convoluted line of reasoning to New York subway attacker Mona Eltahawy, Polhemus was quoted as saying “This is a public space, and we don’t like hate speech…And not to do anything would be to allow this speech…it would be hurtful.” The group behind the ads denies that they are anti-Islam, just anti-Jihadist.
The ads, the same ones as were placed in New York City subway stations by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, read “In any war between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” A federal judge had ordered last Friday that they must be placed in the DC metro by 5pm Monday. The DC Metro had delayed placing the ads “due to global unrest about the anti-Islam video.”
Eltahawy, as expected, has been promoting the metro attacks on twitter. In a somewhat unintelligible conversation where she appears to say that she protested protected speech, Eltahawy describes her reaction:
It seems that somehow the meaning of the First Amendment has been lost by both Polhemus and Eltahawy (and local transportation authorities). They prefer a sort of “might makes right” argument instead, and apparently the Constitution doesn’t apply when they’re in disagreement with the free speech.