On Friday, June 15th, two guests at the White House decided to pose for photo-ops with former President Ronald Reagan’s portrait. This is, obviously, in no way out of the ordinary, but the double middle finger salutes certainly sparked a response from the Obama Administration.
After acquiring the great snapshots, Zoe Straus and Matty Hart decided to share the images with the world, via Facebook, with Hart going the extra mile to add the text “Fuck Reagan.”
The iconic gestures made their way back to the White House, via offended bloggers. On June 25th, a spokesman for President Barack Obama, Shin Inouye, commented, “Behavior like this doesn’t belong anywhere, least of all in the White House.” I guess this is the administration’s attempt to show their disdain for disrespect, especially since the many brushes President Obama has had over the past few years–most recently by The Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro in the Rose Garden. Obama’s comment–since a spokeman speaks for and on behalf of another–is pretty hypocritical, at the least. It was Barry who called Kanye West a jackass–not once, but twice. Now, surely, calling someone a jackass would fall under behavior that “doesn’t belong anywhere.”
Another show of blatant disrespect was the Obama campaign releasing its first 2012 ad targeting African Americans, “We’ve Got Your Back!” Nothing says ‘fuck you’ more than a chicken commercial jingle telling Blacks to simply support the president for the sake of supporting him. The ad is truly saying, “Support the re-election efforts of President Barack Obama while he panders to and acts on behalf of nearly every niche group besides yours.” This wasn’t merely a snapshot with a digital camera or smartphone, it was a 60-second long “up yours!”
However, there certainly are some behaviors allowed in the White House and elsewhere. Placing names on assassination lists and authorizing/carrying out drone strikes that wind up killing innocent civilians–even American citizens–is deemed acceptable by the same people who admonish those who simply make a gesture as a form of free expression in a place that is supposed to be leading symbol for freedom around the world. Issuing a statement scolding a couple of Philadelphia activists expressing themselves in the White House exposes their true sentiment that “we talk about our citizens’ freedom and constitutional rights, but just don’t exercise them where we execute our plans to restrict the aforementioned.”
People should be allowed to express themselves however they see fit. Zoe Straus and Matty Hart’s acts impeded on no one’s rights, and the pictures and statement posted online did not hurt a single human being–unless you consider hurting the feelings of political panderers brutality. It is sad that this administration would attempt to coddle potential voters by attacking freedom of expression rights of those who accurately depict the moods and sentiments of the many, many Americans who were adversely affected by the policies of the corrupt and racist Reagan administration.
Barack Obama should, too, being giving the finger to Reagan for flooding the streets of Urban America with crack cocaine and the Iran-Contra affair. Obama should be giving Reagan the finger for Reaganomics. He should be giving the finger for his handling of the Iran-Iraq conflicts of the 1980s. Instead, the Obama Administration shoots the bird at gay rights activists whom they invited to the White House for a gay pride month event–ones whom he may have won over in his re-election bid. Instead, the administration protects the image of a horrible president who has caused so much harm and detriment to the lives of everyday people. Maybe, the Ronald Reagan Administration is a heroic one to the Obama Administration–one which they use as a model–so flipping off Reagan, to them, is synonymous with flipping off Obama.