A shopping mall in Concord, North Carolina has evicted a tenant that was doing a brisk trade in conservative bumper stickers and gag items. "Impeach Obama." Al Qaeda's favourite days, 9/11/01 and 11/08/08". It could be argued that this is some pretty strident stuff WCNC.com reports as follows about the politically motivated eviction.
"The bumper stickers and posters sold at "Free Market Warrior" at Concord Mills are meant to be "biting," the kiosk's owner Loren Spivack said.
At least one passerby found them racist and bigoted, and took time to tell the mall in a letter and a letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer.
Whatever your opinion, the fact is this: At the end of July, Free Market Warrior will not be allowed at Concord Mills Mall. The kiosk chain's owner shared e-mail correspondence with NewsChannel 36 that explains that the mall management has decided that the items sold are not "neutral" enough. The lease will be allowed to expire July 31, 2009 without an option to renew."
It seems that some shoppers at the mall were so offended at the contents of "Free Market Warrior." that they threatened a boycott of the entire mall. Loren Spivack has guidelines for what is acceptable for his merchandise. He will not carry material that personally attacks political figures. He restricts the biting satire that is his stock and trade to attacks on political philosophy.
It seems odd that the first time a mall owner has enforced standards in his rental space that I can recall has been to silence conservative opinions. Spivack commented with some irony to WCNC on his upcoming eviction.
"Nobody in that mall is selling anything from a conservative perspective. Plenty of people are selling things with a liberal perspective, with a pro-Obama perspective," he said. "Given that we are in America and not North Korea, we probably should have some stuff on the other side."
The Charlotte Observer had published letters from outraged shoppers accusing Free Market Warrior of sexism, racism and even slavery. I visited the web site of Freemarketwarrior.com
to see what the fuss is about. Is being pro life sexist? How about Hillary Clinton toilet paper? I guess I need to report for" consciousness raising".
Is it racist to oppose Obama and to make fun of him? I guess most of my family has to report for "reeducation".
I am trying to imagine the worst. I was traveling through the Carolinas and was taken aback by the sale of Confederate memorabilia. My mother in law, who is proudly southern and well to the left of me explained that Yankee mills and railroads took a big cut from the South's share of plantation profits. She explained that there was regional pride that had nothing to do with love for slavery. Although time hardened my Northern regional perspective, her observations and those of my first avowed conservative Social Studies teacher enabled me to see beyond my own world view. A New Yorker who really knows his history would have to blush in shame at the Draft Riots of 1863, in which the nadir of attacks on African Americans in that year was the burning of an orphanage for African Americans.
It is odd that the owner of the Concord Mills Mall invoked the same rights invoked by Lester Maddox in defending his right to run a segregated restaraunt. Both Lester Maddox and Mel Simon, the owner of the Concord Mills Mall are on the same page as far as assigning sweeping rights to owners of business rental property.
Two constitutional rights seem to be in direct conflict in the Concord Mills Mall. The rights of a landlord and the rights of free speech seem to be in a figurative shoving match, trying to butt each other off the curb.
How do you sort a legal fight like that out? According to the WCNC article, Loren Spivack showed the television crew bumper stickers and t shirts that were too raunchy to show on the air, indicating that Mel Simon has an oddly selective sense of propriety.
If Loren Spivack were running for president against Mel Simon, who would I vote for? Mel Simon has promised to help any liberal who wants to open a kiosk in the mall to move in. He truly wants a marketplace of ideas splashed across coffee cups and bumpers.
Mel Simon on the other hand has evicted a man whose convictions differ from his. He has attached pejorative labels to ideas as a substitute for debating them. So If I had to vote for either guy......
Where can I get a Loren Spivack for President bumper sticker? Sphere: Related Content