Penns Valley’s no stranger to public gestures of bravado and aggression, and for the most part such gestures have gone unchecked. When the Confederate flags and “Trump that B----” jokes flew, we (the liberal/anarchic riff-raff) bit our tongues. When the anti-Obama bumper stickers blossomed like a hundred vile flowers, we ducked our heads. Even now, when many of our neighbors still sport images of a caged woman on their front lawns, we don’t do much. In other words, public discourse that’s coarse and cruel has been a mainstay.
And yet, when a couple of folks in Millheim put up an “F-- Trump” sign in their yard on Inauguration Day, the wrath came down. Neighbors phoned code enforcement; a borough official arrived and called the sign-makers’ good parenting into question; passersby were, evidently, damaged for life. Based on the outrage, you’d have thought we live in a realm of muffins and white-picket fences, rather than the cussing, truck-testicle-swinging place that it is.
Isn’t it funny that all the “b----”-hurling, the caged women, the “historical” memorabilia and the nasty jokes haven’t merited censor? That folks are suddenly batting their eyelashes, concerned about “good parenting”?
It’s cowardly to invoke “families” and “parenting” instead of naming and standing by inconsistent, retributive policies. It’s cowardly to drop your commitment to the First Amendment when it doesn’t suit. And hey, my neighbors — where’s all the bellyaching about “PC” censorship now, and whence does your hysterical fragility arise?
I love you, but give me a break.
Abby Minor, Aaronsburg