Meant to post about this the other day, but now an update is here, so all is good. The report on the cancellation is here. Basically, Nigel Coleman, a tea party organizer based in Virginia, had planned a bonfire in which he would burn Speak of the House Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Tom Perriello in effigy. For those unaware of what this means, since its historical significance is of British origin, see Wikipedia’s article on Guy Fawkes Night.
I think Coleman was going about this the wrong way. While I understand the point of his planned effigy (I think), you want to know what the first thing in my mind was after reading the initial report? An image of radical Muslims burning American flags. I’m being quite serious about that, by the way. And no, I don’t think most tea partiers are like radical Muslims. But, I think this type of protest moves close to that type of radicalism.
Now, while I don’t support efforts to ban flag burning, I certainly don’t wish to encourage it. For me, it’s similar with effigies like the one Coleman was planning. Consider that the significance of effigies in the U.K. are to condemn a terrorist who tried to blow up the Parliament building. So exactly what message would effigies of Pelosi and Perriello send other than he thinks that they are bad bad people? He says it’s all about the health care legislation, but put in the historical context of effigies, it has another meaning entirely.
Hopefully a lesson has been learned here: think before planning your protest.