Home City LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tenants who hung Roman SPQR flag played the victim

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tenants who hung Roman SPQR flag played the victim

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Letter to the Editor

This Letter to the Editor was written in response to an opinion piece published by opinion writer Cade Plotts titled “OPINION: People’s Justice League unfairly doxxes Athens residents.” This letter was written by Kelly Huq, a self-described homeowner on Athens’ east side.

In his recent opinion piece, Cade Plotts (People’s Justice League unfairly doxes Athens residents) paints a picture of slaphappy history buffs ordering a Roman flag for the purpose of decorating for a Toga Party in celebration of a 21st birthday who are subsequently demonized by the local community and the People’s Justice League. In his opinion piece, Cade Plotts publishes the name of a beloved Athens activist without bothering to contact her or gather any facts from the other side of the story.

Plotts bias is evidenct from the headline to the opening remarks to the conclusion of the article.  It is a tepid defense of free speech in which poor innocent OU history students inadvertently and unknowingly displayed a flag that has ties to the Nazi movement as a party decoration and were viciously “bullied” by the local community.  But that is not exactly what happened.

The displayed flag offended people in this community because of its ties to the Nazi movement.  Members of this community contacted the landlord of that house and expressed concern. That landlord promised to speak to the residents and ask them to take the flag down.  And here is where the story becomes a story.

The tenants could have simply said that they were unaware that the flag was controversial and causing people in this community alarm.  The tenants could have simply taken the flag down and apologized for any misunderstanding.  The People’s Justice League could have then applauded the students for their action and apologized for and removed their facebook post that would have been the end of this “misunderstanding.”  But that is not what happened.

The students doubled down.  They played the victim.  They took steps to get a permit to fly this flag even though it caused consternation in the community.  All in the name of free speech.  And, now, they have added an additional flag with ties to the Nazi movement.

Again, I am sure in the name of free speech.  But free speech runs both ways and carries consequences.  These students have now lost their mooring.  They can no longer claim that they are being unfairly targeted because their display of the flag was not malicious.  They are now courting controversy.  They are transient members of our community.  Short term residents.  Decency would dictate that they attempt to build community and mend any misunderstanding that may have been prompted by their use of this particular flag.  Sadly, they have chosen another path.

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