Offensive Free Speech or Political Oppression?

I was reading this article today about a woman who got booted off a Southwest flight from L.A. to Portland because some passengers complained about her t-shirt which had a picture of Bush, Cheney, Conoleeza Rice and the words “Meet the Fockers”. She comments:

“I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war,” she said. “Here we are trying to free another country and I have to get off an airplane in midflight over a T-shirt. That’s not freedom.”

Reading further, it is clear that the problem is not her t-shirt but rather the boneheaded people on the plane who found her shirt offensive. Have we really come to this? Are we really to a point in this country where all it takes to get kicked off a plane is to wear something that might offend someone else? I find the whole incident highly ridiculous and a little bit disturbing.

The next time I fly, the cynic in me will want to complain about the people wearing crucifixes or religious propaganda — not because it offends me but because I want to show how ridiculous it is to have such convictions about someone else’s choice of clothing or accoutrement, whether it be political, religious or whatever.

Update: Is there some kind of underground campaign going on to ban this t-shirt from stores? Here’s an article from a newspaper in Wisconsin that talks about a local political activist group called Tosans for Responsible Government trying to get this shirt and Victoria’s Secret clothing removed from a local mall’s stores.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at October 6, 2005 04:01 PM

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